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NCAA Women's Hockey Review: 12/8-12/10

In the final week of the semester, many ranked NCAA Women's Hockey squads had a week off in preparation for finals. That meant just nine ranked squads took the ice in this most recent week of action. Those being Ohio State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Minnesota Duluth, Quinnipiac, St. Cloud State, Princeton, Yale, and Penn State. Without further ado, let's look at how each team fared. 

NCAA Women's Hockey Rankings

No. 1 Ohio State

The Buckeyes hosted Minnesota State Mankato for a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday, and they walked away with two victories and a firm stranglehold on the top spot in the USCHO rankings for the fourth week in a row. Across the weekend, Ohio State outscored the Mavericks 10-2 and looked the part of the best team in the country. 

On Saturday, the Buckeyes won 6-1 in a game they controlled from the beginning, as they scored three times in the first period (and the first six of the game) and outshot the Mavericks 46-30; Cayla Barnes, Lauren Bernard, Jenna Buglioni, Jennifer Gardiner, Hadley Hartmetz, and Stephanie Markowski all scored one goal each, and Raygan Kirk had 29 saves in net.

On Sunday, Ohio State won 4-1 in a game that was much closer than Saturday's contest, as the game was 2-1 throughout the entire second period and most of the third. Olivia Mobley, Kiara Zanon, Joy Dunne, and Kelsey King all scored for the Buckeyes, though King's goal was an empty-netter. 

No. 2 Minnesota

Minnesota hosted Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday in a matchup of the second and third-ranked teams in the country, and the games did not disappoint. On Friday, the Gophers beat Wisconsin in a game that wasn't particularly close after the second period, but on Saturday, Minnesota fell 5-1 to the Badgers.

In Friday's game, both teams scored two in the first, before Minnesota scored three straight to blow the game open. On Saturday, neither team scored in the first, and Minnesota opened the scoring at the start of the second before Wisconsin took over and scored the last five; for the weekend, Abbey Murphy scored two goals, and Nelli Laitinen, Sadie Lindsay, Solveig Neunzert, and Josefin Bouveng all scored once. 

No. 3 Wisconsin

The Badgers, as mentioned before, traveled to Minneapolis to face the second-ranked Gophers on Friday and Saturday and split the games while out-scoring Minnesota 8-6. Wisconsin handily outshot the Gophers in both games, as well. 

Wisconsin opened up strong on Friday, leading 2-1 at one point in the first period, before the team fell apart and only found the back of the net once in their final 26 shots, in part thanks to some stellar goalkeeping from Minnesota’s Lucy Morgan. On Saturday, Wisconsin did the opposite, as they started slow, allowing Minnesota to score the first goal of the game early in the second period before scoring the final five goals of the contest. 

For the weekend, Wisconsin received two goals from Kirsten Simms and Lacey Eden and one goal each from Britta Curl, Kelly Gorbatenko, Casey O'Brien, and Maddi Wheeler; Eden’s goals both came on Saturday, and the first one was a short-handed, unassisted goal that started the scoring for the Badgers.

No. 6 Minnesota Duluth

The Bulldogs visited St. Cloud State on Friday and Saturday for a two-game series against their cross-state rivals and the eighth-ranked team in the country. In Friday's game, Minnesota Duluth won 2-1 in overtime off of a goal from Tova Henderson, her first of the season, but on Saturday, the Bulldogs allowed St. Cloud to pull out to a 3-0 lead after two periods and ended up losing 5-1 after two late empty-netters.

For Minnesota Duluth, Reece Hunt, Nina Jobst-Smith, and Henderson all scored one goal each on the weekend, with Henderson’s and Jobst-Smith's goals coming in Friday's win and Hunt scoring early in the third period of Saturday's loss.

No. 7 Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac only played one game this weekend, a Saturday night showdown in Princeton, NJ against the twelfth-ranked Tigers. In a high-scoring affair, the Bobcats eventually broke a 5-5 tie halfway through the overtime period to score a comeback win and keep pace in the packed ECAC; they did fall one spot in the rankings, but that was more due to St. Cloud State's terrific performance and less due to Quinnipiac's play.

Quinnipiac started the game strongly, scoring three in the first, but Princeton bounced back to score four of their own in the second period. In the third, the Bobcats scored twice early on to tie it at five apiece, and Sadie Peart scored the game-winner 2:32 into overtime.

Peart scored twice for the Bobcats (her other was the equalizer seven minutes into the third), and Kendall Cooper, Madison Chantler, Kate Reilly, and Julia Nearis all added one goal each for the team.

No. 8 St. Cloud State

The Huskies hosted the sixth-ranked Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday, and despite leaving the weekend with a 1-1 record, they impressed the USCHO committee enough to jump over Quinnipiac and ended up falling just two points short of jumping the Bulldogs, too. In Friday's game, St. Cloud skated to a 2-1 overtime loss, but on Saturday, they bounced back and beat the Bulldogs 5-1 in a game that was never close.

On Friday, St. Cloud allowed Minnesota Duluth to score the first goal late in the second period before tying it up with just over six minutes left in the third off the stick of Avery Farrell, and they eventually fell in overtime. On Saturday, the Huskies came out swinging, scoring three goals in the first two periods and scoring two empty-netters late.

Farrell scored two goals on the weekend, while Klára Hymlárová, Alice Sauriol, Addi Scribner, and Taylor Larson all scored once each.

No. 12 Princeton

Princeton hosted the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Saturday in a showdown between two of the top teams in the ECAC. Despite a valiant effort from the Tigers, they came up short in a 6-5 loss that saw them finish the first semester seventh in the ECAC standings, albeit only eight points behind top-seeded Colgate. 

The game, itself, was back and forth the whole way, with both teams possessing two-goal leads at different points in the game. Princeton scored the first goal six minutes into the game, but Quinnipiac would respond with three goals of their own in the last 5:23 of the first period. In the second, Princeton would dominate, scoring four goals and taking a 5-3 lead into the second intermission; the rest of the game would go Quinnipiac's way, as the Bobcats scored two goals in the third to tie it and scored the game-winner in overtime.

Princeton dominated the shot counter, throwing 46 shots at the Bobcats’ goal while Quinnipiac only managed to fire 18 at Princeton's goalkeepers, but it wasn't meant to be for the Tigers. In the game, Sarah Fillier scored twice, while Daniella Calabrese, Sarah Paul, and Issy Wunder, all scored once.

No. 14 Yale

The Bulldogs traveled to State College, PA for a two-game set against the 15th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions on Friday and Saturday. The two teams split the two contests, with Penn State winning on Friday and Yale emerging victorious on Saturday.

On Friday, Yale jumped out to a 2-0 lead halfway through the second period, but from then on, it was all Penn State, as they came back to win 3-2. In Saturday's contest, Yale jumped out to a 2-0 lead again, but this time they held off a Penn State comeback attempt and added an empty-netter with 25.4 seconds left to finish off a 3-1 win.

For the weekend, Yale had five goal-scorers who scored one goal each for the Bulldogs: Jordan Ray, Elle Hartje, Carina Diantonio, Anna Bargman, and Naomi Boucher.

No. 15 Penn State

As mentioned before, the Nittany Lions hosted the 14th-ranked Yale Bulldogs for a two-game series on Friday and Saturday, and the two teams skated to a split of the two games, with the Nittany Lions winning Friday and Yale winning Saturday.

In Friday's game, Penn State fell behind 2-0 early, but then they turned on the jets, equalizing the game 14 minutes into the third period and scoring the game-winner 80 seconds later. On Saturday, the Nittany Lions fell behind 2-0 again, but this time, they failed to draw back up to the Bulldogs: they scored early in the third to make it 2-1, but they wouldn't score again and allowed Yale to score once more after they pulled the goalie to make it a 3-1 loss.

Across the two games, Josie Bothun saved 67 shots from the Bulldogs and allowed just four goals (Yale's fifth came while she was off the ice), and Lyndie Lobdell, Julie Gough, Alyssa Machado, and Brianna Brooks all scored a goal for the Nittany Lions.

Main Image via Ohio State Athletics


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