Halloween followed by plenty of tricks
The only game played on Halloween featured suddenly dependable Robert Morris, and the Colonials handed out the first of their back-to-back shutouts of host Penn State and have now won five straight. The high jinks didn’t begin until November had arrived.
It wasn’t a case of ranked teams losing left and right. No. 10 Ohio State was swept, but that was on the road at No. 2 Wisconsin. Previously unbeaten and No. 7 Harvard was the only other member of the top 10 to suffer a defeat, but that one definitely makes the list of strange sightings, coming against a Rensselaer squad that had only one win and none in its previous six games. Even in several games where the final result wasn’t out of the ordinary, how it was reached was peculiar.
November also delivered a few treats mixed in, such as Cornell being presented with rare penalty-shot opportunities on consecutive days.
Just a little bit longer
During Maria Lewis’ three seasons behind the Maine bench, no team was more likely to play beyond 60 minutes. The Black Bears did so 26 times, so it seemed fitting that over the weekend they played two overtime ties in their first action since her resignation was reported last week.
Each result was painful for Maine in its own way. On Friday, Northeastern gained a 1-1 tie on the strength of a short-handed goal by Katie MacSorley, the Huskies’ nation-leading sixth short-hander. Sunday’s contest saw Connecticut score three times in the final five minutes to wipe away a 4-1 deficit, including a pair of extra-attacker goals.
Maybe splits aren’t so bad
Providence finally broke its pattern of splitting every weekend, but not in the way it wanted. The Friars lost both halves of a home-and-home series with No. 6 Boston College in drastically different ways.
On Friday on home ice, they took a 2-1 lead only to have the Eagles storm back with the only five goals of the second period. Down 7-3, PC scored three extra-attacker goals in the final two minutes only to come up short when the Eagles scored the final goal into an empty net and won, 8-6. Neither starting goaltender was around by the third period of the game, where BC’s Haley Skarupa and Kate Leary and Friars Molly Illikainen and Corinne Buie all had four points.
Corinne Boyles and Sarah Bryant were back in their respective creases on Sunday when action resumed at BC and found the surroundings more to their liking. The teams went to overtime tied, 1-1. The Eagles took advantage of a fortuitous bounce that created a two-on-one break that Melissa Bizzari converted into the game-winning goal.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Despite suffering heavy off-season losses, defending league champion Boston University is the only remaining undefeated team in Hockey East play. The Terriers took to the ice three times in five days and claimed wins over: Northeastern, 3-2 in overtime; New Hampshire, 3-1; and Vermont, 6-0. Senior captain Louise Warren had the overtime game-winner in the first game and scored a pair of goals in each of the other victories.
Hey, who tilted the ice?
We’re accustomed to wackiness in Hockey East, but ECAC Hockey got in on the oddities as well. No. 3 Cornell needed only 11 shots and less than 20 minutes to score five times and chase Kimberly Newell from the Princeton net, with Taylor Woods scoring twice. Perhaps the Big Red took their collective feet off the gas at that point, or replacement Ashley Holt just had all the answers, including denying a penalty shot, because the Cornell side of the scoreboard didn’t move again. Meanwhile, the Tigers scored on half of their eight second-period shots and turned a 5-0 laugher into a 5-4 squeaker. At that point, Princeton’s offense went silent as well, and a game that produced nine goals in the first 31 minutes ended with nary another goal celebration.
On Saturday, the defense for No. 9 Quinnipiac succeeded where others had failed, stifling the country’s best offense. Cornell’s only goal came when the Bobcats’ skaters were forced to leave the ice and Emily Fulton converted a penalty shot to salvage a 1-1 tie and allow the Big Red to remain unbeaten and atop the conference standings. Shiann Darkangelo had staked Quinnipiac to a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal.
It’s not the quantity, but the quality
Harvard outshot host RPI by a 30-15 margin, but it was the Engineers who enjoyed a 2-1 ratio on the scoreboard. Laura Horwood and Lauren Wash bookended goals by the Crimson’s Dylanne Crugnale and Harvard fell from the unbeaten ranks.
Brown faced an even larger shot disadvantage on the road at No. 5 Clarkson. Ariana Rucker scored in the second period for the Bears to offset an earlier Jamie Lee Rattray goal. The Golden Knights piled up a 54-11 shot advantage, including 29-1 over the final 25 minutes, but thanks to the 53 saves from Aubree Moore, Brown took away a point from the 1-1 tie.
Minnesota-Duluth outshot visiting St. Cloud State, 53-28, on Friday but fell by a 4-1 score. A pair of Amy Olson goals and 52 saves by Julie Friend were enough for the Huskies to come out on top. On Saturday, the Bulldogs shot advantage was 40-23, but they had to settle for a 1-1 tie when Julia Gilbert scored with an extra attacker on the ice and 22 seconds left.
How the rest of the top 10 fared
Things were more tranquil for ranked teams out west.
Kelly Terry’s seven points and Saturday hat trick keyed the No. 1 Minnesota Gophers’ sweep of Minnesota State by 4-1 and 7-0 scores.
Blayre Turnbull led the way with two points per game, including a pair of goals on Sunday, as Wisconsin spotted Ohio State a first-period goal each day but came back for 4-1 and 3-2 wins.
No. 4 North Dakota didn’t have the services of Michelle Karvinen or Susanna Tapani at Bemidji State, as they prepared for the Four Nations Cup with Team Finland. A hat trick by Megan Dufault on Friday and the first two collegiate goals by Amy Menke were highlights in handing the Beavers 6-2 and 5-1 defeats.
Quite the helper
Without looking, can you name the player that sits atop the assists category with 13? I couldn’t either. But the correct answer is RMU rookie forward Brittany Howard, who also has four goals for 17 points through her first 10 games.