MINNEAPOLIS — While Minnesota-Duluth got two huge wins against traditional rival Minnesota this weekend, the big winner was Harvard, which climbed to No. 1 in this week’s USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll. The Crimson captured ten of the fifteen first-place votes after a 3-2 win over No. 8 Brown, and ascended to the top with the win, combined with last week’s No. 1, Minnesota, losing twice.
The biggest games of the weekend were at Minnesota’s Ridder Arena, where Minnesota-Duluth emerged with two one-goal victories. On Saturday, the Bulldogs overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals, including the game-winner in the final minute of play. Sunday saw a see saw battle between the two teams, as the game was tied five different times in the 6-5 Bulldog win. Once again, the game’s winning goal was scored late in the third period. Nearly 5500 people attended either Saturday or Sunday.
No. 4 Dartmouth and No. 5 St. Lawrence traded victories in a weekend series, each game being decided by just one goal. New Hampshire won a pair of games against Niagara, improving to an impressive 12-1-1 and climbing to No. 8 this week. The record is a little deceptive, however, because only four of the 14 games have come against ranked opponents and the Wildcats are 2-1-1 in those four games.
Next week sees No. 10 Princeton and No. 5 St. Lawrence square off for two games, and new No. 1 Harvard gets a taste of Hockey East, traveling to Northeastern Saturday and No. 7 Providence Sunday. Mercyhurst, relegated to the “receiving votes” section of the poll the last two weeks, will attempt to get back in the thick of things with a game at No. 8 Brown.
The USCHO.com Poll is compiled by U.S. College Hockey Online, and consists of 15 voters, including 11 coaches of Division I programs and four women’s hockey writers.