NCAA Women’s Hockey Midseason Rankings

Rankings:

  1. Boston College
  2. Minnesota
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Quinnipiac
  5. Boston University
  6. Clarkson
  7. Harvard
  8. Minnesota Duluth
  9. Ohio State
  10. Bemidji State

1. Boston College

At the end of the 2014 calendar year, the Eagles stand as the only unbeaten team in the country with a 17-0-1 record. You could count on one hand the number of times they’ve looked vulnerable this season. They have won 15 games in a row, and have torn through their schedule so far; they’re outscoring opponents by an average of 4.94 goals per game, and, in 54 full-length periods of play, they’ve been outshot in five of them. Boston College has had zero issues in goal, with freshman Katie Burt ranking among the nation’s leaders with a 1.04 goals-against average and .946 save percentage. Alex Carpenter is beginning to run away as the Patty Kazmaier favorite, as her 45 points in 18 games are now seven points ahead of teammate Haley Skarupa.

2. Minnesota

Since tying with and losing to Bemidji State back on Halloween weekend, Minnesota has won its last nine games, returning to the form we’re used to seeing. They suffered a scare on the road at Princeton, but squeezed out the 2-1 win behind two third-period goals. Utter dominance in all facets of the game is what defines Boston College, but for Minnesota, it is still that ability to come through when needed that separates them. The Gophers’ nation-leading 36.5% power play is perhaps the best example of that; they’re not dominating everybody else like they have in recent years, but they know how to take advantage of their opportunities, which is what makes them so dangerous still.

3. Wisconsin

We don’t usually see the first-place WCHA team ranked outside of the top two, but it’s been that way in both national polls for much of the season. Despite boasting a better record than the Gophers at 17-2-1, Wisconsin lost both of its games to them earlier in the year, though the Badgers will have a chance to make amends in their very first series of the new year. Still, a strong defense and concerted offensive effort have helped Wisconsin return to elite form this season. No team has a better shots-on-goal differential than the Badgers, at +23.65 per game, and they’ve given up one goal in their last seven games. Wisconsin lacks a dynamic duo up front like Boston College and Minnesota, but its offense as a whole is only marginally worse, if that. Only BC passes better than the Badgers, and not by a significant amount.

4. Quinnipiac

The Bobcats ended the first half of the season on a bit of a low note after going undefeated in their first 16 games. They gave up four goals to Dartmouth in a tie on Dec. 5, marking the first time all year that they yielded more than two against. Quinnipiac then fell to Harvard the following afternoon, 2-1, totaling just 15 shots on goal. Still, the team stands at 13-1-3 going into the break, and sits atop the ECAC standings. With eight shutouts on the season, the Bobcats’ defense has been excellent so far, but their offense has tailed off, particularly against the stronger teams they’ve faced. For now, that’s what separates Quinnipiac from the three teams ahead of it. Though the Bobcats have numerous players who can score, their offense as a whole needs to show that it can truly dictate a game against tough competition.

5. Boston University

The Terriers have been playing very well of late, and are now unbeaten in their last seven games thanks to wins against Vermont and Providence in their last weekend of action. Their offense is ranked fourth in the country, with an average of 3.47 goals per game. Sarah Lefort and Marie-Philip Poulin are both producing at a high clip, and even though Maddie Elia seems to have hit a sophomore slump, freshmen Victoria Bach and Rebecca Leslie have stepped right in to help bolster the line-up. Shannon Doyle has made a welcome return to the blue line, and though Boston University’s defense is far from dominant, they have players who can fill several different roles. The Terriers could have afforded some better goaltending throughout the whole season, but Victoria Hanson has settled in as the starter, and has given up more than two goals just once this year.

6. Clarkson

With half a season in the books, the Clarkson has found answers for several questions it faced at the beginning of the year. Despite losing 223 points from last year’s senior class, the Golden Knights are still scoring an average of 3.16 goals per game. Shannon MacAulay has become a go-to player up front, ranked sixth in the country in scoring with 26 points; both her and Cayley Mercer have already surpassed last season’s output, and Genevi├Ęve Bannon will do the same soon. Rookie goaltender Shea Tiley and her 1.51 GAA and .941 save percentage have filled in for Erica Howe with remarkable ease. These are all good things, but with losses to Quinnipiac, Boston University, and Cornell, Clarkson has yet to show itself to be a top-tier team.

7. Harvard

Harvard started the year off slow, and the Crimson’s troubles reached a peak with a 10-2 loss to Boston College on Nov. 28. Since then, they have put together a four-game win streak, and handed Quinnipiac its first loss of the season after matching the Bobcats with a strong defensive effort of their own. In the win, senior forward Lyndsey Fry finally scored a goal in her 10th game of the year, and Harvard will certainly hope that her production increases. Miye D’Oench has been lights out, with eight goals already so far, and the Crimson do boast a fairly well-rounded offense. Their defense, which has been far from dominant overall, has looked better in the past three games, and they will need to build on that performance against Quinnipiac.

8. Minnesota Duluth

After a rough start to the year, it took UMD until the end of October to climb back to .500, but the Bulldogs haven’t looked back since then. They’ve won 11 of their last 13 games, with the exceptions being a┬áloss to Bemidji on Nov. 29 and a tie with Ohio State the following week. With depth at both skater positions, goaltending was their biggest weakness coming into the year, but junior Kayla Black is having by far the best season of her career, with a .933 save percentage and 1.73 goals-against average. Sophomores Kate┼Öina Mr├ózov├ó and Ashleigh Brykaliuk have broken out to give the Bulldogs a truly competitive arsenal. Minnesota Duluth has also been responsible defensively as one of just eight teams to be averaging less than two goals against per game, and the return of Brigette Lacquette and the emergence of Sidney Morin have made a big difference on the back-end.

9. Ohio State

Ohio State has never posted back-to-back losing seasons, and the team is trying to keep it that way after being two games under .500 in 2013-14. Right now, the Buckeyes stand at 10-8-2, a respectable record for a team with (as of now) the eighth-strongest strength of schedule, according to USCHO’s KRACH rankings. Ohio State’s defense is quietly among the top-10 best in the nation, giving up an average of 25.3 shots per game and 2.20 goals per game. Freshman Kassidy Sauve has seen the bulk of the minutes in net, but recently senior Stacy Danczak has taken over, and she’s posted a 1.38 GAA and .935 save percentage on the year. Ohio State lacks a point-per-game player, but Claudia Kepler is building off of a promising rookie year with 14 points in seven games, while upperclassmen Taylor Kuehl and Julia McKinnon have also helped lead the way up front, and Sara and Kari Schmitt have been productive as usual from the blue line.

10. Bemidji State

Things were looking very bright for the Beavers at one point, especially after they came out of a six-game stretch against Minnesota, North Dakota, and Minnesota Duluth with four wins and a tie. It didn’t take long for things to turn sour, however; Bemidji State split with St. Cloud State and then got swept by Ohio State to end 2014 on a three-game losing streak. Brittni Mowat has provided the Beavers with some excellent goaltending (1.57 GAA, .948 save percentage), and their defense has been solid for the most part all season, though it has shown some cracks over the past three weeks. Scoring is without a doubt the biggest problem, as Bemidji State was shut out twice in the last three games. Of the 16 teams averaging less shots per game than the Beavers, only three have a winning record, so it’s becoming clear that they need to find ways to generate more offense if they want to remain in the picture.

Cornell has risen almost as quickly as the Beavers have fallen off, with a four-game unbeaten streak and a good end to the 2014 half of the year with an 8-3 win over Clarkson and a 4-2 victory over St. Lawrence. The Saints are still right there as well; their offense has been pretty productive, though their special teams haven’t been much better than average. Mercyhurst has been on the cusp of showing up in these rankings all season, but the Lakers head into the holiday break right after being swept by Penn State, which does not serve them well.

NCAA Women’s Hockey Game Day Post: December 13th, 2014

College Hockey America Action

Mercyhurst (16-3-2) at Penn State (9-7-3), 2 p.m. EST
State College, Pa. (Pegula Ice Arena)
Links: Live Stats

WCHA Action

Bemidji State (11-5-1) at St. Cloud State (5-14-1), 3 p.m. CST
St. Cloud, Minn. (Herb Brooks National Hockey Center)
Links: Live Stream | Live Stats

Non-Conference Action

Maine (7-10-2) at Union (4-11-2), 2 p.m. EST
Schenectady, N.Y. (Messa Rink)
Links: Live Stream | Live Stats

North Dakota (8-9-2) at RIT (7-10-3), 3 p.m. EST
Rochester, N.Y. (Gene Polisseni Center)
Links: Live Stream | Live Stats

NCAA Women’s Hockey Game Day Post: December 12th, 2014

College Hockey America Action

Mercyhurst (16-2-2) at Penn State (8-7-3), 7 p.m. EST
State College, Pa. (Pegula Ice Arena)
Links: Live Stats

WCHA Action

Bemidji State (10-5-1) at St. Cloud State (5-13-1), 7 p.m. CST
St. Cloud, Minn. (Herb Brooks National Hockey Center)
Links: Live Stream | Live Stats

Non-Conference Action

North Dakota (7-9-2) at RIT (7-9-3), 3 p.m. EST
Rochester, N.Y. (Gene Polisseni Center)
Links: Live Stream | Live Stats

Maine (7-9-2) at Union (3-11-2), 7 p.m. EST
Schenectady, N.Y. (Messa Rink)
Links: Live Stream | Live Stats

Women’s Hockey East Weekly Recap: December 8th, 2014

Tuesday, Dec. 2

Union 1, Northeastern 0

Despite tossing 59 shots on net, the Huskies could not solve Union goaltender Shenae Lundberg. Kendall Coyne led the team with a ridiculous 14 shots of her own. Union got on the board at the 15:23 mark of the third, and Northeastern just could not pull even despite its best efforts. | Box Score | GoNU.com Recap

Friday, Dec. 5

Boston College 8, Maine 1

Haley Skarupa’s two goals led the Eagles to their 14th win in a row, setting a new win streak record for the program. Jillian Langtry got Maine on the board first, but BC scored eight unanswered to put it away. Dana Trivigno, Kenzie Kent, Alex Carpenter, Emily Pfalzer, Emily Field, Andie Anastos, and Lexi Bender all recorded two-point nights for the Eagles. In net for the Black Bears, Meghann Treacy made 26 saves in almost 53 minutes of action. | Box Score | BCEagles.com Recap | GoBlackBears.com Recap

New Hampshire 5, Providence 0

Vilma Vaattovaara picked up the shutout in goal with 30 saves on the night. Jonna Curtis led the Wildcats with a two-goal, three-point performance. Nicoline Jensen and Kayla Mork also recorded two-point games. For Providence, Allie Morse and Sarah Bryant combined for 21 saves, and Cassidy Carels led the Friars with five shots on goal. | Box Score | UNHWildcats.com Recap | Friars.com Recap

Saturday, Dec. 6

Boston University 4, Vermont 1

Sarah Lefort’s two goals powered BU to the win on the road. After the Terriers took a 2-0 lead in the second, Victoria Andreakos cut the UVM deficit in half, but Boston University went up by two again in the last second of the period, and then took a 4-1 lead with a shorthanded tally from Lefort about three minutes into the third. For the Catamounts, Madison Litchfield made 34 saves in net. | Box Score | GoTerriers.com Recap | UVMAthletics.com Recap

ECAC Women’s Hockey Weekly Recap: December 8th, 2014

Monday, Dec. 1

Cornell 1, Mercyhurst 1 (OT)

Morgan Richardson gave the Big Red the lead at the 13:36 mark of the first period, but Mercyhurst found an equalizer halfway through the second period. Paula Voorheis made 27 saves to help Cornell earn the tie in non-conference action. | Box Score | CornellBigRed.com Recap

Tuesday, Dec. 2

Harvard 4, Dartmouth 1

The Crimson picked up a solid win over a tough ECAC opponent in the Big Green. Things were knotted up at 1-1 after the first, but Harvard scored three unanswered to skate to the victory. Hillary Crowe netted the game-winning goal in the second, and Miye D’Oench finished with a goal and two points. Brooke Ahbe scored the lone goal for Dartmouth, and Robyn Chemago made 38 saves in net despite the loss. | Box Score | GoCrimson.com Recap | DartmouthSports.com Recap

Cornell 6, Syracuse 2

Hanna Bunton tallied twice to power the Big Red to the win in midweek action. Brianne Jenner also tallied three assists and Jess Brown also had a multi-assist night with two, while Saulnier chipped in with a goal and three points. | Box Score | CornellBigRed.com Recap

Union 1, Northeastern 0

Goaltender Shenae Lundberg was spectacular for the Dutchwomen, making 59 saves to shut out the Huskies. The Union defense as a whole gave a full effort in front of her, blocking a total of shots themselves to help blank Northeastern. Kathryn Tomaselli put the Dutchwomen up with less than five minutes remaining in the first, and it proved to be enough to give them the upset win. | Box Score | UnionAthletics.com Recap

Friday, Dec. 5

Cornell 8, Clarkson 3

Jess Brown’s hat trick led the Big Red in a rout over the Golden Knights. Recently-named ECAC Rookie of the Month Shea Tiley had the first doubtful outing of her career, giving up five goals on 12 shots. For Cornell, Paula Voorheis made 35 saves, and Brianne Jenner knocked in two goals and two assists for a four-point night. Jillian Saulnier matched her with a goal and three assists, and Cassandra Poudrier, Erin O’Connor, and Kaitlyn Doering all had multi-point games. | Box Score | CornellBigRed.com Recap | ClarksonAthletics.com ┬áRecap

Dartmouth 4, Quinnipiac 4 (OT)

Neither team took more than a one-goal lead in the game, and there were four lead changes in total. Kennedy Ottenbreit led the Big Green with two goals and an assist, and tied the game up at 3-3 34 seconds into the third period. Nicole Kosta then scored to put the Bobcats up again about seven minutes into the frame, but Dartmouth again found a response from an Eleni Tebano goal with 3:23 left. | Box Score | DartmouthSports.com Recap | QuinnipiacBobcats.com Recap

Harvard 3, Princeton 0

Brianna Laing picked up the shutout in net for Harvard with a 27-save effort. Sydney Daniels got the Crimson on the board with a power play goal with just 30 seconds left in the first, and Briana Mastel scored her first career goal to extend the lead to 2-0 at the 2:36 mark of the second. Mary Parker also tallied in the third to finish off the scoring for Harvard. Kimberly Newell came up with 28 saves in net for Princeton, and Brianna Leahy led the Tigers with seven shots on goal. | Box Score | GoCrimson.com Recap | GoPrincetonTigers.com Recap

Rensselaer 7, Brown 5

The Bears nearly erased a 7-0 lead in the third period, but came up just a couple of goals short of the comeback. RPI scored four early on to take a sizable lead into the first intermission, added another two in the second, and went up by seven 12 seconds into the third. Kelly Micholson started the comeback effort for Brown just 48 seconds later with the first of four-straight power play goals, but the Bears ultimately could not overcome the deficit. Alexa Gruschow led the Engineers with two goals and two assists, while Marissa Raspa had two goals and an assist. For the Bears, Micholson, Maddie Woo, Kailtyn Keon, and Samantha Swanstrom each tallied a goal and an assist. | Box Score | RPIAthletics.com Recap | BrownBears.com Recap

St. Lawrence 5, Colgate 0

Four different players had multi-point games for the Saints, and 10 players in all got on the scoresheet. Brooke Webster, Jacqueline Wand, and Abbey McRae each notched a goal and an assist, while Jessica Hon tallied two assists. Carmen MacDonald picked up the win in net with 17 saves through two periods of action, and Brooke Wolejko finished off the game with 10 saves of her own. In goal for the Raiders, Ashlynne Rando made 31 saves, and Megan Sullivan led the team with four shots on goal. | Box Score | SaintsAthletics.com Recap | GoColgateRaiders.com Recap

Yale 4, Union 2

Union took an early lead with a goal from Kathryn Tomaselli just 25 seconds in, but scores from Kaitlyn Gately and Eden Murray gave Yale the lead after the first period. Janelle Ferrara put the Bulldogs up 3-1 with a shorthanded marker in the second, and though Alex Tancrell-Fontaine pulled the Dutchwomen within one, Jamie Haddad spotted Yale a two-goal lead again before the end of the period. | Box Score | YaleBulldogs.com Recap | UnionAthletics.com Recap

Saturday, Dec. 6

Clarkson 5, Colgate 1

The Golden Knights bounced back with a win over Colgate to close out the 2014 half of the season. Cayley Mercer scored her first career hat trick, scoring in the first period to give Clarkson a 1-0 lead and then adding two more in the third. Erin Ambrose also had a three-point afternoon with a goal and two assists, and Genevi├Ęve Bannon and Renata Fast each collected two assists. Taylor Craig scored the lone goal for the Raiders. | Box Score | ClarksonAthletics.com Recap | GoColgateRaiders.com Recap

Princeton 5, Dartmouth 2

Audrey Potts and Jaimie McDonnell netted two goals apiece for the Tigers, and Morgan Sly picked up two assists. Princeton took a 2-0 lead into the second period, but the Big Green had things knotted up at 2-2 heading into the final frame. McDonnell gave the Tigers the lead just 23 seconds into the period, and three unanswered goals clinched the win for them. | Box Score | GoPrincetonTigers.com Recap | DartmouthSports.com Recap | DartmouthSports.com Highlights

Harvard 2, Quinnipiac 1

The Crimson handed the Bobcats their first loss of the year behind a very solid defensive effort. Lyndsey West got Quinnipiac on the board first midway through the first period, but Lyndsey Fry scored her first of the year to tie it up for Harvard with only 28 seconds left in the frame. After a scoreless second, Haley Mullins gave the Crimson the lead at the 7:09 mark of the third, and that was all they needed for the win. In goal, Emerance Maschmeyer made 14 saves for the victory. | Box Score | GoCrimson.com Recap | QuinnipiacBobcats.com Recap

Yale 3, Rensselaer 2

Freshman Mallory Souliotis scored her first career goal to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the first, but Laura Horwood responded for RPI to tie things up going into the intermission. Goals just 1:13 apart from Taylor Marchin and Aurora Kennedy at the end of the second gave Yale a 3-1 lead. Though RPI got one back within the final two minutes of regulation, the Bulldogs held on for the victory, earning a weekend sweep. | Box Score | YaleBulldogs.com Recap | RPIAthletics.com Recap

Cornell 4, St. Lawrence 2

Brooke Webster gave the Saints the lead halfway through the first period, but the Big Red responded with goals from Brianna Veerman and Kaitlyn Doering to take a 2-1 lead in the second. Though Kailee Heidersbach tied it up within the first eight minutes of the third, goals from Jillian Saulnier and Emily Fulton in the final half of the period gave Cornell the win. Paula Voorheis made 29 saves for the victory. | Box Score | CornellBigRed.com Recap | SaintsAthletics.com Recap

Union 3, Brown 2

The Bears tried again at the comeback after spotting their opponents a lead, but again fell just short. Goals from Tancrell-Fontaine, Rebecca Babiak, and Hannah Erickson gave the Dutchwomen a 3-1 lead after two periods. Sam Donovan scored in the final 1:29 of regulation to bring Brown within one, but the Bears could not find an equalizer after that. Shenae Lundberg made 28 saves in the win for Union. | Box Score | UnionAthletics.com Recap | BrownBears.com Recap

WCHA Women’s Hockey Weekly Recap: December 8th, 2014

Friday, Dec. 5

Bemidji State 7, Minnesota State 4

The Mavericks came out of the first period with a 2-1 lead behind goals from Katie Johnson and Hannah Davidson, but the Beavers scored six-straight to open up a five-goal lead in the third period. Kaitlyn Tougas led the team with two goals and an assist, and defenseman Ivana Bilic notched a goal and three assists for a four-point night. Johnson led Minnesota State with two goals and three points of her own, and Davidson also recorded a three-point game. | Box Score | BSUBeavers.com Recap | MSUMavericks.com Recap

Ohio State 2, Minnesota Duluth 2 (OT)

The Bulldogs erased two Ohio State leads to force the tie on the road.┬áThe Buckeyes entered the third period with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from Danielle Gagne, but Ashleigh Brykaliuk knotted things up at 1-1 less than five minutes in. Taylor Kuehl responded with a power-play goal of her own four minutes later to take a 2-1 lead, and the Bulldogs’ Katerina Mr├ózov├ó tied it up again with under five minutes left in regulation. Kayla Black made 31 saves to help UMD earn the tie. | Box Score | OhioStateBuckeyes.com Recap | UMDBulldogs.com Recap

Minnesota 12, St. Cloud State 0

Hannah Brandt led the Gophers with one goal and seven points, a career-high for a single-game effort. Dani Cameranesi also notched six assists, and Rachael Bona scored two goals and four points. Freshman Nina Rodgers scored the first two goals of her career, Maryanne Menefee tallied twice, and Kelly Pannek added four assists. Sidney Peters picked up the shutout in net with 18 saves, and at the other end, Julie Friend 26 saves through 40 minutes of action. | Box Score | GopherSports.com Recap | SCSUHuskies.com Recap

Wisconsin 2, North Dakota 1 (OT)

Sarah Nurse’s wrister just over halfway through the overtime period gave the Badgers the win over UND, extending their unbeaten streak to 11. In the first period, Baylee Wellhausen gave Wisconsin a 1-0 lead, but the Badgers couldn’t solve North Dakota goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie again through the rest of regulation, despite throwing 46 shots at her. With only three minutes left in the third, UND found an equalizer through Shannon Kaiser’s goal, but could not finish it off. | Box Score | UWBadgers.com Recap | UNDSports.com Recap

Saturday, Dec. 6

Bemidji State 2, Minnesota State 0

The Beavers capped off the sweep with a shutout victory, behind 26 saves from Brittni Mowat. At the other end, Erin Krichiver made 35 saves to keep the Mavericks in it. Rachael Kelly got Bemidji State on the board in the first period, and Tougas added an insurance goal midway through the third to seal it. Nicole Schammel led Minnesota State with nine shots on goal. | Box Score | BSUBeavers.com Recap | MSUMavericks.com Recap

Minnesota Duluth 4, Ohio State 1

The Bulldogs picked up the win on the road after settling for a tie on Friday night. Ohio State’s Lauren Spring got the scoring started just two and a half minutes into the second period, but Zoe Hickel tied it up for UMD about four minutes later, and the Bulldogs never looked back. Brykaliuk and Lara Stalder each posted two assists in the win. Sara Schmitt led the Buckeyes with four shots on goal. | Box Score | UMDBulldogs.com Recap | OhioStateBuckeyes.com Recap

Minnesota 7, St. Cloud State 0

Minnesota finished off the sweep of St. Cloud with another rout. Kelsey Cline led the team with three points off three assists, while Milica McMillen potted two goals and Kate Schipper and Brandt each netted a goal and an assist. Bona and Pannek also recorded multi-point games in the effort. Amanda Leveille was in net for the shutout; for the Huskies, Katie Fitzgerald came up with 32 saves in the loss. | Box Score | GopherSports.com Recap | SCSUHuskies.com Recap

Sunday, Dec. 7

NCAA Women’s Hockey Game Day Post: December 7th, 2014

North Dakota (7-8-2) at Wisconsin (16-2-1), 2 p.m. CST
Madison, Wis. (LaBahn Arena)
Links: Live Stream | Live Stats