Game Day Skate: Clarkson at Boston University, Bemidji State vs. North Dakota

AES Rankings

  1. Minnesota
  2. Boston College
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Clarkson
  5. North Dakota
  6. Harvard
  7. Bemijdi State
  8. Boston University
  9. Quinnipiac
  10. St. Lawrence

Game Day Highlights

#4 Clarkson at #8 Boston University: Clarkson has been dominant so far this season, but this series against the Terriers will provide them with their first real test. BU suffered a surprising loss to Penn State last weekend, most because their goaltending couldn’t stack up, and it’s likely they’ll face the same issue again here with Shea Tiley in net at the other end. There are several forwards in the BU lineup that Clarkson will need to keep in check, but the Golden Knights themselves have a very efficient offense. With the forward depth that both of these teams have, this should be an entertaining one to watch.

#5 North Dakota vs. #7 Bemidji State: Both teams are off to hot starts to the season; UND is 4-0 for the first time in program history, while Bemidji State swept Minnesota Duluth last weekend for the first time and also comes into the weekend undefeated. They’ll play a home-and-home, with the first game in Bemidji and Saturday’s match-up in Grand Forks. Top players like Amy Menke, Meghan Dufault, Becca Kohler, and Halli Krzyzaniak have pushed UND to victory so far, and they’ll be relying on that same top talent to break through again here. The Beavers likely won’t be so content to let UND control all of the play this weekend, but we’ll see how much success they can have pushing things themselves. BSU goaltender Brittni Mowat comes into the series on a roll, having given up just one goal on her last 98 shots faced and owning a .976 save percentage overall.

Mercyhurst at Northeastern: This is one of the weekend’s more interesting series because of the implications it could have no matter which way it swings. Northeastern has to answer for its loss to Lindenwood last week, and they could be in big trouble this weekend if they lose one to the Lakers. On the other hand, if the Huskies come out and dominate this series, it makes the College Hockey America picture that much more interesting knowing what Lindenwood did last weekend. There will undoubtedly be holes in this Northeastern defense, so the Lakers need to find a way to expose them—and limit Kendall Coyne in some way—and they could provide the CHA with a couple more big results over Hockey East.

#1 Minnesota at Ohio State: It’s been a good start to the year for the Gophers, as expected, and for as well as things are going for them (18 goals against St. Cloud State last weekend), there’s been just as much trouble for Ohio State so far. The Buckeyes were thoroughly dominated by Wisconsin last week, getting outscored 15-0 and outshot 102-29, and we still haven’t seen Jincy Dunne in the lineup. There’s little chance they’ll be able to keep up with the Gophers’ depth, especially with no truly established goaltender in net, and things could get even uglier for the Buckeyes this weekend.

Players to Watch

Shae Labbe, Forward, Colgate: Through two games played so far, the freshman has tallied three goals and five points, which leads the Raiders. She could have another productive weekend coming up with a series against Providence, and that could spell bigger things for Colgate long-term.

Victoria Hanson and Erin O’Neil, Goaltenders, Boston University: The tandem split the duties last weekend, with Hanson giving up three first-period goals as the Nittany Lions downed the Terriers. O’Neil was better on day two, making 27 saves for the win. Whether these two split time again or one of them is called upon for both games, the Terriers need their goaltending to be at the top of its game against a strong Clarkson lineup.

Brittany Howard, Forward, Robert Morris: Howard has dominated in her return to the ice so far, scoring four goals and nine points through six games this season. The Colonials have a decent test coming up against RPI this weekend in a nonconference series, and Howard will be key to her team winning.

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