Game Day Skate: Top-Four WCHA Series Close Out, Cornell Visits Princeton

Game Day Highlights

Minnesota at North Dakota: UND continued its hot streak on Friday night, knocking off the No. 2 Gophers in a 3-0 win in front of a strong crowd of 4,818 fans. It was the first shutout win for North Dakota against Minnesota since Dec. 3, 2011, and the game was certainly marked by a great defensive and goaltending effort. Shelby Amsley-Benzie moved into first place all-time in career shutouts for UND, picking up the 10th of her career. With 28 blocks in front of her, North Dakota blocked more shots than the Gophers put on net (25). Today the Gophers will be looking to be much more efficient on the power play; they went into last night’s game with an efficiency rate of 32% but went 0-for-4 and gave up their first shorthanded goal of the year.

Cornell at Princeton: The Big Red continue their road trip after knocking off Quinnipiac last night in a 4-3 overtime victory. They showed some good poise in the third period after getting outplayed in the second, and came back to tie it before Hanna Bunton scored with 40 seconds left in overtime. They’ll be facing a fairly tough opponent in Princeton, who is coming off a 4-1 victory against Colgate. The Tigers won the team’s earlier match-up this season, 5-4, but Cornell has picked it up since then and looks in much better shape now. Molly Contini and Hilary Lloyd continue to lead Princeton’s offensive effort, and silencing them will be key for the Big Red today as they look to fend off another upset bid.

Minnesota Duluth at Wisconsin: A strong goaltending performance from the Bulldogs helped force a 0-0 tie between the two teams last night, but the Badgers took the extra point in the shootout. Kayla Black made 41 saves in net to frustrate the Wisconsin offense, while Ann-Renée Desbiens kept things scoreless at the other end with 23 stops. The Bulldogs’ grasp on third place in the WCHA standings has loosened quite a bit, and UND is now just a point behind them. They’ve got a tough slate to end the year and getting three points from the Badgers today would go a long way.

Colgate at Quinnipiac: The Bobcats have now lost four of their last five and are in need of a big turn-around. They’ve done a better job offensively over the past few games, scoring three goals against both Cornell and Dartmouth. Colgate is one of the conference’s weaker teams, and this is a match-up that Quinnipiac should dominate. The Bobcats haven’t quite shown the same dominant edge that they had earlier in the season, however, so they’ll need to make sure they take care of things on both sides of the puck for a full 60 minutes against the Raiders.

Players to Watch

Amy Menke, Forward, North Dakota: The sophomore has been on another level lately and scored on a shorthanded breakaway last night to get UND on the board and swing momentum completely. She has quickly become a key piece on the top line and another big afternoon could help North Dakota finish off the sweep.

Nicole Schammel, Forward, Minnesota State: Schammel has five goals and six points in her last two games, and scored both goals for the Mavericks last night to erase a 2-0 deficit in the third period.

Amanda Pelkey, Forward, Vermont: The Catamounts have plummeted this season despite starting it with plenty of promise, but as of right now are only four points out of a playoff spot in the Hockey East standings. Pelkey enters this afternoon’s game against Maine on a 10-game goal-scoring drought, and has just one goal in her last 16 games. She picked up two assists in Vermont’s last game against Providence, though, and if her production picks up the Catamounts could make a run at it.

Full Schedule

College Hockey America

Robert Morris (9-16-3) at Syracuse (7-13-9), 7 p.m. EST
Mercyhurst (19-7-3) at RIT (10-16-3), 7:05 p.m. EST
Penn State (15-10-4) at Lindenwood (8-17-1), 3 p.m. CST

ECAC

Yale (10-13-1) at Dartmouth (11-10-2), 4 p.m. EST
Brown (5-19-0) at Harvard (17-4-2), 4 p.m. EST
Cornell (14-7-3) at Princeton (12-10-2), 4 p.m. EST
Colgate (7-21-1) at Quinnipiac (21-5-3), 4 p.m. EST
St. Lawrence (16-9-4) at Rensselaer (5-20-4), 4 p.m. EST
Clarkson (18-8-3) at Union (4-19-6), 4 p.m. EST

Hockey East

Vermont (12-16-1) at Maine (10-13-3), 2 p.m. EST
Boston University (17-7-2) at New Hampshire (8-18-1), 2 p.m. EST

WCHA

Minnesota State (3-24-1) at Ohio State (15-11-3), 2:07 p.m. EST
St. Cloud State (6-22-1) at Bemidji State (15-13-1), 4 p.m. CST
Minnesota (24-2-4) at North Dakota (16-10-3), 4 p.m. CST
Minnesota Duluth (17-7-5) at Wisconsin (21-4-4), 7:37 p.m. CST

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