Women’s D-I picks: March 20

Last week, I went 3-1 (.750). This postseason, I am 29-15 (.659). Only three games left.

Friday, March 20

Harvard vs. Boston College
This might be more of a heart pick. These two split so far, with each winning on home ice. What does neutral ice equal? Boston College 3-1

Wisconsin at Minnesota
As I said in our Wednesday Women column, while Wisconsin has played well of late, the Badgers have struggled against the Gophers, and are on an 0-15-2 run. I don’t see it changing on home ice. Minnesota 4-2

Women’s D-I wrap: March 15

Seeds hold in NCAA quarterfinals
Over the weekend, nail-biting finishes, overtimes, and upsets abounded. That statement was likely true in some tournament in some sport, but none of it applied in the NCAA Women’s Collegiate Tournament on Saturday, where the four host teams had their games well in hand as the time ticked down.

Boston College dethrones Clarkson
We are guaranteed a new national champion after Boston College knocked out Clarkson, 5-1. As has been the case much of the year, junior forward Alex Carpenter impelled the charge for the Eagles, scoring the first two goals and assisting on a third. Carpenter’s shot under the crossbar was the only goal of the first period. She cut to the middle and found the five-hole on Golden Knights’ goaltender Shea Tiley 23 seconds into the second frame. Kristyn Capizzano buried a rebound off the end wall 15 minutes later. Daniella Matteucci’s third-period goal was the only one of 21 Clarkson shots to elude Katie Burt, who won her first NCAA tournament start. Haley Skarupa got that goal back seconds after a Clarkson penalty expired, and Toni Ann Miano found an empty net to conclude the scoring. BC finishes its home season a perfect 19-0 in Conte Forum.

Harvard blanks Quinnipiac
Harvard gained the Frozen Four for the first time since 2008 by stopping Quinnipiac, 5-0. Emerance Maschmeyer handled all 20 shots that the Bobcats sent her way, her third shutout of the year. Abigail Frazer put the Crimson on top to stay before the game was five minutes old with a goal from the left point. Tallies from Haley Mullins, Samantha Reber, Sydney Daniels, and Karly Heffernan followed. Frazer, Heffernan, and Lexi Laing produced two-point games.

Harvard will collide with BC in the second semifinal on Friday. The two squads split their two regular-season meetings. The Eagles took the first game in a rout that delivered insult, while the Crimson earned a closely-contested Beanpot championship to impart greater injury.

Wisconsin continues mastery of Boston University
Freshman Annie Pankowski finished on a breakaway three minutes into Wisconsin’s 5-1 triumph over Boston University, and the Badgers were off and running, peppering the BU net with 48 shots in the contest. Katarina Zgraja doubled the margin at the 15:54 mark, and Pankowski potted her second goal a period later. Emily Clark put UW up four by the second intermission. Jenny Ryan added a power-play goal before Victoria Bach scored for the Terriers to deny Ann-Renée Desbiens a shutout. Wisconsin has taken all five of the head-to-head matches versus BU.

Minnesota ends storybook run by RIT
Top-seeded Minnesota survived a mess of its own making and posted a 6-2 victory over RIT to end the Tigers’ first foray into the NCAA tournament. Milica McMillen and Kate Schipper scored to give the Gophers a two-goal lead in the first five minutes, but Minnesota lost two members of its second line to major penalties and game misconducts by the first period intermission. Carly Payerl took advantage and fired in the first of her two goals on the day, but the Gophers responded with power-play tallies by Rachel Ramsey, Maryanne Menefee, and Hannah Brandt to assume a 5-1 lead just past the midway point. Payerl’s second marker gave the Tigers some late hope, but Lee Stecklein squelched it with a short-handed goal into an empty net. Schipper and Brandt tallied three points.

The Badgers and Gophers will square off in the first semifinal on Friday. It will be the teams’ third NCAA tourney game in the last four years, despite the fact that the two haven’t met in the conference tournament once over that stretch.

Women’s D-I picks: March 13

There are only seven games left in this long season that started in September. Seven more games to pick. It’d be nice to go 7-for-7; let’s see what we can do this weekend.

Last weekend, I went a dreadful 4-7 (.363). So far this postseason, I am 26-14 (.650).

Saturday, March 14

Clarkson at Boston College
BC showed a little vulnerability last weekend, but the Eagles haven’t lost at home this year, and I don’t see it happening this weekend. Boston College 3-1

Quinnipiac at Harvard
Another 2-1 victor for the Crimson? Sure, why not, but OT may be required. Harvard 2-1

Boston University at Wisconsin
Home ice vs. Marie-Philip Poulin. I’m betting on the suddenly hot latter. Boston University 3-2

RIT at Minnesota
The Tigers’ senior class is 15-1 in the postseason over their careers. This game is a second loss. Minnesota 4-1

Women’s D-I wrap: March 08

RIT duplicates CHA run
Last season, RIT knocked off the top two seeds as it earned its first CHA title. This time, the Tigers took out the league’s top three seeds, and its reward paired a CHA trophy with an NCAA invitation.

Once again, the second overtime proved kind to the Tigers in the championship game versus Syracuse. Carly Payerl scored a pretty goal on a wrist shot 3:15 into the second extra session. Morgan Scoyne hit her at center ice, and Payerl worked a give-and-go with Kolbee McCrea at the blue line to gain the zone. Lindsay Grigg’s goal 30 seconds into the third frame had tied the game at 1-1, equaling the tally a period earlier from Emily Costales for the Orange. Ali Binnington was again named tourney MVP after making 44 saves in the final.

The Tigers gained entry into the title game by dropping host Mercyhurst, 4-1. Mackenzie Stone deposited the winning goal with just over a minute left in the second period. RIT also got goals from Marissa Maugeri, Cassie Clayton, and Caitlin Wallace. Binnington earned an assist on Wallace’s empty-netter and finished with 26 saves.

Syracuse advanced with a 2-0 shutout of Penn State. Jenn Gilligan stopped 11 shots. Allie LaCombe scored the opening goal short-handed and assisted on Kaillie Goodnough’s power-play tally.

Poulin propels Boston University to Hockey East glory
Boston University and Marie-Philip Poulin demonstrated that they were done playing second fiddle to Boston College and Alex Carpenter in Hockey East. Poulin scored the Terriers’ first two goals in the league’s title game and then assisted on Sarah Lefort’s goal into an empty net that clinched the 4-1 win over the Eagles, gaining Poulin tournament MVP recognition. BU has now won the championship four years running. Victoria Hanson made 32 saves, including denying Emily Field on a breakaway that would have tied the game. Maddie Elia netted the other BU goal on a power-play rush. Carpenter scored the lone goal for BC on a redirection.

Poulin’s hat trick was more than enough offense for Boston University to end Northeastern’s season with a 6-1 verdict in the semifinal. Her hat trick was in the books and the lead was five goals by the time the Huskies got on the scoreboard in the third period. Poulin added an assist, and senior defenseman Shannon Doyle had a goal and two helpers.

Elaine Chulie made 51 saves to allow Connecticut to hang around against BC, but UConn wasn’t able to generate enough offense to pull the upset, as the Eagles advanced with a 3-1 win. Kaliya Johnson and Haley Skarupa got pucks by Chulie, and Carpenter found an empty net. Katie Burt made 19 saves, yielding a lone tally to Kayla Campero.

Harvard explodes late to secure ECAC crown
Trailing Cornell, 2-1, early in the third period, Harvard rattled off five straight goals and cruised to a 7-3 win, earning the ECAC Championship and denying the Big Red a spot in the NCAA field. Tournament most outstanding player Sarah Edney scored two goals with an assist; Mary Parker matched that and added an extra helper. Jillian Saulnier scored twice for Cornell, and Emily Fulton assisted three times.

Harvard rallied to defeat Quinnipiac, 2-1 in overtime, in its semifinal. Miye D’Oench went to the net to score the winning goal at the 2:39 mark. Edney was credited with the tying goal in the third period when a Bobcats skater knocked her seemingly harmless shot out of the air and into the net. Emma Woods had given Quinnipiac a lead six minutes into the game. Emmerance Maschmeyer made 30 saves to garner the victory for the Crimson.

Cornell also staged a comeback to advance over Clarkson, 3-1. Saulnier and Hanna Bunton struck 23 seconds apart seven minutes into the third period to give the Big Red a 2-1 lead, and Brianne Jenner provided an insurance goal six minutes later. Paula Voorheis saved 19 shots, yielding only a first-period tally to Cayley Mercer, as Cornell dropped the Golden Knights in the league playoffs for the second straight year.

Nurse delivers WCHA title for the Badgers
Sarah Nurse demonstrated the scoring punch Wisconsin possesses on its third line. The sophomore scored twice in the opening period of the final against Bemidji State, first on a laser to the top corner and then on a creative shot from behind the goal line. By the time she added a third-period assist, she’d wrapped up the tournament’s most outstanding player award. Ann-Renée Desbiens dealt with the 15 shots the Beavers mustered. Karley Sylvester and Katarina Zgraja had the other Wisconsin tallies in the 4-0 triumph.

Nurse scored twice and added an assist as Wisconsin ended North Dakota’s second-half run with a 4-1 win. Mellissa Channell gave the Badgers a first-period lead and Sydney McKibbon doubled it in the next stanza. Desbiens made 26 saves, with only Tori Williams able to score for UND.

Bemidji State reached the first championship game in program history with its second 1-0 shutout of Minnesota of the season. Junior Stephanie Anderson scored the game’s lone goal on a third-period rush. Brittani Mowat saved all 37 shots that came her way.

NCAA field
Cornell, North Dakota, and Syracuse all came up a win short of the NCAA tourney, leaving us the following tournament bracket:

RIT at No. 1 Minnesota
BU at No. 4 Wisconsin
Quinnipiac at No. 3 Harvard
Clarkson at No. 2 BC

Women’s D-I picks: March 7

I forgot to pick the CHA championship today, but here are my picks for Sunday’s finals.

Sunday, March 8

Cornell vs. Harvard
Which wins, defense or offense? Usually I’d say the former, but the Big Red have looked very good the last couple of weeks, so they are my upset pick. Cornell 3-2

Boston University vs. Boston College
I think the Terriers might just pull this out; they looked really good today against Northeastern, but I’m going with BC to win a nail-biter. Boston College 3-2

Bemidji State vs. Wisconsin
The Beavers will certainly carry a lot of emotion into the contest with an NCAA tournament berth on the line, but Wisconsin looked really good today against North Dakota. Advantage Badgers. Wisconsin 3-1

Women’s D-I picks: March 6

Well, I correctly picked every series but one last week (RIT-RMU), but I didn’t do so well in picking all the games, so this weekend, I’m only picking the first one. Last week, I went  22-7 (.758), which is actually pretty respectable. Let’s see how I do this week.

Friday, March 6

RIT at Mercyhurst
The Lakers probably have been itching to get some revenge for last year’s loss to RIT in the CHA tournament, and I think they get it. Mercyhurst 4-2

Penn State vs. Syracuse
Neither team has been particularly good away from home, and I’ve seen some positives from both this season. Going with the Lions in a nail-biter. Penn State 3-2

Saturday, March 7

Cornell at Clarkson
The Big Red are playing for the NCAA tournament, but so is Clarkson, which sits on the bubble. Can Shea Tiley contain Cornell’s big forwards? Clarkson 3-2

Quinnipiac vs. Harvard
The Crimson won both games between the two teams this year, and I think they will again. It will also be a one-goal game. Harvard 3-2

Connecticut vs. Boston College
Can the Huskies keep BC under six goals? Boston College 5-1

Northeastern vs. Boston University
I’m tempted to pick the upset, but I think BU is just a bit of a better-rounded team. Boston University 3-2

Bemidji State vs. Minnesota
This will be a close battle, but the Gophers should advance. Minnesota 3-2

North Dakota vs. Wisconsin
Nobody has been hotter than North Dakota in the second half, so let’s go with them for the upset. North Dakota 3-2

Women’s D-I wrap: March 1

Sweeping up
A dozen of the 14 quarterfinal series played across the four conferences resulted in sweeps, two of those accomplished by the road team. While much of the action went according to script, there were also some upsets, overtimes, and comebacks in the mix.

The field of 30 teams that started the weekend with NCAA Championship dreams was reduced to 16. It will be cut in half over each of the next two weekends to yield the contingent for the Frozen Four.

On paper, the ECAC looked to be wide open. The road teams had proven capable of springing upsets over the course of the season, and all of the hosts had vulnerable stretches. Instead, the four ECAC series produced sweeps by all four of the higher seeds.

Top-seeded Clarkson never let Dartmouth get comfortable, outshooting the Big Green 17-3 over the opening 20 minutes and cruising to a 6-0 victory in the opener. Although her workload picked up, Shea Tiley was up to the task in her first taste of the postseason, earning a 21-save shutout. Cayley Mercer scored twice and added an assist. Saturday’s game remained scoreless until Amanda Titus’ goal at 16:21 of the middle frame, the second straight game where she broke the ice. The Golden Knights had double Dartmouth’s shots on goal in each period and went on to a 4-1 victory.

Harvard had a far easier time against Yale than it did a year ago, dispatching the Bulldogs by scores of 2-1 and 3-0. Jamie Haddad gave Yale the weekend’s first lead, but it would prove to be the only puck it would get past Emerance Maschmeyer. Miye D’Oench and Sydney Daniels tallied to give the Crimson the triumph in a game where all of the scoring occurred in the second period. Daniels struck just 3:28 into Saturday’s game, and Samantha Reber and Josephine Pucci had tripled the advantage before the game’s midpoint. Maschmeyer was flawless in dealing with 24 attempts.

Quinnipiac shook off its late-season struggles, blanking Princeton for the weekend, 7-0 and 2-0. Chelsea Laden made 29 total saves in garnering both shutouts, giving her 16 for the season, one shy of the NCAA record. Emma Woods got the Bobcats off to a fast start on Friday by scoring the first of her team’s four first-period goals 6:04 into the contest. Taylar Cianfarano tallied twice. Nicole Connery’s second-period goal on a power play proved decisive on Saturday, and Nicole Brown hit an empty net.

Cornell had to survive a little more drama than the league’s other winners, but 3-1 and 3-2 victories over St. Lawrence got the job done. Brooke Webster’s tying goal five minutes into the final period was all Paula Voorheis allowed on 19 shots on Friday, and the Big Red got a game winner from Jess Brown to go with a goal by Cassandra Poudrier and an empty-net clincher by Jillian Saulnier. The Saints took a two-goal lead into Saturday’s third period, thanks to markers by Ellie Williams and Jacqueline Wand. Goals five minutes apart by Anna Zorn and Saulnier drew Cornell even, and Emily Fulton netted the winning goal with 3:18 left in regulation.

Clarkson will host Cornell in one semifinal, while Harvard faces Quinnipiac in the other. All the remaining games will be played in Potsdam.

Fan favorite Bye was ousted, as were Lindenwood and Robert Morris, but Penn State makes its first venture into the semifinals and defending champion RIT kept its hopes for a repeat alive.

The Tigers finished at the bottom of the standings, but they were undaunted by having to go on the road to sweep RMU. On Friday, the Colonials’ Maddie Collias provided a first-period answer to Emilee Bulleid’s goal, but Ali Binnington handled the other 30 shots sent her way. Mackenzie Stone scored what proved to be the winning goal out of a scrum 4:19 into the second period, and Caitlin Wallace iced the 3-1 win into an empty net. In game two, Lindsay Grigg took a pass from Wallace and fired in the game’s only goal at the 3:11 mark of the opening period. Robert Morris once again generated 31 shots on goal, but this time, Binnington denied all of them to gain her fifth shutout.

Penn State hosted postseason action for the first time, and the Nittany Lions overcame Lindenwood by scores of 1-0 and 3-1. Shannon Yoxheimer scored the only goal in the opener midway through the first stanza, and Celine Whitlinger made it stand up with a 23-save shutout. Yoxheimer netted her second winning goal in as many days on Saturday, and freshman defenseman Bella Sutton was all over the score sheet with the primary assist and two goals of her own. Whitlinger yielded only a power-play goal to Lyndsay Kirkham.

The remaining teams head to Erie to compete for the crown, with RIT facing Mercyhurst and Penn State taking on Syracuse.

Hockey East
Connecticut became the second road team to advance when it traveled to Orono and swept Maine for the second week in a row. New Hampshire pushed Northeastern to a third game but fell just short after taking a series lead.

Boston College made short work of Providence, advancing with 6-2 and 8-0 triumphs. Meghan Grieves and Andie Anastos potted a pair apiece in the opener, with the latter adding an assist. Katie Burt made 15 saves on Saturday to reach 10 shutouts in her freshman campaign. Dana Trivigno topped the point parade with two goals plus an assist, and Emily Pfalzer had one of each to push past the century mark in points for her career.

Kayla Tutino scored four times, all assisted by Marie-Philip Poulin, when Boston University claimed game one over Vermont, 8-1. Rebecca Leslie returned to the line-up with a pair of tallies. The Terriers pulled away early on Saturday in winning 7-2. Victoria Bach opened the scoring a minute in and added two helpers. Samantha Sutherland found the net twice.

Sarah MacDonnell put Connecticut ahead to stay on Friday with a second-period goal and added an assist as the Huskies defeated Maine, 3-2. Teammate Kayla Campero also had a goal and a helper, as did Audra Richards and Emilie Brigham for the Black Bears. Both Maine’s Meghan Treacy and UConn’s Elaine Chuli were bidding for shutouts on Saturday, and their efforts forced the game to overtime still scoreless. It was Chuli that was rewarded with the 45-save shutout when Rebecca Fleming scored 10:31 into bonus hockey to give the Huskies a 1-0 win.

They aren’t the only Huskies advancing, as Northeastern came back from a game down to take its series versus New Hampshire. Ashley Wilkes made 40 saves and Cassandra Vilgrain scored 17 seconds into the final period to make 2-1 winners out of the Wildcats on Friday. On Saturday, Caroline Broderick twice scored tying goals for UNH, the second coming with 1:55 left in regulation to knot the score at 2-2. However, a half minute later, Denisa Krížová cleaned up the rebound of a Kendall Coyne breakaway to give NU the 3-2 win. On Sunday, Coyne scored on an early power play, but Ali Praus’ first career goal drew the Wildcats even by the first intermission. Amy Boucher gave UNH the advantage in the second period, but Jordan Krause responded 91 seconds later. Coyne sniped a power-play goal to give the Huskies a lasting lead at 13:17 of the final stanza. Krížová’s long pass sent Coyne in on another breakaway, which she converted to complete her hat trick and give Krížová her third assist of the day. Down 4-2, UNH got an extra-attacker goal from Kayla Mork with just under three minutes remaining, but the Wildcats couldn’t find an equalizer before their season expired.

Hockey East moves to Hyannis for the remainder of its tournament, with BC facing Connecticut and BU matching up with Northeastern.

Bemidji State kept the best season in program history rolling as it recorded 20 wins for the first time and brought the curtain down on Minnesota-Duluth’s year in the process. Ohio State was also eliminated, but it stretched North Dakota to a third overtime in the final game of the series, the longest game of the season to date.

The Bulldogs and Beavers split both regular season series, so it was no surprise that they played a dramatic quarterfinal. Stephanie Anderson scored twice, Ivana Bilic had helpers on both, and Whitney Wivoda also scored as BSU took Friday’s game, 3-2, with Brittni Mowat making 35 saves. The edge then shifted to Kayla Black and UMD, as the hosts won the second game, 2-0. Ashleigh Brykaliuk broke a scoreless tie at 7:31 of the final period and added an empty-net goal with a second left. Black saved all 29 shots. The deciding game was following a similar script; Brigette Lacquette scored the game’s first goal almost five minutes into the final frame. This time, however, the Beavers’ extra-attacker strategy paid off when Hanna Moher beat Black with 34 seconds in regulation to force overtime. At 12:08 of the extra session, Kaitlyn Tougas scored on a rush to give Bemidji State a 2-1 victory and advance it to the semifinals for the second time. Anderson assisted on both goals and Mowat made 35 saves to earn the win.

Ohio State battled as hard if not quite as long. The Buckeyes took a 2-1, second-period lead on Friday via power-play goals by Kari Schmitt and Sara Schmitt. Andrea Dalen regained control for UND by potting a pair of goals, and then following an empty-net goal from Meghan Dufault, Dalen completed the 5-2 win and her hat trick into another empty net. Samantha Hanson drew first blood for UND midway through the second period on Saturday, but Kayla Sullivan tied it up 10 minutes later. The third period and the first two overtimes belonged to the goalies; Kassidy Sauve finished with 40 saves for OSU and Shelby Amsley-Benzie made 36 stops for the hosts. At 3:17 of the third OT, Becca Kohler got the puck ahead to Dufault to create a two on one. Dufault ladled a pass over a defenseman’s stick to Amy Menke, who finished the 2-1 win with shot that hit net high to the glove side.

The other two WCHA series weren’t nearly as gripping. Dani Cameranesi scored twice with four helpers, and Hannah Brandt had four points and a hat trick as Minnesota routed Minnesota State, 10-0, to take game one. The Mavericks kept Saturday’s game closer, but fell by a 5-1 margin. Maryanne Menefee scored twice, giving her three goals and three assists for the series.

Wisconsin handled St. Cloud State by scores of 5-1 and 4-1. Kim Drake’s three assists highlighted Friday’s game. Nobody had more than one point on Saturday, as once more the Badgers took a multi-goal lead into the first intermission and never looked back.

The brackets for the WCHA Final Face-Off on Saturday have Minnesota opening versus Bemidji State, while Wisconsin and host North Dakota square off in the second semifinal.

Women’s D-I picks: Feb. 27

I suck. Yes, I admit it. I had a big lead on Arlan in our picks contest, and I blew it. I’ll pay up at the Frozen Four in Minneapolis in March.

Arlan however, bows out of picking the playoffs, so it’s all me from hear on out. Let’s get to it.

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 27-28

Lindenwood at Penn State
This all comes down to Lindenwood’s Nicole Hensley vs. Penn State’s home-ice advantage. I think it goes three. Lindenwood 3-2, Penn State 2-1, 3-1

RIT at Robert Morris
If the Colonials were any more consistent, this would be an easier series to pick. It probably goes three too. Robert Morris 2-1, RIT 2-1, Robert Morris 2-0

Dartmouth at Clarkson
The Big Green are a tough out, but I like the Golden Knights. Clarkson 2-0, 2-1

St. Lawrence at Cornell
These games could turn into huge scoring fests, or they could be very close affairs. There’s no way of telling. Cornell 5-2, St. Lawrence 2-1, Cornell 3-2

Yale at Harvard
This was a barn-burner of a series last year, but I think the Crimson sweep, despite how hot Yale has been. Harvard 2-0, 3-1

Princeton at Quinnipiac
Given how off the Bobcats have been of late, the Tigers could pull the upset, but I still like the home team. Quinnipiac 3-1, 2-1

Providence at Boston College
Will this be a blowout like the first half game between the two, or a closer affair like the ones in January? Boston College 5-1, 5-1

Vermont at Boston University
These two split a pair of strange games back in January, with Vermont winning the first and BU roaring back for a blowout win the next night. The same scenario might apply. Vermont 2-1, Boston University 4-1, 3-2

Connecticut at Maine
The Huskies swept this series last weekend; why not again? Connecticut 2-1, 2-1

New Hampshire at Northeastern
The home team has gotten hot at the right moment. Northeastern 3-1, 4-1

Bemidji State at Minnesota-Duluth
This is probably the most likely spot for an upset in the WCHA. Minnesota-Duluth 2-1, Bemidji State 3-2, 2-1

Minnesota State at Minnesota
They might want a mercy rule, given how strong the Gophers have been of late. Minnesota 5-1, 5-0

Ohio State at North Dakota
This will be a close affair, but I like the home team to sweep. North Dakota 2-1, 3-2

St. Cloud at Wisconsin
The Huskies upset of the Badgers last weekend should be just the thing to get Wisconsin refocused. Wisconsin 2-1, 3-1

Women’s D-I wrap: Feb. 22

Ready for the postseason
With the completion of the final games of the regular season, we at last know how the conference tournaments will be slotted. Of the 30 teams that remain in the hunt for a national title, 28 will begin postseason play in conference quarterfinals hosted by the higher seeds, while the top two squads in the CHA receive first-round byes.

ECAC Hockey
When it comes to maximizing entertainment value, no league did it better than the ECAC. The search for the champion went down to the final day, and even then, the circuit couldn’t settle on one and wound up with Clarkson and Harvard as co-champions, with the Golden Knights earning the top seed.

Harvard had a chance for sole possession of that honor, had it been able to come up with two points on home ice on the weekend, but the Crimson had to settle for just one point via a 1-1 tie with St. Lawrence. Hannah Miller struck first for the Saints in that contest, but Sydney Daniels replied for Harvard. Carmen MacDonald made 44 saves for SLU to prevent further damage, and Emerance Maschmeyer came up with 31 stops of her own.

Meanwhile, Clarkson got a better result in overtime with a 2-1 win at Dartmouth. The Big Green took a lead with 13:11 elapsed on a power-play goal from Kennedy Ottenbreit. Two periods later, Christine Lambert forced OT when she converted on a power play, and at 3:51 of the extra session, Geneviève Bannon netted the winner.

That set up a showdown for the top spot between the Crimson and the Golden Knights. With 8:20 gone, freshman Brielle Bellerive scored unassisted, and that was all the offense Shea Tiley needed to come away with a 28-save shutout for Clarkson, 1-0.

Quinnipiac claimed the third seed with a 1-0 win over Brown on Saturday. Taylar Cianfarano’s 15th goal of the year at 14:27 of the third period on a power play was the only scoring in Chelsea Laden’s 14th shutout of the year.

Cornell and St. Lawrence finished in a tie for fourth, with the Big Red gaining the final home-ice spot. Cornell won a pair of road games at Rensselaer, 4-1, and Union, 4-0. The Big Red shook off a slow start in Troy, and rallied with the game’s final four goals. Jillian Saulnier and Brianne Jenner had three-point games, with Saulnier netting two goals to Jenner’s one. Saulnier scored twice more versus the Dutchwomen in Paula Voorheis’ 25-save shutout.

The Saints finished their slate with a 6-4 triumph at Dartmouth as Jenna Marks found the net twice.

Princeton is alone in sixth after a weekend split. Morgan Sly sniped a pair in the Tigers’ 4-1 defeat of Brown. Yale upended Princeton, 2-1, on Saturday, denying the Tigers the Ivy League title, which instead went to Harvard. Taylor Marchin’s goal in the second period gave the Bulldogs the win. Krista Yip-Chuck assisted on the winner and scored the game’s first goal; Jaimie Leonoff made 28 saves.

The Bulldogs finished seventh after also posting a 3-0 shutout of Quinnipiac on Friday thanks to 37 saves from Leonoff. Yip-Chuck scored twice; Hanna Åström supplied the other tally and had a three-point game.

Dartmouth is the ECAC’s final playoff team in eighth.

RPI defeated Colgate 5-3 in the final game of the season for both teams, as the Engineers clicked on four of five power-play opportunities.

The best-of-three playoff series are:
Dartmouth at Clarkson
Yale at Harvard
Princeton at Quinnipiac
St. Lawrence at Cornell

Hockey East
Top-seeded Boston College finished an undefeated league season, but the Eagles were denied a perfect trip through Hockey East in their last game when Boston University tied them, 2-2. Samantha Sutherland and Maddie Elia gave the Terriers leads on two occasions, but Haley Skarupa and Dana Trivigno drew BC even, the latter with just 75 seconds left in regulation. BC defeated BU 5-0 on Thursday, with Alex Carpenter scoring twice in Katie Burt’s 28-save shutout.

BU, the second seed, started its week with a 7-1 thrashing of Providence. Both Sarah Lefort, who potted a hat trick, and Marie-Philip Poulin had four-point games.

Northeastern gained third place with 5-1 and 3-1 victories over New Hampshire. Denisa Krížová scored twice in the opener, Kendall Coyne had three assists, and Chloé Desjardins made 33 saves. Coyne scored twice with a helper and Desjardins denied another 34 attempts on Sunday.

Maine had to settle for fourth place after Connecticut swept a series from the Black Bears in Orono. Sarah MacDonnell set up Kayla Campero’s tying goal with 81 seconds left and an extra attacker on the ice in the opener. Campero returned the favor, helping MacDonnell deposit the winning goal with one second remaining in the extra session. Elaine Chuli saved 40 shots for the Huskies. UConn had an easier time in winning 6-2 on Sunday. A pair of defensemen, Caitlin Hewes and Leah Lum, had three-point games, as the Huskies moved up to fifth place ahead of New Hampshire.

Vermont swept a pair of 3-2 games from Providence to leapfrog the Friars and escape the basement. Bridget Baker scored with 63 seconds to go in the opener to thwart a late rally by PC; Madison Litchfield made 35 stops. Baker netted her second game-winner in as many days on Sunday, while Litchfield recorded 41 saves.

The quarterfinal matchups are:
Providence at Boston College
Vermont at Boston University
New Hampshire at Northeastern
Connecticut at Maine

Three sweeps resolved the questions of placement in the middle of the conference.

North Dakota is the third seed after blanking Minnesota State twice, 7-0 and 2-0. Shelby Amsley-Benzie needed only 24 saves on the weekend to earn the two shutouts. Josefine Jakobsen and Andrea Dalen had a goal and two assists apiece in the first game. Marissa Salo scored the deciding goal 3:50 into the second period to overcome 36 saves by Erin Krichiver in game two.

Minnesota-Duluth dropped Ohio State, 3-1 and 5-2. Kayla Black made 35 saves on Friday, and Michela Cava assisted on the winning goal before adding an insurance tally. Brigette Lacquette had three helpers as the Bulldogs rallied from two goals down with five goals over the final 20:17 on Sunday, including two empty-net goals.

Minnesota swept Bemidji State, 3-2 and 4-2, to deny the Beavers home ice. Dani Cameranesi had a goal and an assist in both games for the Gophers.

Although it didn’t change the standings, St. Cloud State served notice to Wisconsin that it doesn’t intend to go quietly in their upcoming series when the Huskies upset the Badgers, 2-1, on Friday. Julie Friend made 52 saves and kept UW off the scoreboard until only 16 seconds remained. Alyssa Erickson and Payge Pena scored for SCSU. Wisconsin responded on Sunday with Ann-Renée Desbiens’ 13th shutout of the season, 5-0.

The playoff series will be:
Minnesota State at Minnesota
St. Cloud State at Wisconsin
Ohio State at North Dakota
Bemidji State at Minnesota-Duluth

College Hockey America
Syracuse split a home-and-home series with RIT, but that was enough to give the Orange a first-round bye in the CHA. Jenn Gilligan made 31 saves in Friday’s 4-1 win for Syracuse. Alysha Burris scored twice, and Melissa Piacentini had a goal and two assists. Ali Binnington bounced back in her final start on home ice with 26 saves in a 1-0 shutout, and Celeste Brown scored a power-play goal to win it midway through the third stanza.

Penn State slumped to the fourth seed after suffering back-to-back 4-1 defeats on home ice to Robert Morris. Jessica Dodds made 33 saves on Friday, and Rebecca Vint scored twice. Vint’s short-handed goal started a rally on Saturday; Katelyn Scott assisted twice.

Nicole Hensley’s 33 saves keyed a 3-1 upset for fifth-place Lindenwood over league champ Mercyhurst on Friday. Jordyn Constance scored and had an assist; Katie Erickson helped twice. Hensley got the day off when the Lakers bounced back with a 7-1 win. Shelby Bram had a goal and two assists; Molly Byrne scored once and assisted three times.

The resulting brackets are:
Mercyhurst gets a bye
Syracuse gets a bye
RIT at Robert Morris
Lindenwood at Penn State

Women’s D-I picks: Feb. 19

It comes down to the final weekend. Arlan and I both went 18-5-5 (.732)  last week, moving to 277-104-41 (.704). Will one of us finish on top?

Thursday, Saturday, Feb. 19, 21

Boston University vs. Boston College (home-and-home)
Candace: Yes, both games will be close, but BC has proven better at key moments of the season. Boston College 3-2, 4-2
Arlan: When teams with great players clash, a lot of different story lines could emerge, but because they have better balance throughout, more of them favor the Eagles. Boston College 6-2, 5-3

Friday, Feb. 19

Clarkson at Dartmouth
Candace: Picking the Big Green has been a dangerous proposition. Clarkson 3-2
Arlan: Perhaps the game where a ranked team is most likely to fall to an unranked opponent, but I’m just not feeling it. Clarkson 2-1

St. Lawrence at Harvard
Candace: Watch the Saints earn at least a point to make the final game of the year even more interesting. Harvard 3-1
Arlan: Maybe this one won’t even be this close. Harvard 4-2

Cornell at Rensselaer
Candace: The Big Red haven’t been the epitome of consistency, but I like them in this game. Cornell 4-1
Arlan: The Engineers don’t have a good answer for the Jenner line. Cornell 5-2

Quinnipiac at Yale
Candace: It doesn’t matter if the Bulldogs are home or away; Quinnipiac is better. Quinnipiac 3-1
Arlan: The Bobcats won the first two meetings this season by three goals; I doubt they do so again. Quinnipiac 2-1

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 20-21

Mercyhurst at Lindenwood
Candace: The Lakers don’t really have anything to play for, but it won’t stop them from getting a sweep. Mercyhurst 3-1, 4-1
Arlan: In the big picture, these games aren’t as important to the Lakers, but I still don’t think Lindenwood gets more than a tie. Mercyhurst 3-1, 2-1

Robert Morris at Penn State
Candace: I could flip a coin 10 times and stand a better chance of picking this correctly. Penn State 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: Looks like a couple of games where sometime after the second intermission, somebody will score a goal to win it. Penn State 3-2, 2-1

RIT vs. Syracuse (home-and-home)
Candace: The Orange haven’t lit the world on fire away from home, so I’m calling a split. Syracuse 3-1, RIT 3-2
Arlan: The final opportunities for the Orange to add to their program-record 10 ties. Syracuse 3-2, RIT 1-0

Minnesota at Bemidji State
Candace: To paraphrase Taylor Swift, “They should keep in mind, they should keep in mind, there is nothing we do better than revenge.” Minnesota 4-1, 4-2
Arlan: It’s been more than three years since the Gophers lost to a team that wasn’t wearing green; BSU wears green. Minnesota 3-1, 2-1

Ohio State at Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: Do the Bulldogs wake up for a critical series? Sure, why not. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: If the Buckeyes get swept, sweep, or take five points, they don’t have to return to Duluth in a week; any other outcome, and they’ll probably be back. Minnesota-Duluth 1-0, 3-1

Minnesota State at North Dakota
Candace: How many goals will UND rack up? North Dakota 4-1, 5-1
Arlan: The last time the Mavericks visited Grand Forks, they stuck a huge monkey wrench in UND’s season. North Dakota 5-2, 4-0

St. Cloud at Wisconsin
Candace: The Badgers’ offense has been disturbingly absent of late, but there you go. Wisconsin 4-1, 3-2
Arlan: This is just a dress rehearsal for the WCHA quarterfinals. Wisconsin 5-1, 6-0

Saturday, Feb. 21

St. Lawrence at Dartmouth
Candace: It’s been hard to get a handle on the Big Green, but the Saints have been more consistent. St. Lawrence 4-2
Arlan: Whoever loses will request a recount. St. Lawrence 3-2

Clarkson at Harvard
Candace: The Crimson claim the top seed in the ECAC. Harvard 4-2
Arlan: The Crimson are the hottest team in the country in February. Harvard 2-1

Colgate at Rensselaer
Candace: The winner gets to finish ninth in the ECAC. Colgate 3-2
Arlan: The only game before the national championship where both teams know it is their final game no matter what happens. Rensselaer 2-1

Princeton at Yale
Candace: Yale is very frustrating to pick, and even though the Bulldogs are home, I like the Tigers. Princeton 2-1
Arlan: What’s the hockey equivalent of a photo finish? Princeton 3-2

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 21-22

Connecticut at Maine
Candace: I keep wishing I had picked Maine against New Hampshire a few weeks ago. Maine 1-0, 2-1
Arlan: I think that Maine has come back to the pack a bit. Connecticut 2-1, Maine 1-0

Vermont at Providence
Candace: I’m going with recent results, just like I should have when Yale faced Dartmouth a couple of weeks ago. Vermont 3-1, 4-1
Arlan: I’m not sure if either of these teams won a game that I picked it to win all year. Vermont 3-2, 2-1

Northeastern at New Hampshire (home-and-home)
Candace: The Huskies continue their renaissance, just in time for the postseason. Northeastern 3-1, 3-1
Arlan: The Wildcats’ three-game unbeaten streak matches a season high. Northeastern 2-1, 4-2

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