2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: Boston College Eagles

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Katie King-Crowley (9th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Alex Carpenter (C), Dana Trivigno (A), Andie Anastos (A)

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 34-3-2 (20-0-1 WHEA/1st place)
Hockey East Postseason: Conference runner-ups; swept Providence in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs to advance to the semifinals, defeated UConn in the semifinal match-up, lost to Boston University in the Hockey East Tournament championship game
NCAA Tournament: Advanced to Frozen Four with win vs. Clarkson, eliminated by Harvard in national semifinal

With the return of Alex Carpenter from a stint with the U.S. Olympic Team completing quite the all-star line-up, expectations were as high as ever for the Eagles last season. They responded by posting their best record in program history, notching 34 wins, and were largely the national favorite for much of the season. Their offense was on display right away in a big 10-2 win vs. Syracuse to start the season, and though they would tie with St. Lawrence in their next series, they then went on nothing short of a tear, putting together a 23-game win streak that wasn’t snapped until Feb. 10.

Boston College forward Haley Skarupa (BC Athletics Communications)
Boston College forward Haley Skarupa (BC Athletics Communications)

Over that stretch, BC handily took down its opponents; the team won by more than two goals in all but eight of those games. They defeated the likes of Cornell and Harvard, whom they routed, as well as Boston University and Quinnipiac, during that span. Unfortunately, their winning streak was snapped at one of the worst times, as they lost their first game of the season to Harvard in the Beanpot Tournament championship game.

The Eagles picked up right where they left off of after that, winning their next four contests by a combined score of 21-1. In their last game of the regular season, they had to settle for a 2-2 tie against the Terriers, who they faced again four games later in the Hockey East Tournament title game. Boston College’s hopes of a conference championship were dashed as BU skated away with the 4-1 victory. BC, though, was still very much in the running for a national title, and advanced to the Frozen Four after a 5-1 win over Clarkson in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. They faced Harvard again in the national semifinals, and the dream season officially came to an end as they could not muster up enough offense against the Crimson and fell, 2-1.

Carpenter highlighted many good individual performances for the Eagles in 2014-15. Named the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, Carpenter was also tabbed as the Hockey East Player of the Year, the New England Division I Player of the Year, the Hockey East scoring champion, and a First Team All-American. Coach Katie King-Crowley won both Hockey East and New England Division I Coach of the Year, and senior defenseman Emily Pfalzer was named the conference’s Best Defenseman. Joining Carpenter and Pfalzer as a Hockey East First Team All-Star was rookie defender Megan Keller.

Freshman goaltender Katie Burt, junior defender Lexi Bender, and junior forward Haley Skarupa were all recognized as Hockey East Second Team All-Stars. Skarupa, Carpenter, Pfalzer, and Bender were all named New England Division I All-Stars as well. BC had three representatives on the Hockey East All-Rookie team, with Burt, Keller, and forward Tori Sullivan getting recognized there.

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2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: University of North Dakota

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Brian Idalski (9th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Halli Krzyzaniak (C), Tanja Eisenschmid (A), Becca Kohler (A), Layla Marvin (A)

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 22-12-3 (16-9-3-2 WCHA/3rd place)
WCHA Postseason: Conference semifinals; advanced to semifinals with quarterfinal series win vs. Ohio State, eliminated by Wisconsin in semifinal game

UND had hopes last year of staying within the conference’s top-three teams, competing for the WCHA postseason title, and making its way back to the NCAA Tournament, but those plans were slowed up at first by a bumpy start. The team opened the season with a 7-1 win over Rensselaer, but was upset the next night at home by Vermont, dropping that non-conference match-up, 3-1. UND began WCHA competition next, and picked up three straights wins from a sweep over Minnesota State and an overtime victory against Minnesota Duluth. They settled for the split with the Bulldogs, getting shut out the next day, and were then swept by Minnesota on the road, losing the second game in convincing fashion.

Those three losses were the beginning of an 0-6-2 stretch of play that did not end until a 4-3 win against Ohio State on Nov. 22. The two ties came against the Buckeyes and Wisconsin, and North Dakota was also swept on the road by Bemidji State during those eight games. Things looked to be turning around after a sweep of the St. Cloud State Huskies, but UND was then swept itself by Wisconsin on the road over the first weekend of December. They headed into the winter break coming off of two wins against RIT in non-conference action.

Their efforts to build off of that were halted when North Dakota suffered a loss in a crucial non-conference game against Syracuse and could only come away with the split against the Orange in early January. That was the first of just two losses to come for the rest of regular season for UND, however, as the turnaround that the team had been waiting for finally came to light. North Dakota tied with Minnesota and Boston College for the best record in the country over the remainder of the regular season, at 10-1-1. UND picked up sweeps against Ohio State and Bemidji State before taking five of six points from Minnesota Duluth on the road. They then returned home to face Minnesota, and earned their biggest victory of the season to that point with a 3-0 shutout win against the Gophers.

(Tyler Ingham/UNDSports.com)
(Tyler Ingham/UNDSports.com)

Minnesota came back and notched the win the following day, but UND closed out the regular season with sweeps over St. Cloud State and Minnesota State. Securing the third seed in the WCHA playoffs, they drew Ohio State in the first round and swept the Buckeyes. A three-overtime contest in game two practically turned it into a three-game series anyways, but Amy Menke buried the overtime winner to punch North Dakota’s ticket to the Final Face-Off, which they hosted the following weekend. Despite the team’s second-half turnaround, UND could not keep its season going, falling to Wisconsin in the semifinal game, 4-1.

Goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie played a big role in North Dakota’s run at the end of the year, and her play garnered her Second Team All-America honors as well as Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top-10 Finalist honors. She was also named the WCHA’s Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year, the WCHA’s Goaltending Champion, a First Team Academic All-American, and earned spots on the All-WCHA First Team and All-USCHO First Team. Forward Becca Kohler and defenseman Halli Krzyzaniak also collected all-conference honors, as both were selected to the All-WCHA Third Team.

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2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: Boston University Terriers

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Brian Durocher (11th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Kayla Tutino (C), Sarah Lefort (A), Dakota Woodworth (A)

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 25-9-3 (15-5-1 WHEA/2nd place)
Hockey East Postseason: Conference champions; advanced to semifinals with quarterfinal series win vs. Vermont, defeated Northeastern in the semifinal game, defeated Boston College in the championship game
NCAA Tournament: Eliminated by Wisconsin in the NCAA quarterfinals

It was expected to be a big year for Boston University, as Canadian Olympic legend Marie-Philip Poulin made her return to the line-up for her final season. They started off with a win on the road against St. Cloud State, and then fell to Minnesota in a rematch of the 2013 national championship game. The Terriers bounced back with a big road sweep over Clarkson, the defending national champions, before settling for a split with Maine. Over their next six games, BU won one and lost one against Northeastern, tied with Yale, defeated New Hampshire, and swept UConn in a home-and-home.

BU then played to a 1-1 tie with Harvard in non-conference action before jumping on a four-game win streak. In their first game back after the new year, the team lost games to Boston College and Cornell over a three-game stretch that also saw them defeat Maine. Wins against Northeastern and Quinnipiac followed suit before Vermont upset the Terriers in a 2-0 shutout victory. Boston University rebounded from that with a big 9-2 win the next day.

In the Beanpot semifinals, the Terriers were routed by Harvard, falling to the Crimson in very disappointing fashion, 9-2. They won their consolation game against Northeastern the following week, and headed into their final weekend of the regular season on a four-game winning streak. On that last weekend, BU took on the Eagles and fell 5-0 before tying them, 2-2.

The Terriers started off the Hockey East tournament with two big wins over Vermont in the quarterfinal round, dominating the Catamounts by scores of 8-1 and 7-2. Against Northeastern in the semifinals, Boston University beat the Huskies for the fourth time on the season to advance to the title game against BC. In that championship match-up, the Terriers handed Boston College just its second loss all year to take home its fourth Hockey East title in a row. They headed into the NCAA Tournament on a high after that, but Wisconsin silenced their hopes in the quarterfinals, skating away with a 5-1 win.

Poulin was named a Top-3 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, as well as a First Team All-American, a unanimous Hockey East First Team All-Star, Hockey East’s Best Defensive Forward, and the Hockey East Tournament MVP. Poulin and teammates Shannon Doyle and Sarah Lefort were all named New England Division I All-Stars, and freshman Victoria Bach was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year. Doyle, Lefort, and Kayla Tutino all were honored as Hockey East Second Team All-Stars, and Rebecca Leslie was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team along with Bach.

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2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: Clarkson Golden Knights

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Matt Desrosiers (8th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Shannon MacAulay (C), Erin Ambrose (A), Renata Fast (A), Olivia Howe (A)

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 24-11-3 (16-4-2 ECAC/T-1st place)
ECAC Postseason: Conference semifinals; advanced to ECAC semifinals with quarterfinal series win vs. Dartmouth, eliminated by Cornell in semifinals
NCAA Tournament: Eliminated by Boston College in NCAA quarterfinals

The first game of the 2014-15 season certainly made for an interesting start to the year as the defending national champions fell to ECAC rival St. Lawrence by a score of 5-3. The Golden Knights returned the favor in their home opener the next day, defeating the Saints, 2-1. A sweep over Providence followed suit, before Clarkson dropped a pair of games to Boston University at home. After a 3-3-0 start to the season, a 9-0 win over Syracuse on Oct. 24 sparked a seven-game unbeaten streak for the Golden Knights. They earned another win over St. Lawrence during that stretch, as well as a tie against Harvard.

They dropped a 1-0 decision to Quinnipiac next but headed into the Nutmeg Classic coming off of a win over Princeton. Clarkson escaped the Nutmeg semifinal game with a 2-1 overtime victory over UConn, but again fell to Quinnipiac in the championship game. They had a hard time handling Cornell’s offense the next weekend and found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-3 rout before defeating Colgate to close out their December slate.

Clarkson opened January with another win over the Raiders, and fared much better the second time against the Big Red, skating to a 1-1 tie with them. After picking up wins against Union and RPI, the team closed out its non-conference schedule with a series against Wisconsin but could not muster a win against the Badgers, tying them, 1-1, before falling, 4-0, in game two. An upset loss to Yale put the Golden Knights on a three-game winless skid, but they ended the season in better form, going 7-1-0 in their last eight games of the regular season. That lone loss came against the Bobcats again, but the team did secure wins over Harvard, St. Lawrence, and Princeton over that stretch.

In the ECAC Tournament, Clarkson started things off with a sweep over Dartmouth in the quarterfinals, defeating the Big Green 6-0 and 4-1. In their semifinal game against Cornell, their tournament was ended as they fell to the Big Red, 3-1. In the NCAA quarterfinals, their quest for a repeat championship was halted by Boston College, who skated away with the 5-1 victory.

Even with the loss of several key players from the season before, the Golden Knights still had lots of standout individual performances in 2014-15. Freshman Shea Tiley was named both the ECAC Goaltender of the Year and Rookie of the Year after a fantastic first campaign. Junior defender Renata Fast and classmate and forward Cayley Mercer were both named to the All-ECAC First Team along with Tiley, and fellow juniors Shannon MacAulay and Erin Ambrose collected All-ECAC Third Team honors. Along with Tiley, defenseman Savannah Harmon was selected to the ECAC All-Rookie Team, while head coach Matt Desrosiers was honored as the league’s Coach of the Year.

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2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: Lindenwood Lions

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Scott Spencer (2nd Season)
2015-16 Captains: Tae Otte (C), Shara Jasper (A), Brooke Peden (A), Nicole Hensley (A)

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 10-21-2 (7-11-2 CHA/5th place)
College Hockey America Postseason: Conference quarterfinals; swept by Penn State in the first round of the CHA playoffs

Despite a tough slate of WCHA opponents to start, the Lions didn’t have to wait too long for their first win last season, beating St. Cloud State 5-3 to salvage a split in that series after getting swept by Wisconsin on opening weekend. They dropped to the Bulldogs after that, but then went unbeaten in their first conference series of the year against RIT, tying the Tigers, 1-1, and then beating them, 3-1.

In its next three CHA series, Lindenwood was able to earn the split each time, defeating Robert Morris, Penn State, and Syracuse. The team was swept convincingly by Mercyhurst to close out December, but a big 1-0 win over Bemidji State kicked off January. The Lions dropped their next three, to Bemidji State and to Minnesota State twice, but then came up with a win against the Mavericks on Jan. 10.

They dropped two decisions to Robert Morris next, but again earned splits in league play, this time against Penn State and RIT. Lindenwood was able to tie Syracuse, 4-4, before falling to the Orange, and in their final regular-season series, the Lions put away Mercyhurst, earning a 3-1 win on senior weekend to work a split with the Lakers. They weren’t able to force any extra games in the postseason, though, falling to the Nittany Lions by scores of 1-0 and 3-1 in their quarterfinal series.

Goaltender Nicole Hensley was honored with a spot on the All-CHA First Team after an outstanding individual performance on the season, and she was also named a Second Team Academic All-American after the season. 17 Lindenwood players, including Hensley, made their way onto the College Hockey America All-Academic Team at the close of the year, and Hensley and Lyndsay Kirkham were recognized as CHA Student-Athletes of the Year.

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2015-16 Team-by-Team Preview: Wisconsin Badgers

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Mark Johnson (14th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Courtney Burke (C), Sydney McKibbon (A), Jenny Ryan (A)

2014-15 Recap

Record: 29-7-4 (19-6-3-1 WCHA/2nd place)
WCHA Postseason: WCHA Final Face-Off Champions; advanced to Final Face-Off with quarterfinal series win vs. St. Cloud State, defeated North Dakota in semifinals, and defeated Bemidji State in championship game
NCAA Tournament: Advanced to Frozen Four with win vs. Boston University, lost to Minnesota in semifinals

The 2014-15 season saw Wisconsin claim a postseason trophy for the first time since 2011, as the Badgers were crowned WCHA postseason champions at the Final Face-Off in Grand Forks, N.D. They started off the season with six wins, sweeping Lindenwood, Minnesota Duluth, and Ohio State, before dropping two to Minnesota at home. They responded by remaining unbeaten until the next time they faced the Gophers, going the next 12 games with an 11-0-1 record. Over that stretch, Wisconsin also posted a shutout streak of 388 minutes, 56 seconds, starting with an 8-2 win vs. Minnesota State on Nov. 13, and ending in a 2-1 overtime win vs. North Dakota on Dec. 5.

Wisconsin opened up the 2015 calendar year with a road series against Minnesota, and though they couldn’t beat the Gophers, they earned a 1-1 tie and a point from the shootout loss in the second game. They then welcomed Bemidji State to Madison and settled for a split against the upstart Beavers. The Badgers earned a sweep in one of their last five series of the regular season, against Minnesota State; in the other four, they played to ties against Clarkson and Minnesota Duluth, and then lost back-to-back to Ohio State and St. Cloud State.

Those last two losses didn’t seem to phase Wisconsin as the team began postseason play. In the WCHA quarterfinals, they had little trouble with SCSU, defeating the Huskies 5-1 and 4-1 to advance to the Final Face-Off. In their semifinal match-up against North Dakota, the Badgers defeated the hosts, 4-1, to move on to a championship match-up against Bemidji State. Wisconsin won the championship game decisively, 4-0, and a four-goal, five-point weekend from Sarah Nurse earned her MVP honors.

The Badgers were the third seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they welcomed Boston University for the NCAA quarterfinal game. Wisconsin advanced to the Frozen Four after a 5-1 win over the Terriers, with freshman Annie Pankowski leading the way just as she’d done all year with a two-goal performance. At the Frozen Four in Minneapolis, Minn., the Badgers’ year was ended by the Gophers in the national semifinals for the second straight season, as they fell, 3-1.

Individually, Pankowski was recognized as both the WCHA Rookie of the Year and the National Rookie of the Year, and senior Blayre Turnbull earned a spot on the All-WCHA First Team. Senior Brittany Ammerman was selected to the conference’s Second Team with Pankowski, while senior Karley Sylvester, junior Courtney Burke, and sophomore Ann-Renée Desbiens collected All-WCHA Third Team honors. Sophomore Jenny Ryan won the NCAA Elite 89 Award, which is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at the NCAA championship site for each of the NCAA’s 89 championships.

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2015-16 Team-by-Team Previews: Providence Friars

2015-16 Roster | 2015-16 Schedule

Head Coach: Bob Deraney (17th Season)
2015-16 Captains: Lexi Romanchuk (C), Courtney Kukowski (A), Brittney Thunstrom (A), Lauren Klein (A)

2014-15 Season Recap

Record: 6-25-4 (5-15-1 WHEA/8th place)
Hockey East Postseason: Conference quarterfinals; swept by Boston College in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs

The Friars had a very rough start to the 2014-15 season, and didn’t pick up their first win until Nov. 15 against Northeastern. They went their first 13 games without a win, posting a 0-10-3 record over that span. They tied Syracuse, Union, and Connecticut, and then finally earned a 4-1 win over the Huskies to break the slide. After two more losses to Northeastern and Maine, Providence was able to secure a 2-1 overtime win against the Black Bears on Nov. 23.

The team then faltered in the Mayor’s Cup against Brown, losing by a score of 2-1, but bounced back the next day with a 4-1 win over the Bears. The Friars headed into the winter break after suffering losses to New Hampshire and Boston University, but began the new year on a three-game unbeaten streak, tying Rensselaer and defeating New Hampshire twice in a home-and-home series.

After a loss to Maine, Providence picked up a 4-1 win against UConn on Jan. 24, and that would prove to be the team’s last victory of the season. The Friars ended the regular season on an eight-game losing streak; they were able to push Northeastern in a 2-1 overtime loss but that was really their only result of note to end the year. In the Hockey East quarterfinals, they were swept handily by Boston College, losing by scores of 6-2 and 8-0.

After the season, senior forward Beth Hanrahan was named the winner of the Hockey East Sportsmanship Award. At the team’s end-of-year banquet, Hanrahan was named Providence’s Most Valuable Player, as well as the Captain’s Award winner. Junior defender Lexi Romanchuk took home Unsung Hero honors, goaltender Allie Morse was the recipient of the Seventh Player Award, and sophomore defender Lauren Klein took home Most Improved Player honors. Senior Haley Frade was recognized with the Coaches Award, and Frade shared the honor of the Academic Award with Sarah Bryant.

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