Another record falls in Madison
On January 29, 2011, Wisconsin set an NCAA attendance record for a women’s game with a crowd of 10,668. Saturday night, the Badgers bested their own mark, as 12,402 fans turned out to watch their team edge Bemidji State, 1-0, in the program’s third annual Fill the Bowl promotion.
It is unlikely that any program other than Wisconsin will approach that record any time soon, as few women’s games are played in venues even capable of holding as many fans. The last three digits of Saturday night’s record attendance are more in line with what is typical at a women’s game. The 503 fans on hand for Northeastern at Boston University on Saturday was the only crowd outside of Madison in the last week to reach 500.
Success on the ice as well as off
In October, Wisconsin played two-game series against four opponents, all ranked in the top 10 at the time. The Badgers raced through that gauntlet, winning seven times with just a single loss.
January brought a similar challenge, as Wisconsin met Minnesota, North Dakota, and Minnesota-Duluth, like it did three months earlier, and then finished off the stretch with Bemidji State rather than Boston University. The resulting record was nearly as stellar; UW produced a 5-1-2 mark. However, each opponent took Wisconsin to overtime once this time around, and the Badgers’ ability to go 2-0-2 in those games was crucial in recording that .750 winning percentage.
No. 2 Cornell takes a hit
A week ago, Cornell moved up to the second spot in the USCHO Poll and the PairWise Rankings. Saturday, it fell back to No. 3 in the PairWise after suffering a 5-3 defeat at Clarkson, with Juana Baribeau tallying a hat trick for the Golden Knights. The Big Red have won a lot of games over the last three seasons, but that success hasn’t translated on their trips to Potsdam, where they have gone just 0-2-1 over that timeframe.
The Big Red experienced a loss of a different sort in the first game of their road trip on Friday, as senior goaltender Amanda Mazzotta was injured in a collision and had to leave the 6-4 win over St. Lawrence in the first period. Mazzotta also suffered an injury earlier in the season in the team’s first loss at Dartmouth and wound up missing three games.
Terriers showing some bite
If injuries and an inability to overcome them have reduced Boston University to a spoiler in the Hockey East race, then it is a role that the Terriers are relishing. BU bounced both of the league’s leaders, thrashing Boston College, 6-0, on Wednesday, before edging out a late 3-2 win over Northeastern on Saturday.
No brooms to be found
Elsewhere, three teams in desperate need of sweeps to keep at-large hopes alive settled for disappointing splits. Ohio State exacted a bit of revenge for a pair of blowouts early in the season by thumping North Dakota, 6-2, on Friday, but the Buckeyes were unable to maintain any momentum and sputtered to a 5-2 defeat on Saturday. Host Quinnipiac earned just its second win of 2012 in handling Syracuse, 3-0, in the series’ first game, and then couldn’t overcome a 53-save effort by Kallie Billadeau in succumbing to the Orange by a 3-2 score Saturday. Goals were tough to come by, as Robert Morris squared off with Niagara in a CHA home-and-home series, with each visitor unable to find the net and falling by 1-0 scores.