NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, 2024 NCAA Regional Games
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NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, 2024 NCAA Regional Games

NCAA Women's Hockey: What to Watch, 2024 NCAA Regional Games by Nicole Haase

Winners advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday. NCAA Tournament games on BTN+ are free.

(8) Minnesota Duluth vs. (9) Connecticut
(Columbus Regional)

Thursday at 7:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Free stream on BTN+.

There are two teams who can struggle to score and who have stellar goaltending, which means this looks to be a grind-it-out game. Minnesota Duluth did not score in their WCHA semifinal loss to Ohio State while Connecticut had just one goal, in overtime, to beat Northeastern in the Hockey East championship game.

Officiating and special teams will be interesting in this one. UMD is a strong and physical team and generally, the WCHA seems to be more tolerant of that. So it will be on them to feel out the crew assigned to the game and adjust. On paper, these two teams look very similar, so this game is going to be won along the boards, in front of the net and in the faceoff circle.

(6) Cornell vs. Stonehill
(Hamilton Regional)

Thursday at 7:00 PM Eastern

Watch: Paid stream on ESPN+.

It's a tough uphill climb for whomever earns the NEWHA autobid. That being said. Stonehill came through a gauntlet of tough games and is going to be stronger for that fight. Alexis Petford is a standout forward and Maddison Achtyl has become another scoring threat.

Cornell has gotten this far thanks to steady improvement throughout the season from Annelies Bergmann in net, and with Izzy Daniel powering the offense. They are a strong and sound defensive team who will build out of the back and try to establish themselves in the zone. They'll look to beat the Skyhawks with great passing and patience in looking for the seams.

The Big Red had a rough exit from the ECAC semifinals and have to be itching for another shot at Colgate. They have to make sure they're not looking too far ahead.

(7) St. Lawrence vs. (14) Penn State
(Madison Regional)

Thursday at 7:00 PM Central

Watch: Free stream on BTN+.

These are another two teams that are very similar statistically. St. Lawrence averages 3.35 goals per game, Penn State scores 3.27. The Saints allow 2.38 goals per game, the Nittany Lions give up 2.05. They're both in the top ten in the country on the power play, but PSU has struggled on the penalty kill this season, ranking 31st at just 78%.

Abby Hustler came on strong for St. Lawrence late in the season and has been the powerhouse for their offense. Penn State has Tessa Janecke, last year's National Rookie of the Year. She has played on the US senior national team and is one of the most talented young players in North America. Both of them were Patty Kazmaier Top Ten Finalists.

St. Lawrence will look to use their speed in transition and keep Penn State on their heels.

(Photo: NCAA Ice Hockey/Twitter)