NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, 2024 Hockey East Semifinal Wednesday
- 3 min read

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, 2024 Hockey East Semifinal Wednesday

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, 2024 Hockey East Semifinal Wednesday by Nicole Haase

What to Watch changes format this week to bring you info on all the conference final and semifinal action packed into the next few days. First up, Hockey East.

Boston College at (10) Connecticut

Wednesday at 7:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Broadcast live on NESN, Paid stream on ESPN+.

Connecticut has played in three of the last six conference title games and lost them all. If they advance this time around, it would be the first time they go in as the top seed and favorite. Boston College hasn't played in the championship game in five years.

These two teams haven't played each other since December and Connecticut has proven themselves to be a very different team than the one that lost to BC in October and tied them, losing the shootout on December 2nd.

It's difficult to categorize Boston College's season. They had razor thin margins between offense and defense and struggled to find a balance all year. They ended the regular season 1-6-3 before defeating Providence in the opening round of the Hockey East tournament. But they took five of six points from UConn and have shown flashes where you remember how well they played Wisconsin to start the season that make you think this isn't as straightforward a matchup for the Huskies as they'd like to have in the semifinals.

BC's top two lines have pretty evenly split the goal scoring, giving them good options and depth that forces defenses to play closer than they'd like. Connecticut has had some of the best goaltending in the country from Tia Chan and Megan Warrener and the defense has been really stingy. Boston College cannot be afraid to shoot the puck, look for rebounds and get second- and third-chance opportunities if they are going to take the win here.

The Huskies get most of their scoring from Jada Habisch and Kathryn Stockdale, but most of their offensive players have contributed and that will be important for them in these one-and-done games. BC has shown the ability to corral those two somewhat and Connecticut will need to find ways around Molly Jordan and Keri Clougherty if they're going to get the win.

New Hampshire at (13) Northeastern

Wednesday at 4:30 PM Eastern

Watch: Broadcast live on NESN, Paid stream on ESPN+.

Northeastern has won six straight Hockey East tournament titles. A seventh would set a new record. New Hampshire returns to the conference semifinal for the first time since 2020. They haven't played in a HE title game since 2009.

After a slower start to the year, the Huskies found their stride and thanks to another strong season from Gywn Philips, were in a position to push for a top spot through the final few games. They've relied on their veteran core of Skylar Irving, Katy Knoll, Peyton Anderson, Megan Carter, and Taze Thompson while younger players like Allie Lalonde and Ella Blackmore have grown into their rookie seasons.

Northeastern allows just 1.3 goals per game, but are scoring at a slower rate than we've seen from them in year's past. They played 11 overtime games and had six one-goal losses. They have to play sharp, clean hockey and limit turnovers, but I also think NU is the team no one in the conference wants to come up against in a one-game situation. The Huskies have another level and the experience to kick it into gear when it matters most. Despite not taking the regular season title, they are two games from a tournament title and NCAA berth and they are going to be chasing that with tenacity because they know they're capable.

On the other side of the ice, the Wildcats dropped a trio of one-goal games to Northeastern this season, two of which came in overtime. UNH had multi-goal leads in the second two games before Northeastern put together late rallies and comebacks. New Hampshire has had the jump on the Huskies, but failed to follow through for a full 60 minutes, letting them back in the game and letting the wins slip away. They have to focus on that finishing touch and not letting up in the third. The Wildcats are on a five-game win streak where they've averaged nearly four goals per game. They will need to stay out of the penalty box – Northeastern will make them pay big time for giving them too many extra skater opportunities with their skilled passing and puck movement.

New Hampshire has a strong senior class that has stepped it up this season and are all sharing more of the load. Kira Juodikis continues to lead the team on offense, but if the Wildcats are going to win this game, I think the scoring will come from someone further down the line chart. Chavonne Truter had a big game last weekend and could be finding she has a knack in high-pressure situations.

(Photo: Connecticut Women's Hockey/Twitter)