Four Nations week results at home and abroad
The annual Four Nations Cup tournament, matching the national teams of the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Finland, was held this week in Finland. In anticipation of losing players to national team commitments, a number of top college teams did not schedule a game, so the slate was lighter than usual. There is still plenty of hockey to discuss, particularly in Hockey East, where all eight teams laced the skates up.
The least active league was the WCHA, where Bemidji State and St. Cloud State hosted Maine and Lindenwood, respectively, in nonconference series. After viewing half of each series and talking to the head coaches, those four teams will be the subject of my column this week. Until then, suffice it to say that the Black Bears overcame travel complications and a sizable disadvantage in shots on goal to win and tie in Bemidji, including one of those comebacks from a three-goal deficit that are becoming routine for Maria Lewis’ team. Meanwhile, the Huskies became the latest WCHA opponent to sweep the Lions.
Business as usual in Hockey East
While all of the Hockey East teams were in action, they weren’t all at full strength. No. 5 Boston University only had one game on the docket, but as it turned out, that was one too many. Editor Candace Horgan said in our weekly predictions that she couldn’t see any way for the Terriers to lose to New Hampshire, even without Marie-Philip Poulin. How quickly we forget. BU became masters of finding new and creative ways to go down in defeat last season whenever its brightest star was out of action, and the Terriers added to that list on Friday. They fell into a 3-0 hole against the Wildcats before closing to within a goal, but could not come up with an equalizer. Jenn Gilligan earned her first win of the season, including stopping Kaleigh Fratkin on a third-period breakaway. Hannah Armstrong led UNH with three points, and put an exclamation mark on the upset by adding an empty-net goal.
Providence played three different HEA opponents over the course of the week, and its results covered the whole spectrum. The week began in shaky fashion for the Friars, as No. 7 Boston College got goals from six different players and three assists from rookie defenseman Lexi Bender as it squashed PC by a 6-1 score. Saturday’s game looked to be heading to a similar finish when frosh Sarah Bryant was chased from the Friars’ net for the second straight game as Connecticut opened up a 3-0 lead. Junior Nina Riley entered in relief and slammed the door on UConn’s offense the rest of the way, while Nicole Anderson scored twice and added an assist to fuel a spirited 5-3 comeback win for PC. The glass was half full on Sunday for each team, as Arielle O’Neill scored short-handed to give New Hampshire a 2-2 tie with the Friars.
No. 8 Northeastern was minus three forwards, most notably Kendall Coyne, as it entertained Vermont twice. That was no problem for the Huskies in Saturday’s 4-1 win, but NU had to settle for a single point on Sunday as the Catamounts came from behind to secure a 4-4 tie. The game was knotted at 3-3 in the third period when Vermont goaltender Roxanne Douville stoned Tori Hickel on a penalty shot. Chelsiea Goll scored her first goal of the season on a rebound to seemingly give the Huskies a win at 18:34. However, Douville came off for an extra attacker and Brittany Zuback deflected in an Amanda Pelkey shot for the tying goal just 56 seconds later.
ECAC has 10 members in action
Cornell and Harvard sat the week out, but the other 10 ECAC teams took to the ice. Dartmouth got the deciding goal from Lindsey Allen late in the second period and defeated state rival UNH, 3-2, to start things off on Tuesday.
The North Country teams were at home and both Clarkson and St. Lawrence fashioned sweeps of Yale and Brown. The tightest of the four games was the Golden Knights 2-1 edging of Brown on Saturday, as Carly Mercer supplied both goals to allow Erica Howe to decision Aubree Moore in net.
Rensselaer continued to display an uncanny ability to play just bad enough to lose. The Engineers saw their record drop to 2-7-1, and six of those losses have been by a single goal. In both losses over the weekend, 6-5 to Princeton and 3-2
to Quinnipiac, RPI had more shots on goal, but too high a percentage of the opponents’ attempts found a way into the Engineers’ cage.
Union went undefeated, but the Dutchwomen didn’t win either, yielding an unassisted goal to Kelly Babstock to settle for a 2-2 tie versus the Bobcats on Friday. Saturday was Union’s turn to rally; Rhianna Kurio scored with 35 seconds remaining and an extra attacker on the ice to salvage a 1-1 draw with Princeton.
Colgate coach Greg Fargo saw plenty of Rochester Institute of Technology while he was at Elmira and both squads competed in the ECAC West conference. Perhaps that familiarity proved advantageous in the Raiders being able to nip the Tigers, 2-1, on a Taylor Volpe goal in nonconference action on Friday.
Only Lakers sit in the CHA
RIT played another nail-biter against conference foe Syracuse. Carly Payerl scored on a power play in the final five minutes to put the Tigers up 2-1, but Akane Hosoyamada gained a draw for the Orange on a power play of their own with three minutes left.
Robert Morris started its conference schedule at Penn State, and the Nittany Lions saw plenty of Rebecca Vint. She scored five times as the Colonials won, 7-1, on Saturday. PSU was able to hold her to a single tally on Sunday, but a 49-save effort by Nicole Paniccia wasn’t enough to prevent a 4-1 win by RMU.
United States claims gold at Four Nations Cup
Canada handed the United States a 3-1 loss during the preliminary round, but when the two teams met in the championship game, the Americans did all of the scoring with a 3-0 victory. Kendall Coyne’s short-hander put her team up to stay and former Wisconsin goalie Jessie Vetter was perfect on 26 shots. North Dakota’s Jocelyne Lamoureux had assists on both of the power-play goals by Hilary Knight and Anne Schleper.