Women’s D-I wrap: Feb. 17

Three of four regular-season titles decided
Heading into the final week of play, the season championship has been mathematically clinched in three of the four leagues, and in each case the decisive win came on the road. By virtue of its victory at Wisconsin on Friday night, Minnesota claimed the WCHA crown. Mercyhurst captured another CHA trophy when it won on Sunday at Penn State. Boston College earned its first Hockey East season title with a win over Maine on Sunday.

Three teams remain in contention for the top rung in ECAC Hockey. Cornell holds the inside track, leading both Clarkson and Harvard by a point, thanks in large part to the Golden Knights’ win over the Crimson on Friday. Maintaining the lead in the ECAC in recent weeks has often proven precarious, so it remains to be seen whether the Big Red can close the deal when they host Quinnipiac and Princeton.

Back from the dead
At certain points of the season, No. 8 Mercyhurst’s hope off adding to its string of consecutive CHA titles looked to be fading, but the Lakers made it a dozen straight years atop the CHA. They took care of business at Penn State by scores of 4-0 and 4-1 to eliminate Robert Morris.

Amanda Makela earned both wins, including her sixth shutout. In the first game, Christie Cicero, Kaleigh Chippy, Emily Janiga, and Christine Bestland each had a goal and an assist. Bestland repeated that feat on Sunday, joined this time by Jenna Dingeldein and Molly Byrne, while Janiga contributed three helpers.

With each passing week, a possible Mercyhurst return to the NCAA tournament for a 10th straight year appears more probable as well. Lakers … Lazarus. I think there’s a similarity there if you say it fast enough.

Double the fun
The Hockey East title may have been a first for No. 7 Boston College, but it wasn’t its first championship of the week. BC claimed the Beanpot Tuesday with a 3-0 blanking of Northeastern. Corinne Boyles registered 25 saves while Taylor Wasylk, Meagan Mangene, and Melissa Bizzari lit the lamp.

BC posted twin 4-1 wins at Orono over the weekend. Haley Skarupa was one of four Eagles to score in the first game, and then she exploded for a hat trick in the third period on Sunday.

Spoiling all the fun
No. 1 Minnesota defended its WCHA title, as it took the league for the eighth time, and in the process put a damper on the festivities in Madison. The No. 2 Badgers paid honor to their senior class before Friday night’s game, and drew first blood on a power-play goal by Brittany Ammerman. That proved to be their only lead of the weekend. Dani Cameranesi ultimately scored the game-winning goal in the third period in Friday’s 3-2 Minnesota win.

On Saturday, Wisconsin was energized by an NCAA record crowd of 13,573 fans in the Kohl Center, but Amanda Leveille stopped all 24 shots by the Badgers to subdue the partisans. Kelly Terry scored the first goal and assisted on another to help the Gophers to a 4-0 triumph. The one concern for Minnesota was the loss of Hannah Brandt to injury in the final period.

Are the Olympics almost over?
For the fourth straight week, No. 4 North Dakota was unable to record a sweep while missing players due to the Olympics. This result was the most painful, as UND was swept on home ice by Minnesota State, 4-2 and 2-1. North Dakota struck first in each contest and Meghan Dufault scored in both games for the hosts, but Danielle Butters made 45 stops in the first game and another 40 in the second as the Mavericks rallied. Lauren Barnes led the charge in the opener with a goal and two assists, as Katie Johnson, Shelby Moteyunas, and Nicole Germain also tallied. Outside of Butters, the Mavericks didn’t wake until the third period on Sunday. Once they did, Kari Lundberg one-timed a pass from Barnes on a power play to tie the game. With 3:30 remaining, Nicole Germain cleaned up a rebound after Tracy McCann drove the net and depleted the defenses to stun North Dakota.

Phoebe who?
Yale did a better job of coping this weekend in the absence of Swiss Olympian Phoebe Staenz. The Bulldogs went on the road and claimed three points. Versus No. 10 Quinnipiac, Krista Yip-Chuck, Kate Martini, and Hanna Åström scored in response to earlier tallies by Bobcats Shiann Darkangelo and Nicole Connery. Quinnipiac needed a goal from Kelly Babstock with 65 seconds to play to salvage the 3-3 tie.

Princeton wasn’t as fortunate. After taking a 3-1 lead on a goal by Hilary Lloyd and two by Fiona McKenna, the Tigers had a great view of the Jackie Raines show. Raines scored four times for Yale, and Yip-Chuck added another and assisted twice as Yale won, 5-3.

The haves and the have-nots
Some separation occurred in Hockey East as the top four teams enjoyed sweeps over those in the bottom half. In addition to BC over Maine, Boston University swept Providence, Northeastern did the same to Connecticut, and Vermont took a pair from New Hampshire.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
The struggles of No. 9 Robert Morris continued. Rebecca Vint scored short-handed in the third period on Friday to give the Colonials a 2-1 win at RIT, but Ali Binnington made 22 saves to shut them out on Saturday. Celeste Brown scored the game’s only goal on a first-period power play.

No. 5 Clarkson swept on the road at No. 6 Harvard, 2-1, and Dartmouth, 6-1. Erin Ambrose scored with just over five minutes left to defeat the Crimson. Genevieve Bannon led the way with two goals and two assists in the thumping of the Big Green.

Despite the setback at the hands of the Golden Knights, Harvard enjoyed a winning week. Samantha Reber scored with 10 seconds left in overtime to defeat BU in the Beanpot consolation game, 3-2. Reber had three points to key a 5-2 win over St. Lawrence.

No. 3 Cornell survived more than it flourished in defeating Union, 2-0, and Rensselaer, 6-5. Jessica Campbell and Jillian Saulnier scored unassisted goals against the Dutchwomen in support of Paula Voorheis’ 18-save shutout. Saulnier and Hanna Bunton netted a pair apiece on Saturday. Bunton’s second tally came in overtime after Ali Svoboda scored for the Engineers with 25 seconds remaining in regulation to extend the game.

Women’s D-I picks: Feb. 14

Well, I gained back two more games on Arlan, so perhaps I’ll make my loss in the season picks race respectable after all. last week, I went 14-3-6 to move to 239-77-40 on the year, while Arlan went 12-5-6 to 246-70-40 on the year.

Perhaps I can shoot for only a four-game deficit by the end of the year. We’re picking most of the games this week too, so who knows.

Friday, Feb. 14

St. Lawrence at Dartmouth
Candace: St. Lawrence is looking to gain some ground in the ECAC race, and keep momentum after the win over Quinnipiac. Dartmouth has improved, but not enough. St. Lawrence 3-2
Arlan: Dartmouth is getting better; SLU is getting better. Guess that means the Saints are a slight favorite. St. Lawrence 3-2

Clarkson at Harvard
Candace: I think I could flip a coin and pick this game with more accuracy. The Crimson held Clarkson’s high-flying offense in check back in November; can they do it again? I need to gain ground, however, so since Arlan picked Harvard, Clarkson it is. Clarkson 3-2
Arlan: The favorite in this game changes just about every week. Harvard 2-1

Yale at Quinnipiac
Candace: Quinnipiac blew it last week after tying Clarkson. They’ll be at home, and need the win. Quinnipiac 3-1
Arlan: Vital points for both the Bulldogs and the Bobcats, but the latter are at home. Quinnipiac 2-0

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 14-15

Robert Morris at RIT
Candace: Robert Morris swept the Tigers in two close games back in December. However, RMU hasn’t won in February, so I’ll give the Tigers the benefit of the doubt in the Friday game. RIT 3-2, Robert Morris 3-2
Arlan: RMU is only one game better than RIT in 2014. Probably a split, so I’ll let Candace guess at the order. Robert Morris 2-1, 4-3

Ohio State at Bemidji State
Candace: Bemidji got a win and a tie in Ohio back in the first half, but hasn’t won since Jan. 11. Coincidentally, that date was when OSU turned around its season by tying and winning a shootout against Minnesota. Ohio State 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: I predict there will be zero bench-clearing brawls. Ohio State 4-2, 2-1

Minnesota at Wisconsin
Candace: It doesn’t pay to pick against Minnesota, but I’ll give Wisconsin the win in the Fill the Bowl game Saturday. Minnesota 3-2, Wisconsin 2-1
Arlan: The Badgers likely take something, but the last two seasons have shown there is no percentage in predicting a Gophers’ loss. Minnesota 2-1, 1-0

Saturday, Feb. 14

Clarkson at Dartmouth
Candace: Dartmouth isn’t a gimme, but the Golden Knights should come through. Clarkson 4-2
Arlan: No matter the result of their Friday game at Harvard, the Golden Knights will have to refocus quickly. Clarkson 4-1

St. Lawrence at Harvard
Candace: I see no road to an upset in this one. Harvard 2-1
Arlan: The Crimson are 14-2-1 versus the Saints over the last seven seasons. Harvard 3-1

Yale at Princeton
Candace: Princeton looked awfully good last weekend. Princeton 3-1
Arlan: Yale is battling, but this will be a tough road game. Princeton 3-2

Cornell at Rensselaer
Candace: The Big Red will keep pace in the ECAC. Cornell 4-2
Arlan: If the Big Red get help from Clarkson or SLU, they could claim a fifth straight ECAC title despite losing to both Harvard and Clarkson last month. Cornell 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 14-15

Providence home-and-home with Boston University
Candace: Boston University looked good against Harvard, but made a big mistake that cost them in OT. I think the Terriers, playing at home, should come through. Boston University 4-2, 4-1
Arlan: For much of the season, Providence had defensive issues. Now the Friars are struggling to score. Boston University 5-1, 3-2

Boston College at Maine
Candace: The Eagles had a Beanpot hangover last weekend against Connecticut, so I think they’ll be extra on guard against that this weekend. Boston College 3-1, 4-1
Arlan: The Eagles should survive both the bus trip and the Black Bears. Boston College 2-1, 6-2

Connecticut at Northeastern
Candace: Northeastern has been one of the hotter teams in the country of late. Northeastern 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: A Beanpot hangover is possible, and Connecticut is .500 over its last 10 games, but I’ll stick with the percentages. Northeastern 3-2, 2-1

Vermont at New Hampshire
Candace: I’ve done dreadfully in picking New Hampshire games, so I’ll agree with Arlan’s picks so I don’t lose any more ground. Vermont 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: After a three-game winning streak at home, UNH has now lost six straight overall. Vermont 2-1, 4-2

Minnesota State at North Dakota
Candace: North Dakota is really missing some of its players who are in Sochi, but should come through. North Dakota 3-1, 2-1
Arlan: This series is not the slam dunk it might seem. North Dakota 1-0, 3-1

Women’s D-I wrap: Feb. 10

Losing control

A couple of ranked teams were unable to take care of business on home ice, and in the process, lost control of their conference races.

No. 3 Clarkson surrendered third-period goals to Amanda Colin and Shiann Darkangelo of Quinnipiac and had to settle for a 3-3 tie. Carly Mercer had scored twice in the middle stanza to give the Golden Knights the upper hand. Saturday’s contest followed a similar script with a different opponent. Brittany Styner scored twice in the second period to give Clarkson a lead; Kelsey Koelzer and Fiona McKenna struck in the third to earn a 2-2 tie for Princeton. The two points lost leave the Golden Knights in third place and unable to catch Cornell if the Big Red win their remaining four games.

No. 9 Robert Morris continued its slump, losing a third-period lead of its own to Syracuse in a 3-3 tie, before falling to the Orange, 3-1. In the opener, Brittany Howard had scored twice in combination with a Katie Fergus goal to give the Colonials the lead. Syracuse got an equalizer from Brittney Krebs at 11:28 of the third period; Melissa Piacentini tallied the other two markers, and Margot Scharfe and Allie LaCombe assisted on all three. Game two was all Orange, as Julie Knerr scored twice in the second period and Jessica Sibley assisted on both after opening the scoring 26 seconds into the game. Jenesica Drinkwater saved 37 of 38 shots in the Syracuse net. RMU is now three points down in the CHA race.

Beanpot rematch

Northeastern and No. 7 Boston College won Beanpot semifinals over Harvard and Boston University respectively to set up a rematch of last year’s championship game.

Kelly Wallace scored twice as the Huskies took a 4-1 lead through two periods and held on for a 4-3 win over the Crimson, who got a two-goal effort from Mary Parker.

BC led 3-0 after a period in the second semi and BU was unable to challenge beyond a Sara Lefort goal. Haley Skarupa had a pair of tallies after earlier strikes from Taylor Wasylk and Emily Field for the Eagles in their 4-1 victory.

Too little, too late?

Brown attempted to get back into the race for an ECAC playoff spot with its first sweep of the season, taking down Rensselaer, 3-0, and Union, 2-1. The Bears patched together some offense to topple RPI: Kaitlyn Keon scored on the power play, Sarah Robson converted a penalty shot and Maddie Woo hit an empty net. Aubree Moore needed 51 saves to protect her shutout. On Saturday, Moore outdueled Shenae Lundberg as the Bears came back to win behind goals from Jessica Hoyle and Monica Masucci, her first of the year.

Fans of February

A season ago, Lindenwood celebrated the arrival of February with a seven-game unbeaten streak. This February has produced a three-game winning streak for a Lions team that was 2-21-2 entering the month.

This week’s wins came on the road at Penn State by scores of 2-1 and 4-3. On Saturday, Alyssa West and Caitlyn Post scored first-period goals for Lindenwood, and Jenna Welch pulled Penn State within a goal. That’s where the scoring stopped, as Nicole Hensley made 45 saves, including 21 in a final period dominated by PSU.

Sunday’s game required an overtime goal by Kendra Broad to earn Lindenwood’s win. Broad and linemates Jocelyn Slattery and Lyndsay Kirkham all had at least a goal and an assist, with Kirkham contributing an extra assist. Penn State’s line of Amy Peterson, Laura Bowman and Hannah Hoenshell countered with two-point games each. Hensley recorded another 44 stops.

How the rest of the top 10 fared

Cornell, tied for No. 5, swept a home-and-home series from Colgate, but the Big Red struggled a bit with the road game. Cassandra Poudrier scored with just over three minutes to play to force overtime; Jillian Saulnier netted a game-winning goal with just 19 seconds left in the extra session to give Cornell a 4-3 win. Caroline DeBruin scored on a penalty shot and Emily Fulton had three points to overcome a two-goal game from the Raiders’ Taylor Volpe. Back on home ice, Alyssa Gagliardi broke a 1-1 tie in the second period and Hayleigh Cudmore provided the insurance goal in a 3-1 Cornell win.

The other No. 5, Harvard, got a 4-1 ECAC win at Dartmouth to go with its Beanpot loss. Miye D’Oench and Hillary Crowe each scored twice.

No. 2 Wisconsin got a sweep at Ohio State, 3-0 and 3-2. Brittany Ammerman scored three goals and Alex Rigsby backstopped both games.

No. 1 Minnesota recorded a home sweep over Bemidji State, 10-0 and 5-3, with Hannah Brandt scoring twice in each game.

Meghan Dufault returned to the lineup for No. 4 North Dakota and her three assists helped her team rally from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Minnesota-Duluth, 4-3. Josefine Jakobsen had two goals and an assist, while Jamie Kenyon netted a pair for the Bulldogs. UMD staged the rally on Sunday from two goals down to a 2-2 overtime tie and a shootout win after Hannah Bramm tipped in the tying goal with four minutes to play in regulation.

Connecticut got goals from Kayla Campero and Stephanie Raithby, and Elaine Chuli was up to the task on all 45 shots she faced from No. 7 Boston College in a 2-0 triumph for the Huskies.

No. 8 Quinnipiac followed up its tie at Clarkson by falling 3-0 at St. Lawrence. The Bobcats were unable to best Carmen MacDonald in 24 shots. Kailee Heidersbach netted two goals early and Mel Desrochers added the third.

Only series with Penn State and Lindenwood stand between No. 10 Mercyhurst and yet another CHA crown after the Lakers swept RIT, 5-1 and 5-2. Jenna Dingeldein and Christine Bestland produced a goal and two helpers in the opener. Dingeldein, Christie Cicero, and Kaleigh Chippy had a goal and an assist in the second win.

Women’s D-I picks: Feb. 7

Every time I even try to pick games that might allow me to gain ground on Arlan, I blow it. Last week, I went 20-4 (.833), while Arlan went 21-3 (.875). On the year, I am 225-74-34 (.726), while Arlan is 234-65-34 (.753).

Looks like I am dead to rights with only four weeks left.

Friday, Feb. 7

Quinnipiac at Clarkson
Candace: I’d like to try for the upset pick, but Clarkson has looked really good, and is home. Clarkson 4-1
Arlan: Arlan: I expect that the Golden Knights want to make a statement here. Clarkson 4-1

Harvard at Dartmouth
Candace: I thought Dartmouth might be over its malaise, but the Big Green’s results last week proved me wrong. Harvard 4-2
Arlan: Harvard looks a little more vulnerable with each passing week, and I’m sure the Big Green would love to exploit that. Harvard 3-1

Princeton at St. Lawrence
Candace: I picked against the Tigers last week and it cost me. Princeton 2-1
Arlan: This is a vote for home ice; beyond that, it looks even. St. Lawrence 2-1

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 7-8

RIT at Mercyhurst
Candace: The Lakers already lost once to RIT; it won’t happen again. Mercyhurst 4-2, 4-1
Arlan: All those banners hang in Erie because the Lakers figure out a way to win these games. Mercyhurst 4-3, 3-1

Syracuse at Robert Morris
Candace: The Colonials need to bounce back after losing to Lindenwood. Home ice should help in two close games. Robert Morris 2-1, 2-1
Arlan: Arlan: Which direction do the Colonials go after the crushing loss to Lindenwood? They still control a share of the CHA title. Robert Morris 1-0, 2-1

St. Cloud State at Minnesota State
Candace: This is a total split, and since I need to try to make my defeat by Arlan respectable, I’ll pick the opposite. Minnesota State 2-1, St. Cloud 3-1
Arlan: The fight to escape the WCHA cellar. Ever see “Inglorious Basterds?” I can hear Brad Pitt saying, “You know, fighting in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you’re fighting in a basement!” St. Cloud State 1-0, Minnesota State 2-1

Wisconsin at Ohio State
Candace: Ohio State has been hot the second half, but Wisconsin has the Buckeyes’ number. Wisconsin 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: The Badgers have more riding on this series, because the Buckeyes likely finish fifth no matter if they get points or not. Wisconsin 2-1, 4-0

Bemidji State at Minnesota
Candace: I’m sure at least one of these games will be really close, but it won’t prevent a Gophers’ sweep. Minnesota 4-1, 4-0
Arlan: It’s been awhile since a scrappy effort from BSU has produced points versus the Gophers. Minnesota 5-1, 3-0

Saturday, Feb. 8

Princeton at Clarkson
Candace: Clarkson continues to roll. Clarkson 3-1
Arlan: The Golden Knights can’t afford to look ahead a week to Harvard. Clarkson 4-1

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence
Candace: I’d like to pick the Saints, but the last time I did, I was wrong. Quinnipiac 3-2
Arlan: Probably a tie, but I can’t pick a tie. Quinnipiac 2-1

Rensselaer at Yale
Candace: I was really surprised Yale came out flat last weekend. Hopefully, home ice helps. Yale 3-2
Arlan: The winner of this game likely makes the ECAC tournament, but the loser’s odds are probably about even.  Rensselaer 2-1

New Hampshire at Boston University
Candace: New Hampshire seems to be fading fast. Boston University 3-1
Arlan: BU had a rough January, but UNH hasn’t had a winning month since October. Boston University 4-1

Northeastern at Providence
Candace: I picked Providence last week and got burnt. Northeastern 3-1
Arlan: One is hot, and the other is not. Northeastern 4-3

Boston College at Connecticut
Candace: The Eagles move one game closer to the Hockey East title. Boston College 3-1
Arlan: These are the type of games where the Eagles tend to be a tad flat, but they should win anyway. Boston College 2-0

Maine at Vermont
Candace: Maine will make this close, but I’m going with home ice. Vermont 2-1
Arlan: Maine was winless in its first 11 league games, but has won three of its last five. Vermont 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 8-9

North Dakota at Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: OT will happen in at least once, and a tie wouldn’t surprise me, since they had one last fall.  North Dakota 3-1, 3-0
Arlan: Series between these teams usually result in splits and overtime. I don’t think UND can sweep if Meghan Dufault is still out. North Dakota 3-2, 2-1

Tuesday, Feb. 11

Northeastern at Boston College (Beanpot Championship)
Candace: Northeastern has been one of the hottest teams in the last month, but I think the Eagles recapture the title. Boston College 3-1
Arlan: I think that the Huskies defend their title with everything they have, but the Eagles have more. Chloe Desjardins will have to commit larceny to flip the result. Boston College 4-2

Harvard versus Boston University (Beanpot Consolation)
Candace: This one could be a coin flip, but I’m not completely convinced the Terriers are fully back. Harvard 2-1
Arlan: Neither team can afford to start as slowly as it did in its Beanpot semifinal loss. Harvard 3-1

Women’s D-I wrap: Feb. 2

It’s getting crowded in here
January saw a number of games attract larger than typical crowds, and the month’s final day continued the trend. North Dakota drew 5,835 as it hosted Minnesota on Friday night with a $1 ticket promotion to attempt to set a new program attendance record, which it did, nearly doubling the old mark of 3,200.

Attendance for Colgate’s game hosting Brown on Friday to promote Autism Awareness, in conjunction with the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, was 1,124. The teams provided the fans with extra entertainment when the Bears battled back on goals by Ariana Rucker and Vanessa Welten to force overtime, offsetting earlier Raiders tallies by Melissa Kueber and Megan Wickens. Colgate fans went home happy when Taylor Volpe wristed in the game-winner 4:15 into overtime.

Colgate completed its first weekend sweep of the season with a 2-1 win over Yale on Saturday. Wickens and Kueber scored again, and Ashlynne Rando made 21 saves in holding the Bulldogs scoreless until the latter minutes of the game.

Lindenwood, Hensley, and other Colonials bedevilments
Some upsets come out of nowhere, while others are foreshadowed when one looks in the right place. A week after No. 8 Robert Morris got the split it needed with Mercyhurst to retain control of the CHA, the Colonials made a road trip to Lindenwood.

The weekend started well enough for RMU. Rebecca Vint posted her second consecutive hat trick to propel the Colonials to a 6-1 win on Friday night, with Katie Fergus and Brittany Howard also having three-point games.

On Saturday, the plan was to give Jessica Dodds a day off in net, but instead, it wound up as an off day for all of the Colonials. Lindenwood jumped on Courtney Vinet with two goals from its seven first-period shots, and Dodds was back between the pipes for the final two frames, not faring much better. Dodds was eventually saddled with the 4-2 loss when the Lions beat her twice in 11 shots. Lyndsay Kirkham and Kendra Broad scored twice apiece and assisted on the other goals, while Jocelyn Slattery added three helpers. Thea Imbrogno struck twice for RMU on the power play. Nicole Hensley continued tormenting the Colonials, making 26 of her 55 saves in the final 20 minutes.

Three of Hensley’s seven wins last year as a Lindenwood rookie came at the Colonials’ expense. She also set a record with 90 saves in a CHA Tournament game RMU eventually won in the third OT.

As players leave, others return
More players departed for Olympic stints, but others returned from injury to bolster lineups. Northeastern’s Claire Santostefano had two assists in her first game back, and just as importantly, gave the Huskies 14 skaters in their 4-2 win over Vermont. Katie MacSorley scored twice, Kelly Wallace added a goal and a helper, and Chloe Desjardins made 30 stops as the Huskies got their season record back to the .500 mark.

No. 7 Boston College welcomed back leading scorer Haley Skarupa after a four-game absence. She didn’t miss a beat, scoring twice in support of Corinne Boyles’ 23-save, 5-0 shutout. Junior Emily Field also had a goal, giving her 100 points as an Eagle.

Lauren Slebodnick was back in net for No. 6 Cornell, at least part of the time. Slebodnick came on in relief to start the third period on Friday night versus Yale with the game knotted at 3-3. She made seven saves in a perfect 20 minutes, picking up the 6-3 win. Six different players scored and five had two-point efforts for the Big Red. Slebodnick made the start on Saturday against Brown and left the game at 3:01 of the third period once her team took a 4-0 lead, and that’s how the game ended. Jillian Saulnier and Alyssa Gagliardi each had a goal and an assist, giving them four-point weekends.

Terriers regroup
Boston University rebounded from four straight losses that knocked it out of the rankings and the Hockey East lead by sweeping Connecticut, 2-1 and 5-2. Goals from Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga and Taylor Holze, a pair of Kaleigh Fratkin helpers, and a 20-save performance by Kerrin Sperry proved to be just enough in the opener in Storrs. Back in Boston, the top line took over as BU scored the game’s final three goals. Louise Warren had a hat trick plus a helper, and wings Samantha Sutherland and Sarah Lefort had three-point games, with Lefort netting the other two goals. Sarah MacDonnell and Michela Cava both had a goal plus an assist for the Huskies.

Buckeyes still ascending
Ohio State swept at St. Cloud State to improve to 6-1-3 in 2014. Goalie Lisa Steffes got plenty of support in the 4-1 and 6-1 wins; Claudia Kepler and Julia McKinnon had multi-point games in each. The victories and Minnesota-Duluth’s sweep of Bemidji State enabled the Buckeyes to move ahead of the Beavers and into fifth place in the WCHA.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 10 Mercyhurst celebrated a return to the rankings with a road sweep of Syracuse, 3-2 and 2-1. Sophomore Hannah Bale scored in each game, her first goals as a Laker. Amanda Makela totaled 57 saves in backing both victories. Coupled with the Robert Morris loss, the points moved the Lakers into a tie atop the CHA.

It was close but no cigar for Princeton versus No. 5 Harvard. Cassidy Tucker scored a rare power-play goal off of the Crimson penalty kill early in the third period to knot the score at 2-2. The Tigers committed only three penalties of their own in the game, but two came back-to-back midway in the frame, and Mary Parker capitalized to give Harvard a 3-2 win. Parker scored another third-period goal on Saturday to gain the Crimson a 2-2 tie at No. 9 Quinnipiac. Miye D’Oench had the other Harvard tally, while Shiann Darkangelo and Emma Woods lit the lamp for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats opened the weekend with a 3-1 triumph over Dartmouth, giving Rick Seeley his 100th win as Quinnipiac coach. After Emma Korbs opened the scoring for Dartmouth in the second period, Emma Woods drew Quinnipiac even in the stanza’s final minute and Morgan Fritz-Ward and Nicole Connery found paydirt for the Bobcats in the third period.

No. 4 Clarkson continued to look like a team on a mission, trouncing Union, 5-0, and Rensselaer, 5-1. Jamie Lee Rattray, the country’s leading scorer, scored a goal in each game and added four assists on Friday. Erica Howe’s shutout of the Dutchwomen gives her 10 on the season, a national best. Shannon MacAulay potted a pair of goals versus the Engineers.

A short-handed No. 3 North Dakota proved to be no match for No. 1 Minnesota, in more ways than one. Playing without three top scorers and a top defenseman due to international team absences and an injury to Meghan Dufault, UND scored the first and last goal of the weekend, but the Gophers scored eight straight in sweeping, 5-1 and 3-1. Minnesota’s power play converted on its first five chances to decide the series. Rookies Kate Schipper and Dani Cameranesi had two-goal games, while Meghan Lorence extended her personal streak to six straight games with a goal.

Women’s D-I picks: Jan. 31

I gained one whole game on Arlan last week, going 18-5-3 while Arlan went 17-6-2. On the year, I am 205-70-34, while Arlan is 213-62-34. He’s still rocking it, and I’m still trying to come back.

Friday, Jan. 31

Yale at Cornell
Candace: Yes, I like Yale, and no, the Bulldogs can’t beat Cornell on the road. Cornell 5-1
Arlan: Some frustration has likely built up for the Big Red. Cornell 6-1

Harvard at Princeton
Candace: This will be closer than it should be, but Harvard should pull through. Harvard 3-2
Arlan: Picking the Crimson is likely walking through a minefield; one step will prove costly, but it’s hard to predict when. Harvard 2-1

Dartmouth at Quinnipiac
Candace: I’d like to give Dartmouth the benefit of the doubt, but can’t. Quinnipiac 2-1
Arlan: The Bobcats are rested, but they can’t look past Dartmouth in anticipation of Harvard. Quinnipiac 4-2

St. Lawrence at Rensselaer
Candace: Can the Saints get momentum off the Cornell tie? Something tells me yes. St. Lawrence 3-1
Arlan: RPI’s 13 losses are by a total of 22 goals, and it scored 18 times in those defeats. Reminds me of a John Greenleaf Whittier quotation my mom used to say, “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.’” St. Lawrence 2-1

Mercyhurst at Syracuse
Candace: Syracuse has fallen off a bit since some big early season wins. Mercyhurst 3-2, 4-2
Arlan: Possible letdown for the Lakers after the RMU series, plus a quick Saturday turnaround; however, Syracuse never beats them. Mercyhurst 4-2, 2-1

Boston University home-and-home with Connecticut
Candace: Last week did not go as anticipated. I’ll guess home team for each. Connecticut 3-2, Boston University 4-2
Arlan: Will BU’s troubles end as January does? Sure, why not. Connecticut 4-3, Boston University 3-2

Minnesota-Duluth at Bemidji State
Candace: This could be a preview of the first round WCHA series. I think at least one game goes to overtime. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2, 2-1
Arlan: Better UMD teams than this one have had struggles in Bemidji. Minnesota-Duluth 4-0, Bemidji State 2-0

Ohio State at St. Cloud State
Candace: OSU is getting better, and should just hold off the Huskies. Ohio State 2-1, 2-1
Arlan: What’s the safer pick, hotter team or home ice? I’ll go with the former. Ohio State 1-0, 3-1

Minnesota at North Dakota
Candace: This will be a dogfight, even with the players UND is missing, but the Gophers should sweep. Minnesota 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: The Gophers are more used to playing in front of the big crowd they may see Friday than they are facing a ranked opponent; it’s been more than 10 weeks since the latter. Minnesota 3-2, 2-1

Saturday, Feb. 1

Yale at Colgate
Candace: Yale will need to bounce back after Saturday’s loss. Yale 3-2
Arlan: The role of spoiler is all that Colgate has left, and Yale looks ripe for the picking, but it’s hard to pick a team with two league wins. Yale 4-3

Dartmouth at Princeton
Candace: Do I dare pick the Big Green? Why not? Dartmouth 3-2
Arlan: How much improved is Dartmouth? Princeton 4-3

Harvard at Quinnipiac
Candace: This will be an interesting game, but I think Harvard will be on guard against a letdown that loses them the ECAC crown. Harvard 2-1
Arlan: The Bobcats must really want a win over Harvard, but the Crimson only lose to unranked teams. Harvard 1-0

Clarkson at Rensselaer
Candace: Again, this should probably be a close game, considering that RPI plays well when facing top teams, but I think the Engineers fall short. Clarkson 2-1
Arlan: I really feel like the Engineers are going to win this one for some reason, but Candace won’t give me odds or points or nothing. Clarkson 3-2

Providence at Boston College
Candace: BC takes another step toward its first Hockey East regular season title. Boston College 6-4
Arlan: It seems like I’m always predicting the same scores. Boston College 8-3

Vermont at Northeastern
Candace: This could go to OT, but ultimately I have to go with the home team. Northeastern 2-1
Arlan: The Huskies display renewed purpose. Northeastern 4-1

Sunday, Feb. 2

Vermont at Providence
Candace: Home ice seems to make a big difference for Providence. Providence 4-2
Arlan: Every time I pick Providence, the Friars lose, and I think Candace knows that, so I won’t pick them. Vermont 5-3

Tuesday, Feb. 4

St. Lawrence at Syracuse
Candace: St. Lawrence is 0-for-4 against CHA teams this season. Syracuse 2-1
Arlan: The Orange have as many wins as Cornell does. Syracuse 2-1

Boston University at Boston College (Beanpot)
Candace: I think BU will get up for this game in a big way, but fall short. Boston College 3-2
Arlan: If the Terriers aren’t out of their funk, then this could get ugly fast. Boston College 6-2

Northeastern at Harvard (Beanpot)
Candace: Again a squeaker, but Emerance Maschmeyer outduels Chloe Desjardins. Harvard 3-2
Arlan: It’ll come down to a Harvard bounce — or maybe even a shootout. Harvard 2-1

Women’s D-I wrap: Jan. 27

Olympic absences, overtimes, and other significant results
We’ve reached that point of an Olympic year where players start to disappear off of their college rosters as they join their national teams for camps leading up to the Sochi Games. That can impact conference races or national positioning.

Six of Friday’s games went beyond 60 minutes. In general, it appears that the field has become more tightly bunched as the season has progressed. Most of the squads that struggled initially are proving to be more competitive as they gain experience.

Showdowns in the CHA and ECAC provided more insight as to how those races will unfold, and Boston College continues to pull away in Hockey East.

Yale and Brown play historic series
The Bulldogs and the Bears played a noteworthy home-and-home series. Friday’s match in New Haven drew a program-record crowd of 1,124 fans to watch a 2-2 tie in the White Out for Mandi. That bettered the attendance mark set at the White Out for Mandi of 1,066 on Nov. 12, 2010 versus Rensselaer. Early estimates of the donations to the Mandi Schwartz Foundation from the contest were at least $29,000.

In the game, Phoebe Staenz gave Yale a first-period lead when she picked off a pass at neutral ice, flew up the rink and split the defense, and finished by zipping a shot to the top corner. Catherine LeBoeuf tied the score on a second-period power play, but Jamie Haddad put the Bulldogs back on top midway through the third period. With under three minutes to play, Jessica Hoyle pulled Brown even, and that’s how the game ended. Two of the circuit’s top goalies battled to a stalemate, with Aubree Moore making 31 saves for the Bears and Yale’s Jaimie Leonoff responding with 29 saves of her own.

On home ice in Providence on Saturday, Brown celebrated 50 years of the program. Brittany Moorehead staked the Bears to a lead halfway through the first period, and that held up until Krista Yip-Chuck struck short-handed for the visitors to ignite a third-period rally. The Bulldogs added two additional goals at six-minute intervals by Haddad and Tara Tomimoto to earn a 3-1 victory. Yale is now unbeaten in its last five games, a feat it last accomplished in early 2007.

Robert Morris finally falls
No. 8 Robert Morris saw a lengthy unbeaten streak of its own come to an end on Saturday. The Colonials hadn’t been bested in their previous 14 skates before losing at Mercyhurst, 5-3, as each team was whistled for a dozen penalties. The Lakers charged out of the gate, taking a 2-0 lead as they outshot the visitors, 17-0, in the opening 20 minutes. In defeat, Rebecca Vint had the type of hat trick Gordie Howe would approve, scoring all three RMU goals on power plays and adding a trio of minors. Thea Imbrogno assisted on all three. Mercyhurst got three power-play goals of its own, but added a couple more while the teams were at full strength. Shelby Bram, Christine Bestland, and Molly Byrne all had three-point games for the Lakers and Kaleigh Chippy tallied twice. Rookie Jessica Dodds took her first loss of the year, having stayed undefeated through her first 19 decisions.

In spite of losing the battle, the Colonials may have done enough to win the CHA war. They dominated the second period on Friday, owning a 13-1 advantage in shots and scoring three times. Mackenzie Johnston found the net twice and Vint struck while on a penalty kill. All that the Lakers could muster was a late goal by Byrne on a power play with an extra attacker on the ice as they lost, 3-1.

The results keep RMU atop the CHA standings by a game, so Mercyhurst will need help to extend its streak of league titles.

Clarkson jumps back into ECAC picture
No. 6 Clarkson thrust itself back into the race in ECAC Hockey by winning twice, most notably upending No. 4 Cornell, 3-1. Jamie Lee Rattray, the country’s leading scorer, assisted on Vanessa Gagnon’s goal in the first period and scored an insurance goal in the second stanza. Carly Mercer had the game’s first tally for the Golden Knights, while Brittany Styner and Erin Ambrose each had a pair of helpers. Clarkson opened the weekend by dumping Colgate, 5-2; Rattray netted a hat trick plus an assist, Ambrose assisted four times, and Mercer had three points.

The Big Red managed only a single point from their North Country trip, as they had to settle for a frustrating 1-1 tie at St. Lawrence on Friday. Carmen MacDonald stymied Cornell, turning aside 51 shots. Jenna Marks gave the Saints a lead 12 minutes in, and it took more than two periods before Hanna Bunton was able to score the equalizer. Paula Voorheis played both games in the Big Red net.

North Dakota wobbles but survives
No. 3 North Dakota was playing without three of its top four scorers, but managed at 3-3 tie and a 2-1 win as it hosted Bemidji State. Meghan Dufault was injured and Michelle Karvinen and Susanna Tapani had left to join the Finnish Olympic team, but team points leader Josefine Jakobsen stepped up with two goals and an assist on the weekend. After Jakobsen put UND ahead with less than two minutes to play in the opener, Kaitlyn Tougas scored in the final minute with her team short-handed and its goalie off for an extra attacker to forge the tie. Tanja Eisenschmid scored the decisive goal on Saturday, but an Olympic sabbatical looms for her as well.

Boston University malaise worsens
January continues to be unkind to No. 10 Boston University. The Terriers slumped to 2-5 in the month as they were swept out of Vermont, 4-2 and 5-1. Roxanne Douville made 56 saves on the weekend, and the Catamounts featured a balanced attack with goals by eight different players, including one in each game from Delia McNally. Gina Repaci supplied a pair of helpers from the blue line in each contest. BU has lost its last four games.

Northeastern short on bodies, not resolve
Northeastern extended its winning streak to four games, despite having only 13 skaters available for all of those contests. The Huskies swept Maine in Boston. Brittany Esposito scored with 5:29 left in regulation to force overtime, and then assisted on Kelly Wallace’s game-winner at 2:54 in the extra session. Esposito and Heather Mottau had three-point games. Saturday’s 8-2 triumph was more convincing. Esposito and Wallace tallied twice with an assist, and Hayley Masters had three helpers.

Buckeyes battling
Ohio State went to overtime for the fourth straight game on Friday, and this time, emerged a 3-2 winner without the need of a shootout. Julia McKinnon scored 38 seconds into OT after Minnesota State had staged a third-period rally on goals by Nicole Germaine and Shelby Moteyunas. The Buckeyes won, 4-2, on Saturday to extend their unbeaten streak to five. Claudia Kepler scored twice, part of a five-point weekend for the freshman.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 2 Wisconsin swept rival Minnesota-Duluth, 3-1 and 2-0. Alex Rigsby needed just 37 saves to earn both wins. Brittany Ammerman and Blayre Turnbull had a goal and an assist in the first game; Sarah Nurse matched that in the second contest.

No. 1 Minnesota had similar success versus St. Cloud State, winning 3-0 and 3-1. Meghan Lorence scored three goals, giving her tallies in four straight games. Kate Schipper and Rachel Ramsey had three assists in the series.

No. 5 Harvard has the country’s second-best winning percentage after claiming wins over Union, 2-1, and Rensselaer, 3-1. Brianna Laing shut out the Dutchwomen with 15 stops. Hillary Crowe had three goals on the weekend, including two in the victory over the Engineers where Emerance Maschmeyer recorded 30 saves.

No Haley Skarupa, no problem, for No. 7 Boston College. It swept both ends of a home-and-home series with New Hampshire and ran the nation’s second-longest unbeaten streak to nine games. Taylor Wasylk provided three goals and two assists in 5-3 and 3-2 triumphs. Dana Trivigno had five points as well, including four in the first game in Boston.

Women’s D-I picks: Jan. 24

So much for making a comeback. Arlan put more distance between me and him last weekend. It could be all over but for the fat lady to sing. Last weekend, I went 15-6-5 to move to 187-65-31 on the year, while Arlan went 17-4-5 to move to 196-56-31 on the year.

I’m still trying to catch him though.

Friday, Jan. 24

Rensselaer at Dartmouth
Candace: I have to make up ground somehow, and Dartmouth is at home. Dartmouth 2-1
Arlan: The Engineers were one of two teams Dartmouth beat in the first half, and it completed the sweep of Colgate. Rensselaer 2-1

Union at Harvard
Candace: This might be a closer game than expected, but the favorite should prevail. Harvard 3-1
Arlan: The answer seems obvious, so I’m not going to make this harder than it has to be. Harvard 4-0

Cornell at St. Lawrence
Candace: St. Lawrence is not back to form unfortunately. Cornell 4-1
Arlan: The Saints are trying but getting little to show for their efforts. Cornell 5-2

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 24-25

Robert Morris at Mercyhurst
Candace: Home ice should be good for at least one win for the Lakers. Mercyhurst 3-2, Robert Morris 3-2
Arlan: Many banners hang in Erie because the Lakers always get the better of these series; maybe not this time. Mercyhurst 2-1, Robert Morris 3-2

Brown home-and-home with Yale
Candace: Mandi Schwartz’s brother Jaden, who plays for the St. Louis Blues, will be at Friday’s celebration of his sister with all of his teammates. Yale may come out flat after that emotional game, but I think the Bulldogs sweep. Yale 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: The biggest risk for the Bulldogs is a letdown after Friday’s White Out for Mandi. Yale 4-0, 2-1

Maine at Northeastern
Candace: No, Candace can’t pick Maine, especially since Northeastern is looking dangerous again. Northeastern 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: The Black Bears are confident after a league win; can the Huskies’ thin roster hold up? Would Candace pick Maine? Northeastern 4-2, 2-1

Boston University at Vermont
Candace: As Arlan says, a split is entirely possible with the Terriers reeling, but I have no idea which night is which, so I’ll pick the Terriers. Boston University 2-1, 2-1
Arlan: Something is clearly wrong with the Terriers, but in what order might a split play out? Boston University 3-2, 2-0

Minnesota State at Ohio State
Candace: OSU posted impressive back-to-back results against Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth. I think the Buckeyes keep it going. Ohio State 3-2, 4-1
Arlan: With just three goals in their last five games, the puck just isn’t going in for the Mavericks right now. Ohio State 2-1, 3-1

St. Cloud State at Minnesota
Candace: To answer Arlan’s poser, no, the Huskies can’t. Minnesota 4-1, 5-1
Arlan: Ohio State ended a long losing skid to Minnesota this month; can the Huskies do the same? Minnesota 4-1, 3-1

Bemidji State at North Dakota
Candace: North Dakota really needs these games ahead of next weekend’s series with Minnesota. I’m sure they’ll be close though. North Dakota 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: I know that BSU will battle hard, but UND is just as desperate for points and more talented. North Dakota 4-1, 1-0

Saturday, Jan. 25

Cornell at Clarkson
Candace: Again, I need to gain ground on Arlan somehow. This will probably go to OT, and could be a preview of the ECAC Championship. Cornell 3-2
Arlan: Shannon Desrosiers said that home ice means a lot in this series, so I’ll go with that. Clarkson 2-1

Union at Dartmouth
Candace: Union really let me down last weekend against RPI in the picks race. Dartmouth 3-2
Arlan: The Big Green are making progress with three wins after Christmas, only two before then. Dartmouth 3-1

Rensselaer at Harvard
Candace: Harvard will be extra on guard against losing for a second time to RPI. Harvard 3-1
Arlan: I don’t expect lightning to strike twice in the same place and the same season. Harvard 2-0

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 25-26

New Hampshire home-and-home with Boston College
Candace: BC already had its one loss to New Hampshire. After pulling away more from BU last weekend, the Eagles won’t want to give ground back. Boston College 4-1, 4-2
Arlan: The Eagles may not be as superior as first thought, but they’re still the favorite versus any Hockey East opponent. Boston College 3-2, 4-1

Providence home-and-home with Connecticut
Candace: Providence still hasn’t established consistency, so I’ll go with home ice in each. Connecticut 2-1, Providence 3-2
Arlan: The only saving grace is that series like this have to be just as unfathomable for Candace. Providence 5-4, 3-1

Minnesota-Duluth at Wisconsin
Candace: Duluth’s offense struggles, which is Bad News Bears against the best goaltending duo in the country. Wisconsin 3-1, 2-1
Arlan: The Bulldogs always seem to get a win from UW at some point, but this season, they’re still looking. Wisconsin 2-1, 3-0

Women’s D-I wrap: Jan. 20

Terriers finally trip
When No. 9 Boston University lost to Boston College on Jan. 8, that broke a streak of 23 straight conference wins for the Terriers. Because none of those 23 victories came over the Eagles, it was largely a case of BU beating those teams over which it was a favorite.

That string also came to an end on Friday at Providence after 24 victories over Hockey East teams other than BC. The Friars came from two down and scored the game’s final three goals to win, 4-3. Cassidy Carels tied the game in the second period and scored the game-winner in the third, both on the power play, with Haley Frade and Molly Illikainen assisting. Carels earlier had helpers on the goals by Beth Hanrahan and Rebecca Morse, allowing Providence to overcome a two-goal effort by Maddie Elia of the Terriers.

Things didn’t get any better for BU on Sunday, as it was upended by Northeastern, 4-2. Sarah Lefort scored for the Terriers to give her 19 goals on the season, tied for tops in the country. However, the Huskies got two goals from Brittany Esposito, and a goal and a pair of assists by Paige Savage, to win despite having only 13 skaters available. Northeastern also triumphed on Wednesday at Connecticut, 3-1, while being similarly short of bodies.

Colonials not going away
In most seasons, the fresh new face from the first half of the season begins to cool off as January lengthens. No. 8 Robert Morris faced its biggest test of the season to date, on the road at No. 10 Quinnipiac, and while RMU didn’t quite ace the test, it did pass convincingly.

The Colonials battled back to earn a 1-1 tie on Friday. Cydney Roesler’s goal 18 seconds into the third period had the Bobcats poised for a big win, but Anneline Lauziere scored on a late power play to even the score, and 36 saves by Jessica Dodds allowed the visitors to overcome a territorial disadvantage.

On Saturday, RMU took advantage of specialty situations in the second period to score four unanswered goals and went on to win, 5-1. Rebecca Vint scored both short-handed and on the power play, Rikki Meilleur tallied four-on-four, and Lauziere added another power-play marker. Thea Imbrogno connected on a third-period breakaway to offset an earlier score by Shelby Wignall for the Bobcats. Vint finished with four points and Dodds made 26 saves in staying undefeated through her first 18 starts.

Crimson improve prospects for crown
No. 6 Harvard’s 5-4 win at Colgate on Friday was less than emphatic. Melissa Kueber put the Raiders up, 4-2, in the third, but Miye D’Oench, Elizabeth Parker, and Hillary Crowe produced goals in a spirited rally over a 3:26 stretch over the back half of the third period. D’Oench finished with three points, and Crowe tallied twice.

The Crimson responded on Saturday with what is likely their best game of the season in a 3-1 victory at No. 3 Cornell. D’Oench opened the scoring and Marissa Gedman got the lead back after Anna Zorn had tied it up. Mary Parker finished the scoring into an empty net. Samantha Reber had a pair of helpers and Emmerance Maschmeyer was back in form with 30 saves. As seems to be their custom, the Crimson were outshot in both wins.

The Big Red opened the weekend with a 3-0 victory over Dartmouth when Taylor Woods scored twice and Paula Voorheis posted a 30-save shutout. Thanks to a game in hand on Harvard, Cornell still controls its own destiny for the ECAC title after losing the head-to-head with the Crimson and being down by a point in the standings.

Bulldogs fit to be tied
The Bulldogs were unable to win, but then, they didn’t lose either. Which Bulldogs? Pick one.

Host Yale got the weekend started with a 3-3 tie with No. 5 Clarkson. The Bulldogs’ Jamie Haddad opened the scoring while short-handed late in the first period, only to have Erin Ambrose respond for the Golden Knights on the same power play. Jamie Lee Rattray gave Clarkson its first lead with the only goal of the second period. Gretchen Tarrant tied the score, but it took only 67 seconds for Brittany Styner to give the visitors another lead. Three minutes later, Phoebe Staenz completed the scoring. Jaimie Leonoff needed 52 saves in the Yale net to earn her squad a point.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs got another game-tying goal, this time at 13 minutes of the third period from Taylor Marchin, for a 1-1 final versus St. Lawrence. Rylee Smith had given the Saints the lead back in the first frame. The ice was far less tilted in this contest, as Leonoff made 30 saves to 33 for Carmen MacDonald.

Farther west, the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs played to 0-0 and 2-2 ties with Ohio State. Nobody could figure out UMD’s Kayla Black all day as she made 21 saves during regular play and stopped all three Buckeyes in the shootout. Lisa Steffes was just as strong in the OSU net, making 34 stops. Katerina Marazova, the newest Bulldog, finally broke through in the shootout to gain UMD the extra WCHA point.

On Sunday, Ally Tarr scored her second game-tying goal in as many weeks at 15:17 of the third period. Until then, UMD looked to be positioned for the win, thanks to goals by Ashleigh Brykaliuk and Zoe Hickel sandwiched around one by Claudia Kepler. Once in the shootout, Steffes denied two shooters and both Annie Svedin and Kepler converted for the Buckeyes. The three points earned on the weekend allow Ohio State to move ahead of both Minnesota State and St. Cloud State into sixth in the WCHA.

Wisconsin wins record and status quo in rest of WCHA
The bottom four teams in the WCHA standings played series against the top half of the league, and the Buckeyes were the only lower-division team to gain points, as the top three enjoyed sweeps.

Minnesota State’s Danielle Butters had a busy weekend in facing 101 shots from No. 1 Minnesota. Whether it was outside in a chilly TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis or in All-Seasons Arena in Mankato, the games followed a similar script. The Gophers scored early in the first, held that lead until the latter stages of the second period, then blew the game open with a surge. Sarah Davis had three points outside in a 4-0 win, Kelly Terry scored twice and Rachel Ramsey contributed three assists in a 5-0 victory on the road, and Meghan Lorence and Rachael Bona scored in both games. The two shutouts give Amanda Leveille eight on the season, second to Clarkson’s Erica Howe with nine.

No. 2 Wisconsin took host Bemidji State down by 6-0 and 3-1 scores. Ann-Renée Desbiens turned in the 19-save shutout and was backed by three-point games by Blayre Turnbull, Brittany Ammerman, and Kaitlyn Harding, with the line of the latter pair including two goals. The news from the second game was Alex Rigsby’s return to the Badgers’ net. The senior picked up career win 92 to move ahead of Jessie Vetter for most in Wisconsin history. Her team took a lead in the second period on a power-play goal by Katy Josephs and Ammerman short-handed. Alex Citrowske moved BSU within a goal in the third period, but Karley Sylvester provided the coup de grâce into an empty net.

Results were similar in Grand Forks, where North Dakota triumphed over St. Cloud State, 4-0 and 3-1. Goals from Josefine Jakobsen, Gracen Hirschy, Andrea Dalen, and Layla Marvin were added to the 16 saves from Lexie Shaw in a comfortable win. On Saturday, Hanna Brodt broke the ice with the Huskies’ only tally of the weekend, but Michelle Karvinen struck twice to reverse the advantage. When Jakobsen hit an empty net, everyone on her line with Karvinen and Amy Menke finished with two points.

Engineers gain key sweep
Rensselaer was able to move up to sixth in the ECAC by sweeping Union, 4-1 and 3-0. The RPI defense was stout in front of Kelly O’Brien, holding the Dutchwomen to 11 and 18 shots. Ali Svoboda scored twice in the first game, as did Lauren Wash in the second. Jordan Smelker had two points in each in her return from an injury.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 7 Boston College quelled any drama while playing without star Haley Skarupa in sweeping Vermont, 5-2 and 2-0. Melissa Bizzari and Haley McLean led the way in the opener by each scoring and adding a couple of helpers. Corinne Boyles’ 34 saves ensured that tallies by Emily Pfalzer and Andie Anastos would be enough in game two.

In the aftermath of the tie with Yale, Clarkson responded with an onslaught against Brown. It had a 32-4 advantage in shots on goal by the time the Golden Knights’ lead grew to 3-0 at 7:30 of the second period on goals by Genevieve Bannon, Olivia Howe, and Carly Mercer. Clarkson was able to coast to a 4-1 win.

2014 Hockey Humanitarian Award nominees announced
The BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation announced 18 nominees for this year’s award, and they include:

  • Amanda Colin, Quinnipiac;
  • Alyssa Gagliardi, Cornell;
  • Ashley Johnston, Union;
  • Brandi Pollock, Robert Morris;
  • Danielle Rancourt, Vermont;
  • Jocelyn Simpson, Colgate; and
  • Kelly Wallace, Northeastern.

All seven are seniors. The foundation will announce the finalists in February and recognize the recipient of the award on April 11 in Philadelphia at the Men’s Frozen Four.

Women’s D-I picks: Jan. 17

When Candace won our contest last week, why did I immediately have thoughts of the Colts’ comeback from 28 points down to defeat the Chiefs in the first round of the NFL playoffs? Last week, Candace went 17-5-5 to move to 172-59-26 on the year, while I went 15-7-5 to move to 179-52-26 on the year.

Will she make up ground this weekend, or will I rebuild the lead?

Friday, Jan. 17

RIT at Syracuse
Candace: Oh boy. I really want to pick RIT, but I think home ice pushes the Orange over the top. Syracuse 2-1
Arlan: The Tigers got their first win over the Orange last week; can they make it two straight? Syracuse 3-2

St. Lawrence at Brown
Candace: St. Lawrence just suffered a season sweep by Clarkson for the first time ever; the Saints will want to make up for that. St. Lawrence 3-1
Arlan: After six losses and playing seven of the last eight on the road, the Saints are traveling again. St. Lawrence 2-0

Dartmouth at Cornell
Candace: Dartmouth always troubles Cornell, and will do so again, but fall short. Cornell 4-2
Arlan: Dartmouth’s offense seems revived after the break and the Big Red’s defense was a tad leaky last week, but Cornell is No. 3 in the country for a reason. Cornell 5-3

Clarkson at Yale
Candace: Yale beating Harvard means the Golden Knights will be on their guard. Clarkson 3-1
Arlan: Can Yale surprise another ranked team this weekend? Probably not, but I don’t expect the Bulldogs to lose by seven this time. Clarkson 3-1

Boston University at Providence
Candace: Providence is getting better, but I’ll probably pick BU against anyone in Hockey East except BC until proven otherwise. Boston University 3-1
Arlan: The Friars have won five of their last nine, so why do they still seem so cold to me? Boston University 4-3

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 17-18

Union home-and-home with Rensselaer
Candace: Union has surprised me on more than one occasion this year. I’ll give them a win at home. Rensselaer 3-1, Union 2-1
Arlan: In a tie for seventh, the Engineers are only three points up on Union, so these are key points. The Dutchwomen have done better in the first game of the weekend, but they are winless on the road in the ECAC. Rensselaer 3-1, 1-0

Vermont at Boston College
Candace: BC struggled against Northeastern last week, but probably remembers that Vermont cost them big time last year. Boston College 4-1, 4-2
Arlan: The Eagles came through a stretch of four straight versus ranked teams at 2-1-1, but then looked uninspiring against Northeastern. Boston College 4-2, 6-1

Wisconsin at Bemidji State
Candace: I’ll probably take Wisconsin over anyone except Minnesota. Wisconsin 3-1, 4-2
Arlan: I agree with whatever Candace just said. Wisconsin 2-1, 4-0

Minnesota State home-and-home with Minnesota
Candace: Ohio State threw a monkey wrench at Minnesota last week, so the Gophers will want to take that out on anyone they can. Minnesota 4-1, 4-1
Arlan: Forecast high for Friday’s outdoor game is 10 above, but it should miss the snow on either side and the worst of the wind. Minnesota 4-1, 2-1

St. Cloud State at North Dakota
Candace: St. Cloud is getting better, but North Dakota really needs these games. North Dakota 3-1, 4-1
Arlan: The Huskies came close in the teams’ first meeting, but I get the sense that UND is pulling away. North Dakota 3-1, 5-1

Robert Morris at Quinnipiac
Candace: Quinnipiac will probably get at least a point out of this somewhere, but I’ll go out on a limb and pick a Colonials sweep. Robert Morris 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: The series of the week and an important one for PairWise implications. Quinnipiac 2-1, Robert Morris 2-1

Saturday, Jan. 18

Dartmouth at Colgate
Candace: Dartmouth gets another one in the W column. Dartmouth 4-1
Arlan: The Big Green show greater signs of improvement. Dartmouth 3-1

Harvard at Cornell
Candace: I might have been tempted to pick Harvard if this game had happened before Yale beat the Crimson. Cornell 3-1
Arlan: The league’s best offense and best defense overall collide, so which style game will we see? Cornell 2-1

St. Lawrence at Yale
Candace: This game seems like a huge trap, but St. Lawrence beat Yale earlier in the year, so… St. Lawrence 2-1
Arlan: Here’s where having a strong travel partner pays dividends for the Saints. St. Lawrence 3-2

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 18-19

New Hampshire home-and-home with Connecticut
Candace: Connecticut got a surprise win against Vermont on the road last weekend, but before that hadn’t won since November. UNH has off-ice issues that could be a distraction. I was going to pick a UNH sweep, until I remembered UNH has bedeviled me most of the year. Connecticut 2-1, New Hampshire 4-2
Arlan: Each team can see a long losing streak in its rear-view mirror. My gut says tie, tie, but I lack the conviction to make that my final answer. Connecticut 2-1, New Hampshire 3-2

Ohio State at Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: OSU is getting better, but I have trouble picking against the Bulldogs on home ice. Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, 3-2
Arlan: Both teams have to be optimistic about 2014 thus far, but it’s likely only one will still feel that way on Sunday night. I’m going with home cooking, although the road team has won the last eight in these teams’ meetings. Minnesota-Duluth 4-3, 2-1

Sunday, Jan. 19

Northeastern at Boston University
Candace: Northeastern will make this a battle, but fall short. Boston University 3-2
Arlan: Against unranked teams, the Terriers keep finding ways to win. Boston University 4-2

Providence at Maine
Candace: Something tells me the Friars are back to a better form. Providence 3-2
Arlan: The Black Bears seem overdue for their first league win. Maine 4-3

BNY Mellon Wealth Management