After capturing last year’s Four Nations title as well as winning gold in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Canadian National Women’s Team will kick off the newest Olympic cycle at the 2014 Four Nations Cup. Kamloops, British Columbia, will play host to the tournament. 10 players will be making their senior team debuts, including two goaltenders, two defensemen, and six forwards. In all, 23 players will be suiting up for Team Canada. With the tournament slated to begin on Nov. 4, here are some quick thoughts highlighting the Canadian roster.
#30 – Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alberta) – Harvard University (ECAC)
#31 – Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ontario) – Boston Blades (CWHL)
#33 – Erica Howe (Orleans, Ontario) – Brampton Thunder (CWHL)
- Geneviève Lacasse is the lone returning netminder from the 2014 Olympic squad, though she wasn’t the team’s go-to in net. She’ll likely have the inside track on the starting job this time around, however.
- Emerance Maschmeyer and Erica Howe are going to make big pushes for that starting role in their senior team debuts. They’re both proven at the collegiate level; Howe won a national championship with Clarkson as a senior last season after a dominant four years and Maschmeyer immediately stepped in as the Crimson’s starter as a freshman two years ago. They’ll now get the chance to prove their worth at the international level for the first time.
#3 – Jocelyne Larocque (Ste. Anne, Manitoba) – Brampton Thunder (CWHL)
#5 – Lauriane Rougeau (Beaconsfield, Quebec) – Montreal Stars (CWHL)
#8 – Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ontario) – Brampton Thunder (CWHL)
#14 – Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario – Brampton Thunder (CWHL)
#27 – Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, Ontario) – Boston Blades (CWHL)
#37 – Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ontario) – Clarkson University (ECAC)
#38 – Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Manitoba) – University of North Dakota (WCHA)
- Jocelyne Larocque, Lauriane Rougeau, and Laura Fortino are undoubtedly the leaders of this defensive corps. They are Canada’s most experienced defensemen and all three played key roles on the 2014 Olympic gold medal-winning squad.
- With Catherine Ward sitting this one out, one of those three will need to step up as the team’s #1 defenseman. Larocque and Rougeau are both efficient players defensively, but Fortino brings the most upside when it comes to moving the puck, which is one asset that had really separated Ward.
- Erin Ambrose has so far scored 22 goals and 92 points in 80 games with the Golden Knights in her NCAA career, and she’ll get her first chance to show some of that skill with the national team. She’ll be looking for some improvements from her stint with the Development Team this summer, when she was held off the board in a three-game series against the U.S. Under-22 Team. Her offensive abilities are there, but she’ll need to raise her all-around game at this level.
- Halli Krzyzaniak will also be making her debut with the senior team. As the youngest player on the blue line, she’s also one of the most intriguing. She hasn’t produced like Ambrose, but her game is much more well-rounded, and she’s already an all-situations player for North Dakota as only a sophomore. It’ll be interesting to see if she gets the chance to show that with Team Canada.
#6 – Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ontario) – Calgary Inferno (CWHL)
#7 – Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ontario) – Brampton Thunder (CWHL)
#9 – Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) – Hockey Canada
#11 – Jillian Saulnier (Halifax, Nova Scotia) – Cornell University (ECAC)
#17 – Bailey Bram (Ste. Anne, Manitoba) – Calgary Inferno (CWHL)
#20 – Jenelle Kohanchuk (Winnipeg, Manitoba) – Toronto Furies (CWHL)
#21 – Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ontario) – Calgary Inferno (CWHL)
#24- Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ontario) – Toronto Furies (CWHL)
#26 – Jessica Campbell (Melville, Saskatchewan) – Calgary Inferno (CWHL)
#29 – Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Quebec) – Boston University (WHEA)
#39 – Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) – University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
#40 – Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, Nova Scotia) – University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
#41 – Kelly Terry (Whitby, Ontario) – Toronto Furies (CWHL)
- With veterans like Hayley Wickenheiser, Caroline Ouellette, and Meghan Agosta not competing, much of the workload up front will be shouldered by Rebecca Johnston, Natalie Spooner, Haley Irwin, and Marie-Philip Poulin. All four have played a prominent role in the offense for some time now, so it shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment; how the lower lines shake out with so many new players will be much more interesting.
- 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner Jamie Lee Rattray will suit up for Canada’s senior team for the first time. As a hard-nosed quintessential power forward whose offensive game has developed nicely, she should be a big factor right away for Canada.
- Bailey Bram and Jenelle Kohanchuk return to the team after centralizing with the Canadians last year; both were two of the final cuts made to the 2014 Olympic roster. They have in the past filled in spots in the bottom-six, and they’re capable players there, but with more open spots up front and experience on their side, they could potentially factor in more prominently this tournament.
- Jessica Campbell and Kelly Terry are two very intriguing additions; both developed into highly-productive players throughout their four years in college, and Terry in particular finished with some stellar numbers at Minnesota. But both also bring a ton of speed, which is what makes them so effective. That’s a dynamic that we haven’t really seen lately from Team Canada, and it should help to make the offense even more dangerous.
- Emily Clark will make her senior team debut as the youngest player on the Four Nations squad at just 18 years old. Now a freshman at Wisconsin, she’s been a big factor in the Badgers’ offense already, scoring four goals and nine points in eight games this season. As a more offensive-minded player who’s still a bit raw in other areas, it’ll be interesting to see if she gets ice time in that sort of role for Canada, despite her young age.
- Clark’s teammate and captain with Wisconsin, Blayre Turnbull, is another one of the team’s 10 newcomers. Now a senior with the Badgers, she has steadily improved throughout her four years and broke out last season as a point-per-game player. She’s hard on the puck and brings a physical element that’s pretty typical of the Canadians.
After settling for a third-place finish last year, the U.S. is aiming for gold at next week’s Four Nations Cup in Kamloops, British Columbia. As the next Olympic cycle officially kicks off, nine players will be make their senior team debut with the squad. In all, 23 players will be suiting up for Team USA. With the tournament getting started next Tuesday, Nov. 4, here are some quick thoughts highlighting the U.S. roster.
#29 – Brianne McLaughlin (Sheffield Village, Ohio) – Burlington Barracudas (CWHL)
#30 – Molly Schaus (Natick, Mass.) – Boston Blades (CWHL)
#33 – Alex Rigsby (Delafield, Wis.) – University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
- Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle and Molly Schaus both captured silver with Team USA at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. However, Jessie Vetter, the team’s starter at both of those Olympic tournaments, will be sitting this one out.
- With Vetter out, Alex Rigsby should finally get a well-deserved chance to show what she can do between the pipes at the international level. She finished up at Wisconsin last year with a career .941 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average, and she’s been ready for this opportunity for quite a bit.
#2 – Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) – University of Minnesota (WCHA)
#5 – Megan Keller (Farmington, Mich.) – Boston College (WHEA)
#7 – Monique Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) – Boston Blades (CWHL)
#8 – Emily Pfalzer (Getzville, N.Y.) – Boston College (WHEA)
#9 – Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) – Toronto Furies (CWHL)
#22 – Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) – Boston Blades (CWHL)
#23 – Michelle Picard (Taunton, Mass.) – Harvard University (ECAC)
#28 – Alyssa Gagliardi (Raleigh, N.C.) – Boston Blades (CWHL)
- After spending the majority of her college career with North Dakota on defense, Monique Lamoureux will dress as a defenseman with the U.S. for the first time. She’s plenty capable of creating offense and putting up points from the blue line, as she showed with UND, and she should provide Team USA with some quality minutes at both ends of the ice at her new position.
- This will be Emily Pfalzer’s first action with the senior team, after making an impact with the Under-22 Team this summer. As a senior with Boston College, she is playing extremely well this season and has made significant strides from where she was at a year ago.
- Megan Keller is also making her debut as one of the youngest players on the roster. She saw some pretty big minutes with the U22s against Canada and has stepped right in for BC as only a freshman. She’s got a ways to go before becoming a complete player but the raw tools are certainly there.
- As has been the case for a couple of years now, expect Kacey Bellamy and Megan Bozek to lead the way for this group, particularly Bozek, who really emerged in 2013 as a big-time defender for Team USA. She’s the cornerstone of this defense now and is the team’s most effective blue-liner on both sides of the puck.
#11 – Haley Skarupa (Rockville, Md.) – Boston College (WHEA)
#14 – Brianna Decker (Dousman, Wis.) – Boston Blades (CWHL)
#16 – Amanda Pelkey (Montpelier, Vt.) – University of Vermont (WHEA)
#18 – Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Mich.) – Quinnipiac University (ECAC)
#20 – Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) – University of Minnesota (WCHA)
#24 – Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.) – University of Minnesota (WCHA)
#25 – Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.) – Boston College (WHEA)
#26 – Kendall Coyne (Palos Heights, Ill.) – Northeastern University (WHEA)
#27 – Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, Calif.) – University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
#32 – Dana Trivigno (Setauket, N.Y.) – Boston College (WHEA)
#37 – Paige Savage (John’s Creek, Ga.) – Northeastern University (WHEA)
- Hannah Brandt makes her return to the senior team after being cut from the Olympic centralization roster last season. She first debuted with the national team at the senior at the 2012 World Championships, when she was just 18 years old and still in high school. After an 82-point freshman season with Minnesota, cutting Brandt last year was one of Team USA’s most perplexing moves. As a high-end offensive talent who back-checks every single time up the ice, she is the total package as a player and her return to the senior team should be more than welcome.
- Brianna Decker, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, and Hilary Knight are the lone returning forwards from the 2014 Olympic squad, and will absolutely be counted on to lead the way offensively.
- Annie Pankowski was centralized with the team for part of last season, and was one of the final cuts made to the Olympic roster. As a freshman with Wisconsin this season, she’s put up 12 points in 10 games so far. She wasn’t really featured at all up front last season, so it’ll be interesting to see if she spends time in a more prominent offensive role at this tournament, with so many other young forwards on the roster.
- Haley Skarupa and Dana Trivigno are both playing key roles in Boston College’s offense this season. The most notable characteristic of that offense is the willingness of the Eagles’ forwards to use their skill to make a play. They play with a lot of confidence and aren’t afraid in the least to get creative. Those are traits that both Skarupa and Trivigno possess, and the U.S. is surely hoping they’ll make use of them in this tournament.
- Amanda Pelkey was kept quiet in this summer’s U22 Series against the Canadians, and there are certainly players with more dynamic ability. But the Vermont senior has developed into a very good all-around player over the years, and if she can use her speed, she’ll be an effective player for Team USA.
- One player who could surprise some people with the impact she could make next week: Shiann Darkangelo. She has yet to really find the form she was in last season with Quinnipiac, but the potential is there. She’s also one of the U.S.’s biggest forwards, and her size will be an asset, especially against Canada.
Friday, Oct. 24
Clarkson 9, Syracuse 0
Syracuse’s string of four straight ties ended in spectacular fashion, with the Orange getting hit by a train at defending national champ Clarkson. Genevieve Bannon had a hat trick with two assists for the Golden Knights. | Box Score | Cuse.com Recap
Mercyhurst 5, Minnesota State 1
Visiting Minnesota State was of little concern for Mercyhurst, which turned in a dominant effort in a home win. Sarah Robello and Megan Whiddon each netted a pair of goals for the Lakers, who improved to 5-1-1 on the back of a 45-18 shooting advantage. | Box Score | HurstAthletics.com Recap
RIT 4, Brown 1
Thanks to the abbreviated schedule of Ivy League teams, this game was the regular-season opener for Brown, but the Tigers got the Bears off on the wrong foot thanks to Ali Binnington – who carried a shutout into the late stages of the game – and RIT’s trademark balance. Each player on the road team’s top two lines collected a point, but none had more than two. | Box Score | RITAthletics.com Recap
Robert Morris 3, Northeastern 2
A much-needed win for RMU and particularly Jessica Dodds, who emphatically ended her uneven start to the season with a 39-save effort that proved vital to the victory. Ashley Vesci, one of the Colonials’ bright spots this season, potted a pair to push her team to a 3-0 third-period lead before a late Huskies rally nearly got it all back. Notably, Rebecca Vint made her return to the lineup, another sign that things might be turning in Moon Township. | Box Score | RMUColonials.com Recap
Saturday, Oct. 25
Mercyhurst 2, Minnesota State 1
The Lakers clamped down on the Mavericks even tighter than they did on Friday – allowing just nine shots – and got barely enough offense to get by. Emily Janiga and Taylor Accursi popped Mercyhurst out to a 2-0 lead at the second intermission, but a Nicole Schammel answer early in the third period made the last 19:04 interesting. MU opens conference play next week with a league-best 6-1-1 overall mark. | Box Score | HurstAthletics.com Recap
Clarkson 4, Syracuse 1
Cuse was a bit more competitive in the Tennity Ice Pavilion half of their home-and-home with Clarkson, using a Larissa Martyniuk goal to stay within 2-1 until a pair of late Cayley Mercer tallies. Bannon assisted on three of the four Knights goals to cap an eight-point weekend. | Box Score | Cuse.com Recap
Robert Morris 2, Northeastern 2 (OT)
RMU came within 17 seconds of its first series sweep of the season, but had to settle for their first weekend without a loss of the season thanks to a late Kendall Coyne goal. Rikki Meilleur, a St. Adolphe, Manitoba native, scored twice to give the Colonials their ill-fated 2-0 lead, while Courtney Vinet made 43 saves and helped fight off a Huskies power play in overtime to save the tie. Northeastern goalie Taylor Crosby did not see action in the adopted hometown of her famous brother, as Chloe Desjardins continued to take every goaltending minute for NU this year. | Box Score | RMUColonials.com Recap
RIT 5, Brown 2
RIT turned in another great effort to complete a road sweep. Freshmen Victoria Pitawanakwat and Lauren Carroll each scored their first career goals, Caiti Wallace grabbed her first of the season, and more conventional suspect Kolbee McCrea had the other two. The 5-2-1 Tigers open CHA play with Lindenwood next weekend. | Box Score | RITAthletics.com Recap
Minnesota-Duluth 3, Lindenwood 1
Lindenwood certainly hasn’t been afraid of the top programs nationally and in the WCHA, and it’s started to pay off a bit with surprisingly-competitive results against teams like Shannon Miller’s Bulldogs. Shara Jasper scored the Lions goal with 2:20 remaining, and LU was only outshot 31-25 – a pretty strong departure from the usual “kept in it by Nicole Hensley” posture. | Box Score | LindenwoodLions.com Recap
Sunday, Oct. 26
Minnesota-Duluth 6, Lindenwood 2
Lindy carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission of this one, again off the stick of Jasper (who now has four goals in her first six college games), before UMD chased Hensley with five unanswered through the second and early third periods. Captain Zoe Hickel led the way for the Bulldogs with three goals and an assist, while Jordyn Constance also scored for the Lions. | Box Score | LindenwoodLions.com Recap
Penn State 2, Princeton 1
Amy Petersen’s two first-period goals held up the whole way though as the Nittany Lions climbed to a stunning 3-2-2, their latest over-.500 record during their time in NCAA Division I (despite winning just 11 games in the first two seasons of DI play, PSU did start those campaigns 1-0-0 and 1-0-1). Celine Whitlinger’s 29 saves were enough to withstand a late Tigers rally, in back of a defensive effort that has only allowed two goals per game this season when removing the 0-8 outlier against Minnesota. | Box Score | GoPSUSports.com Recap
Monday, Oct. 27
Princeton 4, Penn State 1
Penn State got “women’s hockeyed” into a Monday afternoon tilt, thanks to a home football game at the school Saturday night, combined with men’s hockey games Friday and Sunday, and couldn’t finish off what would have been the program’s first major-conference and Pegula Ice Arena sweep (PSU swept Sacred Heart and NCAA Division III Chatham in 2012-13 at former home Greenberg Ice Pavilion). Perhaps the best news for the Nittany Lions – who managed just 13 shots on goal – was that the score came from Laura Bowman on a rebound effort, the first of the year for 2013-14’s leading goal getter. | Box Score | GoPSUSports.com Recap
Friday, Oct. 24
Boston University 3, Maine 0
Both Victoria Hanson and Erin O’Neil saw time in net as the Terriers blanked Maine. Sarah Lefort led BU with a goal and an assist, as well as seven shots on goal, while Victoria Bach and Marie-Philip Poulin also scored. | Box Score | GoTerriers.com Recap | GoBlackBears.com Recap
Boston College 6, Cornell 2
The BC offense had no problems handling Cornell, outshooting the Big Red 43-21. Kate Leary and Alex Carpenter had a goal and two assists each, while Dana Trivigno tallied twice. | Box Score | BCEagles.com Recap | BCEagles.com Highlights
Yale 6, Providence 2
Robert Morris 3, Northeastern 2
The Huskies fell into a 3-0 hole early, and despite a fierce third-period rally, could not complete the comeback by game’s end. Freshman Denisa Krizova recorded a goal and an assist, and Lauren Kelly scored the other goal for Northeastern. | Box Score | GoNU.com Recap
Quinnipiac 4, New Hampshire 1
Vermont 4, Union 0
Amanda Pelkey scored 19 seconds in, and third-period goals from Bella Webster, Brittany Zuback, and Dayna Colang capped off the win for the Catamounts on “Pack the Gutt” night. | Box Score | UVMAthletics.com Recap
Saturday, Oct. 25
Maine 4, Boston University 2
With Poulin out of the line-up for BU, Maine knocked off the Terriers with an upset win to earn the series split at home. The Black Bears scored four-straight goals after Boston University took a 1-0 lead; Audra Richards tallied twice while Morgan Sakundiak netted three assists. Meghann Treacy came up big with 41 saves in net. | Box Score | GoBlackBears.com Recap | GoTerriers.com Recap
Boston College 6, Cornell 2
A four-point night from Haley Skarupa and two goals from Kate Leary powered the Eagles past the Big Red once again. Freshman goaltender Katie Burt made 22 saves to improve to 5-0-1 on the season. | Box Score | BCEagles.com Recap
Robert Morris 2, Northeastern 2 (OT)
Thanks to a last-gasp goal from junior Kendall Coyne, the Huskies were able to salvage a tie against the Colonials. After finding themselves down again in the third period, they erased a two-goal deficit thanks to a tally from Hayley Masters and Coyne’s game-tying marker, which came with 17 seconds left in regulation. | Box Score | GoNU.com Recap
Rensselaer 4, Connecticut 1
Vermont 4, Union 0
The Catamounts capped off the sweep with another 4-0 win. Freshman goaltender Molly Depew made 13 saves for the shutout in her first career start, and Amanda Pelkey, Brittany Zuback, and Sarah Campbell each recorded a goal and an assist. | Box Score | UVMAthletics.com Recap
Yale 5, Providence 2
Hanrahan and Frade scored their third and fourth points on the weekend, but the Friars just did not show enough offense all weekend to get past the Bulldogs. Providence is still winless on the season, and now stands at 0-7-1. | Box Score | Friars.com Recap
Sunday, Oct. 26
Dartmouth 6, New Hampshire 2
Facing their second ECAC opponent of the weekend, the Wildcats again didn’t have much of an answer for the offense they were facing. Kate Haslett and Kayla Mork scored in the loss. | Box Score | UNHWildcats.com Recap
Connecticut 2, Rensselaer 2 (OT)