Action heating up
All of the teams have returned to the ice in 2013, with the exception of New Hampshire; the Wildcats make their first appearance on Tuesday at Union. The rest of the clubs provided much to discuss, particularly near the top of the rankings, so that’s where we’ll start this week.
How the Top 10 fared
The highlight of the week came on Sunday when two Frozen Four participants from 10 months ago met, as No. 4 Cornell visited No. 3 Boston College. For the second time in just over a week, the Eagles came away with a 4-3 win in overtime against an NCAA tournament team from last year. Sophomore Emily Field made something happen on a seemingly innocent rush and whipped a forehand from below the faceoff dot into the top corner on the far side that eluded Lauren Slebodnick’s glove 91 seconds into the extra session. Haley Skarupa scored an extra-attacker goal in the final minute of regulation to draw the hosts even, her second tally of the game. Freshman Monika Leck had staked Cornell to a 3-2 lead late in the middle period. The difference was likely that the Eagles’ stars were able to impact the game more positively than the top players for the Big Red. Field, Skarupa, Alex Carpenter, and Blake Bolden combined for three goals, five assists, and a plus-8 aggregate; Brianne Jenner, Jilliane Saulnier, Lauriane Rougeau, and Laura Fortino collectively countered with a single assist and an even rating.
That was BC’s third triumph of the week, as it pulled away from No. 9 Northeastern over the final two periods for a 6-2 victory and smoked Vermont, 7-2, behind a five-point hat trick from Skarupa and 62 shots on goal. Corinne Boyles has started nine straight games in net for the Eagles, all wins, and is now 14-1 on the campaign.
Northeastern fell to the Big Red on Saturday, 4-2, despite leading 2-1 at the midpoint of the game. Jenner had three points and Jessica Campbell two goals, including one while short-handed, to fuel Cornell. It remains to be seen whether that costs that Huskies in the polls, because the teams closest on their heels in the voting each suffered a pair of defeats as well.
No. 10 Ohio State couldn’t get its offense untracked in Madison and went down by scores of 4-1 and 2-1 to No. 8 Wisconsin. The Badgers got 49 saves from Alex Rigsby and two goals and two assists by Brianna Decker in the series.
Sitting just outside the rankings, North Dakota did better offensively than anyone else has this season against No. 1 Minnesota, but had no answers for Amanda Kessel and Hannah Brandt at the other end of the ice and lost consecutive 6-3 decisions. Kessel got loose for six goals, including a four-goal game on Friday, and added four assists, while Brandt had a seven-point weekend. UND provided the Gophers with some film to analyze, as four of its goals came on the power play, including three from Michelle Karvinen.
No. 2 Harvard got shutouts from Laura Bellamy and Emerance Maschmeyer and took care of Providence, 3-0, and Quinnipiac, 4-0. The Crimson have opened up a four-point gap in the ECAC race.
No. 5 Clarkson squeaked out a sweep on the road. Brittany Styner supplied both goals to best Brown, 2-1. Goalie Erica Howe made Jamie Lee Rattray’s first-period, short-handed goal stand up for a 1-0 win at Yale.
No. 6 Boston University ventured to Maine and came home with 5-2 and 4-2 victories. Louise Warren had a goal and an assist in each contest, including a successful penalty shot on Sunday. Warren had the same line on Tuesday at Connecticut in another 4-2 triumph, while her linemates, Isabel Menard and Kayla Tutino, each had a goal with two helpers.
Sophomore Amanda Makela limited Syracuse to one goal on 54 shots as No. 7 Mercyhurst claimed 1-0 and 4-1 verdicts. Rookie Emily Janiga opened the second game with a pure hat trick.
If something unexpected is going to happen, expect it to happen in the CHA. Lindenwood recorded its first road win in the conference by taking down Robert Morris on Friday by a 5-2 margin. Alison Wickenheiser and Kendra Broad each scored twice. The Colonials reversed the score on Saturday behind a pair of goals by Maddie Collias.
RIT lost its second one-goal decision of the season to Colgate of the ECAC. An early two-goal lead for the Tigers evaporated, and the Raiders’ Brittany Philips completed her own pure hat trick in OT for a 3-2 win.
Penn State fell a goal short both days at Union; the Dutchwomen posted 1-0 and 2-1 wins to up their win total to a program-best seven.
Big week for Big Green
Dartmouth earned three wins in a span of four days versus Vermont, Quinnipiac, and Princeton by scores of 4-2, 5-2, and 6-2 respectively. The offensive highlight was yet another natural hat trick, this time courtesy of Camille Dumais versus the Tigers. The Big Green improve their record to 11-5-2 on the season.
Storied programs trying to rally
Three teams with no shortage of past glories but coming off of rough first halves registered much-needed sweeps. Senior Jessica Wong moved back up front for Minnesota-Duluth, centering Jamie Kenyon and Jenna McParland as their line accounted for seven goals in 3-1 and 8-2 wins over St. Cloud State. Haley Frade had a three-point weekend for Providence to enable the Friars to escape Rensselaer by scores of 2-1 and 3-2. St. Lawrence got at least one scoring point from 10 different skaters in beating Yale, 5-1, and eight more Saints contributed offensively in a 4-3 win at Brown.