What to Watch: Dec. 4

Individual sports like tennis often have ladders where participants challenge others of similar ability but a slightly higher ranking, and then the challenger moves up the ladder with a win. The schedule this weekend offers something similar in several leagues for the last full slate of games in 2015.

The purest example occurs in the WCHA, where the league’s top two teams meet in a series, as do its third and fourth, fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth.

The CHA is almost as competitively matched. Here the first and third teams square off, while the team in second is visited by the one in fourth, and the fifth-place squad travels to the one in sixth.

ECAC Hockey doesn’t have two-game series, so it has more variety in its schedule this week as always. The action does include a number of opponents dueling in the standings, such as the top two teams, as well as the bottom two. Every team in the league has a least one game versus a team that it could either overtake or be passed by in the standings by the conclusion of Saturday’s games.

Hockey East? When you consider that more than half of the nine-team league is currently tied for fourth place, it would be hard to craft a schedule that did not have standings implications.

Here are some of the games that figure to be most closely contested.

Lindenwood at RIT, Friday, 2 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 2 p.m. EST
The Tigers are still looking for their first points in the league, and it would figure that hosting the fifth-place team would provide the best opportunity. However, as we’ve seen in recent years, RIT doesn’t always do things as one might expect. The Lions took three of four points in Rochester a year ago.

Yale at Rensselaer, Friday, 3 p.m. EST
After two straight years in the postseason, the Bulldogs are currently on the outside of the playoff picture. RPI is one of the teams above them that they could easily catch, so these two points are huge. The Engineers last won a game in this series in February 2013.

Brown at Union, Friday, 3 p.m. EST
The Dutchwomen are still looking for their first win overall; they won’t get a better chance than this. The Bears, winless in the ECAC, are the last remaining team on Union’s schedule over whom it has an advantage in scoring margin.

St. Cloud State at No. 10 Minnesota-Duluth, Friday, 3:07 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 3:07 p.m. CST
Thanks to upsets of North Dakota and Harvard the past two weeks, the Bulldogs broke into the rankings. Nobody is talking about the Huskies, but UMD would need a sweep to pass them in the standings.

Robert Morris at Mercyhurst, Friday, 7 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 2 p.m. EST
The CHA team that most seems to relish facing the league bully gets its first chances this season.

Colgate at No. 5 Clarkson, Friday, 7 p.m. EST
Despite being winless in the ECAC, Colgate could pass the Golden Knights if its first victory occurs in Potsdam. The Raiders did win there three years ago, so their seniors know it can be done.

Cornell at St. Lawrence, Friday, 7 p.m. EST
The Big Red find themselves trailing the Saints. That’s often been the case, although in recent years, it has usually been reversed.

No. 9 North Dakota at No. 6 Bemidji State, Friday, 7:07 p.m. CST, Bemidji State at North Dakota, Sunday, 2:07 p.m. CST
When these two played back in October, it took a game and a half before anyone scored. Look for offensive explosions this time. You won’t see them, but it never hurts to look.

No. 3 Minnesota at No. 1 Wisconsin, Friday, 7:07 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 3:07 p.m. CST
Participants in the 2015 Frozen Four collide for the first time. Enough said.

Boston University at Connecticut, Saturday, 3 p.m. EST, Connecticut at Boston University, Sunday, 3 p.m. EST
BU stole the game on Oct. 2 thanks to a Rebecca Russo buzzer beater.

Dartmouth at Princeton, Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
These points could factor into who hosts and who doesn’t once the quarterfinals arrive.

No. 7 Harvard at No. 4 Quinnipiac, Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
Showdown for the lead in the ECAC, plus pivotal PairWise jockeying.

Dartmouth at New Hampshire, Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST
Granite State bragging rights are on the line. The road team last won in 2011, when they played twice and both teams fell at home.

Women’s D-I picks: Dec. 4

I had a pretty good week last weekend, going 20-6-1 (.759). On the year, I am now 181-48-21. We have one of the biggest series of the year on tap, as undefeated Wisconsin hosts nemesis Minnesota. The CHA sees a rivalry renewed between Mercyhurst and Robert Morris, and North Dakota also tries to get the best of Bemidji.

Let’s see how I can do.

Friday, Dec. 4

Colgate at Clarkson
The Golden Knights have been a little inconsistent, but it’s hard to pick against them. Clarkson 4-2

Harvard at Princeton
The Tigers have often troubled Harvard, but I think the Crimson’s loss last weekend will sharpen their focus. Harvard 3-2

Dartmouth at Quinnipiac
I don’t see the Big Green sneaking up on this opponent. Quinnipiac 3-1

Yale at Rensselaer
Every time the Engineers look like they are getting consistent, they lose. Yale 3-1

Cornell at St. Lawrence
The Big Red have been playing well of late. Cornell 4-3

Brown at Union
Perhaps Union’s last shot at a win this first half. Desperation helps. Union 2-1

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 4-5

Robert Morris at Mercyhurst
The Colonials have been playing well, and I expect a split. Mercyhurst 2-1, Robert Morris 3-1

Lindenwood at RIT
The Tigers will eventually get it together, but I like the Lions. Lindenwood 3-2, 2-1

Penn State at Syracuse
Can the Orange get momentum from beating North Dakota? Sure, why not. Syracuse 2-1, 3-1

Merrimack vs. New Hampshire
Signs of life from Durham equals a sweep. New Hampshire 3-1, 3-2

Northeastern at Vermont
No games against Boston teams equals a sweep for the Huskies. Northeastern 4-1, 4-0

St. Cloud State at Minnesota-Duluth
I think I could flip a coin and pick this series more accurately. Minnesota-Duluth 3-2, St. Cloud 2-1

Minnesota at Wisconsin
The Badgers will probably win one, but I’m going with recent history for now. Minnesota 4-2, 3-2

Friday, Sunday, Dec. 4 and Dec. 6

North Dakota vs. Bemidji State
Another home-and-home. The Beavers took the series earlier, and with NoDak’s inconsistency, it might happen again. Bemidji State 2-1, North Dakota 2-1

Saturday, Dec. 5

Cornell at Clarkson
I think I like the upset in this one. Cornell 2-1

Dartmouth at Princeton
Another coin flip game. Call it for the visitors. Dartmouth 3-1

Harvard at Quinnipiac
The Crimson regain first in the ECAC. Overtime wouldn’t be a surprise. Harvard 3-2

Brown at Rensselaer
I like the Engineers to get back on track in this one. Rensselaer 3-2

Colgate at St. Lawrence
The Raiders will pester the Saints, but I like the home team. St. Lawrence 4-3

Yale at Union
A low-scoring affair that will go to the visitors. Yale 2-1

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 5-6

Boston College at Maine
BC might not rack up a ton of goals, but the Eagles will sweep. Boston College 4-1, 4-0

Connecticut vs. Boston University
Elaine Chuli can definitely give an inconsistent Terriers’ squad fits. I like home ice in each. Connecticut 3-2, Boston University 3-2

Tuesday, Dec. 8

Boston University at Providence
The Friars have been playing well of late, but I like the Terriers in a close one. Boston University 3-2

Dartmouth at New Hampshire
A historic trap game for both teams, but I like the Big Green. Dartmouth 3-2

Women’s D-I wrap: Nov. 29

Bobcats skate to Nutmeg Classic Championship
No. 5 Quinnipiac defeated host Yale, 3-0, in the title game of the Nutmeg Classic. Taylor Cianfarano’s 15th goal of the season at 16:48 of the second period broke a scoreless tie. She assisted on third-period goals by Nicole Connery and Melissa Samoskevich, the latter into an empty net, to secure the win and tournament MVP honors for Cianafarano. Sydney Rossman stopped all 15 shots from the Bulldogs in her shutout, while Yale’s Hanna Mandl made 25 saves in yielding the two goals.

In its semifinal, Quinnipiac was only able to get one puck past Connecticut’s Elaine Chuli, but Nicole Kosta’s goal at 8:03 of the first period, assisted by Connery, was enough for the Bobcats to advance by a 1-0 verdict. Chuli turned away the other 32 shots, and Rossman handled all 16 shots that came her way.

Yale defeated Merrimack, 3-1, to earn its place in the final. Phoebe Staenz and Julia Yetman scored second-period goals, both assisted by Eden Murray and Jordan Chancellor. The Warriors’ Paige Sorenson broke through on a power play early in the third period to provide some hope, but Mallory Souliotis restored the two-goal margin within a minute. Mandl saved 21 shots to preserve the win.

Connecticut won the consolation game, 4-1, over Merrimack. Theresa Knutson scored twice, Margaret Zimmer and Leah Buress notched a goal apiece, and both Justine Fredette and Kayla Mee contributed a pair of helpers. Annie Belanger took over in the Huskies’ net, allowing only a third-period goal by Marie Delarbre out of the 19 Merrimack shots.

Cornell takes two at Windjammer Classic
Although the event didn’t have a true championship game with the brackets being set in advance, Cornell was the only participant to win twice at the Windjammer Classic. The Big Red bested Boston University, 4-2, on Saturday. After each team scored twice in the opening frame, Cornell added a pair of decisive goals in the middle period. Jess Brown, Pippy Gerace, and Cassandra Poudrier each scored and assisted, and Taylor Woods also tallied for the Big Red. Marlene Boissonnault made 21 saves to earn her second win. Sarah Lefort and Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga connected for the Terriers.

Poudrier led the attack with a goal and two helpers on Sunday, and Paula Voorheis made 16 saves to shut out host Vermont, 4-0. Sarah Knee, Woods, and Gerace added goals for Cornell.

In the other game on Saturday, Katie Matheny carved through the Vermont defense to score twice in Ohio State’s 5-2 victory. Julianna Iafallo, Kendall Curtis, and Lauren Spring added goals, Dani Sadek had a pair of primary assists, and Alex LaMere made 30 saves for the Buckeyes. Taylor Willard and Dayna Colang potted goals for the Catamounts.

BU scored three power-play goals in its 5-3 win over Ohio State. Victoria Bach had the most productive game of her career with two goals and two assists. Sarah Lefort, Kayla Tutino, and Rebecca Leslie all had a goal and a helper for the Terriers, while Julia McKinnon accomplished the feat for the Buckeyes.

Providence reclaims Mayor’s Cup
Providence benefited from several big performances offensively as it pulled away from Brown, 6-1, to take possession of the Mayor’s Cup. Spearheading the attack was the line of Cassidy Carels (two goals, two assists), Brooke Boquist (one goal, three assists), and Christina Putigna (one goal, two assists), with help from defenseman Lexi Romanchuk (one goal, two assists). Sam Donovan had the lone offensive highlight for the Bears, and Madison Myers saved the other 20 shots in the Friars’ crease.

More good news than bad for Harvard
No. 8 Harvard sandwiched a pair of wins around one defeat. The Crimson got the week off to a good start with a 3-0 blanking of No. 4 Northeastern, although Emerance Maschmeyer needed 31 saves to earn her shutout. Brittany Bugalski recorded the same number of stops for the Huskies, yielding markers to Sydney Daniels, Grace Zarzecki, and Jessica Harvery.

Harvard also traveled to Minnesota-Duluth and split a series. The Bulldogs took the opener, 4-2, paced by a pair of markers from Ashleigh Brykaliuk and 28 saves by Maddie Rooney. Michaela Cava and Catherine Daoust had the other tallies for UMD, and Mary Parker and Miye D’Oench countered for the Crimson. Maschmeyer made 30 saves on Saturday as Harvard struck back with a 4-1 win. Audrey Warner, D’Oench, Zarzecki, and Daniels hit the net for the victors, and Lara Stalder got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
The country’s top team rolled on, as No. 1 Wisconsin overcame Dartmouth, 4-1 and 4-0. The only offense the Big Green could muster was Lindsey Allen’s goal five minutes into Friday’s contest, assisted by Laura Stacey, to tie the game at 1-1. Jenny Ryan scored the winning goal in the second period for the Badgers, who also got tallies from Annie Pankowski, Sophia Shaver, and Emily Clark. On Saturday, Wisconsin completed the sweep with a more dominant performance, outshooting the visitors, 63-9, and Ann-Renée Desbiens registered her ninth shutout. Sarah Nurse scored twice, and Clark and Sam Cogan also hit the net, while Sydney McKibbon had three assists.

No. 2 Boston College had an easy time of it, breezing past Providence, 9-1, and Northeastern, 6-1. Haley Skarupa sparked the rout of the Friars with a hat trick and five points, and her linemates Alex Carpenter and Kenzie Kent had four and three points, respectively. Katie Burt came through with 36 saves versus the Huskies, Kent scored twice, and Carpenter added three points.

A schizophrenic series unfolded as No. 3 Minnesota swept Minnesota State, 11-1 and 2-1. Sarah Potomak tied a program record in the opener with seven points, Hannah Brandt netted a hat trick, and both she and Dani Cameranesi collected five points. The Gophers needed Cameranesi’s third goal of the weekend to fend off the upset bid by the Mavericks on Saturday, as Brianna Quade rebounded with 29 saves.

Inconsistency continued to plague No. 9 North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks got a 19-save shutout from Shelby-Amsley Benzie in Friday’s 3-0 triumph over Syracuse. Each member of the line of Meghan Dufault centering Amy Menke and Becca Kohler had two points, with the wings’ contributions including a goal apiece. Kohler scored twice on Saturday, but the Orange stormed back from an early deficit to score three times in the second period and close out a 5-2 win. Jessica Sibley had a goal and three points, Emily Costales netted two goals, and Nicole Ferrara, Heather Schwarz, and Melissa Piacentini all had two-point games.

No. 10 Colgate also had to settle for a split versus Mercyhurst. The Raiders were unable to hold an early two-goal lead on Tuesday, and Lakers scored the final four goals to win, 4-2. Taylor Accursi’s tally 6:54 into the third period was the winner, after Paige Horton and Emily Janiga had scored to tie the game. Julia Vandyk turned away all 25 shots as she and Colgate shut out Mercyhurst, 3-0. Olivia Zafuto and Lauren Wildfang scored unassisted goals in the second period. Bailey Larson’s shorthanded, empty-net goal iced the win.

Other action
St. Lawrence got decisive goals in the third period both days in sweeping Penn State, 3-2 and 4-2. On Monday, Jenna Marks scored with under two minutes left in regulation. Brooke Webster and Kennedy Marchment had provided the Saints with earlier leads, but Victoria Samuelsson and Hannah Bramm answered. Tuesday, it was the Nittany Lions taking one-goal leads on tallies by Bramm and Laura Bowman, but Megan Armstrong and Webster drew SLU even. Amanda Boulier won it at the 8:38 mark, and Kailee Heidersbach sealed the win with an empty netter. New Zealand native Grace Harrison earned her first collegiate win.

Princeton also got a sweep of a CHA squad, taking down RIT by 4-0 and 6-1 scores. Kimberly Newell backed the 19-save shutout, with goals coming from Karli Lund, Kelsey Koelzer, Morgan Sly, and Hilary Lloyd. Molly Contini scored twice on Saturday, and Taylor Thurston notched RIT’s lone goal of the weekend.

St. Cloud State stopped Lindenwood twice, 2-0 and 3-2. Katie Fitzgerald denied all 21 shots from the Lions in the opener, while Molly Illikainen and Payge Pena netted pucks. Illikainen scored twice and assisted on Brittney Anderson’s goal as the Huskies overcame Lindenwood goals by Tirra Lemoine and Shannon Morris-Reade on Sunday.

Robert Morris was the only CHA team to come out on the right side of a sweep, dropping Maine by scores of 5-1 and 3-0. Morgan’s Sakundiak’s short-handed goal to open the scoring on Friday was the only offense the Black Bears could muster against Jessica Dodds. Amber Rennie score a pair of goals on Friday, and Ashley Vesci tallied in each game.

New Hampshire edged out a series win over Rensselaer. The Engineers battled back to tie, 3-3, on Friday, when Alex Gruschow completed a hat trick with two goals in the final 4:13 of regulation, including an extra-attacker tally with 73 seconds left. Jonna Curtis, Cassandra Vilgrain, and Amy Schlagel had scored to put UNH up, 3-1. Amy Boucher scored both goals for the Wildcats in their 2-1 win on Saturday, overcoming another goal by Gruschow.

What to Watch: Classics and Cups

Holiday weekends often mean special tournaments and showcases in college hockey, and because most women’s teams are on an extended break around Christmas, Thanksgiving is typically the busiest weekend for special events. This year, we have three classics and cups, as well as some other key nonconference clashes.

Nutmeg Classic
Yale hosts the 12th edition of the Nutmeg Classic, a true tournament setup whose field includes the three Connecticut teams plus an invited guest, which this year is Merrimack.

The event kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. EST as the Warriors face the Bulldogs, with the second semifinal matching No. 5 Quinnipiac and Yale scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. EST. The losers of the semifinals meet on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST, with the winners squaring off in the championship game at 7 p.m EST. Last year’s Nutmeg Classic title was won by the Bobcats, as they defeated Clarkson in the championship game.

Mayor’s Cup
Providence hosts Brown as the crosstown rivals contest the 21st annual Mayor’s Cup. Early this month, it looked like the game might be matching two winless teams, but both have rebounded to put up a crooked number in the win column. The host Bears bested the Friars, 2-1, a year ago. This year’s Cup gets under way on Saturday at 1 p.m. EST at Schneider Arena.

Windjammer Classic
Vermont and Gutterson Fieldhouse host the inaugural Windjammer Classic. While this event intends to bring in one team from every conference in future years, this year’s field doesn’t include an entrant from the CHA. Thus, the second-round pairings are predetermined to prevent a fourth regular-season meeting between Hockey East teams Vermont and Boston University.

The Terriers will compete in the early game both days, playing Cornell at 1:00 p.m. EST on Saturday and Ohio State at the same time on Sunday. Later, Vermont will face Ohio State at 4:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, and the Catamounts clash with the Big Red in that time slot on Sunday.

No. 8 Harvard at Minnesota-Duluth, Friday, 4:07 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 1:07 p.m. CST
This is one of two series where an ECAC team travels to take on a WCHA foe, although the action might have been more compelling had the ECAC squads traded destinations.

Not that this series lacks for intrigue. The entire Minnesota-Duluth coaching staff was aligned with Harvard last season. UMD head coach Maura Crowell and Laura Bellamy were Katey Stone’s assistants behind the Harvard bench, and Samantha Reber was one of the Crimson’s captains.

The two programs have played 14 times previously, but not since 2006, and it’s been a full 10 years since they met in Duluth. The Bulldogs hold a 9-4-1 advantage in the encounters, but the Crimson swept the most recent series.

Dartmouth at No. 1 Wisconsin, Friday, 7:07 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 3:07 p.m. CST
The Big Green and the Badgers haven’t played as often — Dartmouth won three of the previous five games — but they did meet slightly more recently, with Wisconsin coming out on top in the 2009 NCAA tournament. The Big Green were shut out in that contest, and that has been the fate of the majority of Wisconsin’s opponents this year. However, Dartmouth has the highest scoring average of any team that the Badgers have played to date.

North Dakota at Syracuse, Friday, 7 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 3 p.m. EST
Two teams that came up just short of the NCAA tournament face off in Syracuse. The Orange fell in overtime of the CHA championship game, but earlier, they visited Grand Forks in January and gained a split versus North Dakota. That was one of the costly losses that helped deny UND an at-large invitation. That January series was the first between the two programs.

Maine at Robert Morris, Friday, 7:05 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 3:05 p.m. EST
The only team in the CHA with a winning record out of conference tries to keep it that way when it entertains the Black Bears this weekend. The Colonials salvaged a split when the teams met last season in Orono, taking a 1-0 victory after dropping the opener in overtime. Maine has lost five of its previous six games this month.

No. 2 Boston College at No. 4 Northeastern, Saturday, 2 p.m. EST
Don’t be like me and forget all about this battle of ranked teams! Although for a battle of teams that sit this close in the rankings, I’m not sure that the outcome is really in doubt. The Huskies’ close game with BC last weekend would suggest that it is, but their less dramatic loss to Harvard says that it isn’t. The Eagles last lost to Northeastern when the senior classes were freshmen, so the Huskies will need to hope home ice tips the scale.

Women’s D-I picks: Nov. 27

Last week I had my worst week of the year, going 21-10 (.677) to move to 161-42-20 (.766) on the year.

There are a lot of tournaments this weekend, so I’ll have to do a second set of picks on Saturday if I’m wrong on the Nutmeg Classic, but let’s see what I can do first.

Friday, Nov. 27

Quinnipiac versus Connecticut
The Bobcats took a big step last week in New York, and don’t want to lose the momentum. Elaine Chuli isn’t enough. Quinnipiac 3-1

Merrimack at Yale
The Warriors might give the Bulldogs trouble for a period, but it won’t be enough. Yale 4-2

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 27-28

Minnesota at Minnesota State
The Mavericks will win in the WCHA eventually, but not this weekend. Minnesota 5-1, 5-0

Princeton at RIT
The battle of the Tigers should go to the road team. Princeton 3-1, 2-1

Maine at Robert Morris
A tough one to call, with two inconsistent teams. Let’s go for a split. Maine 3-2, Robert Morris 3-1

New Hampshire at Rensselaer
An Engineers sweep would go a long way toward building their confidence for a playoff push. Rensselaer 3-2, 2-1

North Dakota at Syracuse
Will the Fighting Hawks finally finish a weekend with two wins? Something tells me yes. North Dakota 3-1, 3-2

Harvard at Minnesota-Duluth
Judging by how the Crimson shut down Northeastern’s high-powered offense on Tuesday, Duluth will struggle to score. Harvard 3-0, 2-1

Dartmouth at Wisconsin
Unless the Badgers have their minds completely on Minnesota the following weekend, they should take this. Wisconsin 4-0, 4-1

Saturday, Nov. 28

Boston College at Northeastern
This was a tight battle last week, but I see the same result. Boston College 4-2

Brown at Providence
The Friars have shown a little life over the last few weeks, and I like them to take the win. Providence 3-2

Ohio State at Vermont
I would have felt more confident picking the Buckeyes before last weekend. Vermont 2-1

Cornell at Boston University
This isn’t the matchup it was when they faced off in the NCAAs a few years ago. The Terriers are just better. Boston University 4-1

Connecticut versus Merrimack
The Huskies take third place. Connecticut 4-1

Yale at Quinnipiac
The Elis hung the only loss on the Bobcats so far, and I think Quinnipiac is out for revenge. Quinnipiac 4-2

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 28-29

St. Cloud State at Lindenwood
We’ll find out more about the Huskies prospects this weekend. I like the sweep. St. Cloud State 3-1, 3-2

Sunday, Nov. 29

Ohio State at Boston University
The Terriers take the Windjammer Classic. Boston University 4-1

Cornell at Vermont
The Big Red have shown an ability to bounce back, so if I’m right about Saturday, they’ll win in this one. Cornell 3-2

Tuesday, Dec. 1

Union at Providence
Does Union finally get a win? Possibly, but I’m going for the home team. Providence 3-2

Women’s D-I wrap: Nov. 22

Quinnipiac assumes ECAC lead
No. 8 Quinnipiac combined an impressive sweep in the North Country with minimal action in ECAC Hockey to take sole possession of first place in the league.

The Bobcats started the weekend by blanking No. 4 Clarkson, 3-0, giving them four straight wins over the Golden Knights. Quinnipiac’s Taylar Cianfarano was assessed a roughing minor just past the midway point of a scoreless game. Apparently, she used the two minutes of solitude to refocus and scored the game’s first goal 39 seconds after emerging from the penalty box. Coming in on a partial break, the sophomore snapped a wrist shot that Clarkson goalie Shea Tiley could only slow on its way into the net. Cianfarano doubled the lead a minute and a half later with a knuckleball that eluded Tiley’s glove and completed her pure hat trick at 9:15 of the final period with a slap shot under the crossbar. Nicole Connery had a pair of primary assists, and the Bobcats defense did the rest, as Sydney Rossman earned a 29-save shutout.

Rossman and Quinnipiac kept it rolling on Saturday with a 5-0 victory at St. Lawrence. The junior goaltender made 17 stops to garner another shutout. Melissa Samoskevich got the offense going 11:17 into the game when a blocked shot bounced to her and she buried the puck. Cianfarano added two goals, and freshman Randi Marcon netted the first two goals of her collegiate career.

Boston College takes first meeting over Northeastern
Kaliya Johnson’s first goal of her senior season at 12:43 of the third period held up as the game-winner as No. 2 BC overcame No. 5 Northeastern, 4-2. Tori Sullivan’s second goal of the game just beat the final buzzer into an empty net to provide the final margin. Sullivan set up Meghan Grieves for the other Eagles’ goal, and Andie Anastos had a pair of helpers. Kendall Coyne and Hayley Scamurra provided the markers for the Huskies, while Denisa Krížová assisted twice.

The win gives BC a two-point lead over Boston University for first place in Hockey East, with the Eagles having two games in hand. Northeastern sits another two points back in third place, but has three games in hand over the Terriers.

North Dakota settles for split with Minnesota-Duluth
No. 7 North Dakota won for the first time with its new nickname, the Fighting Hawks, by a 4-3 verdict over Minnesota-Duluth. A minute after UND’s Amy Menke completed her hat trick on a short-handed breakaway to tie the game at 3-3, Shannon Kaiser’s first goal of the season won it for the hosts. Menke was aided by a two assists from each of her linemates, Meghan Dufault and Becca Kohler. The Bulldogs’ top line of Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Michela Cava, and Lara Stalder all finished with a goal and a helper.

On Saturday, UMD sent the Fighting Hawks down to defeat, 1-0. Maddie Rooney saved all 32 shots to best Shelby Amsley-Benzie, who made 21 stops. The lone tally came at 9:46 of the third frame, when Michelle Löwenhielm took a pass from Katherine McGovern and threaded a shot inside the post for her first goal of the season.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 1 Wisconsin took both ends of a Friday-Sunday series from Lindenwood. Emily Clark scored twice in a 5-1 win in the opener as the Badgers enjoyed a 50-12 shot advantage. Sophia Shaver, Molly Doner, and Rachel Jones notched the other goals for the hosts, while Rachel Weich had the lone goal of the weekend for the Lions. Megan Miller needed only 11 saves to get the shutout as Wisconsin completed the sweep with a 58-11 bulge in shots. Sarah Nurse scored twice, and Clark and Shaver added single tallies.

No. 3 Minnesota swept visiting Yale, 6-3 and 4-1. Dani Cameranesi’s hat trick was the highlight of the opener, with Sarah Potomak and Hannah Brandt each contributing a goal and two assists. Brandt and defenseman Lee Stecklein scored a goal apiece with two helpers on Saturday. For the Bulldogs, Phoebe Staenz scored in each contest and Eden Murray finished the weekend with a goal and two assists.

Kennedy Marchment’s goal at 18:50 of the second period lifted St. Lawrence to a 3-2 triumph over No. 10 Princeton. Sonjia Shelly made 25 saves to get the win. The Saints broke on top with an unassisted goal by Amanda McClure, and Justine Reyes made it 2-0 nine minutes later. The Tigers struck back quickly on goals by Cassidy Tucker and Karlie Lund 33 seconds apart.

Clarkson bounced back with a 3-0 win over Princeton. Josiane Pozzebon gave the Golden Knights an early lead, and Olivia Howe added a couple of empty-net goals. Tiley saved all 20 shots the Tigers sent her way. Kimberly Newell was a hard-luck loser after stopping 48 of 49 shots on goal.

Northeastern also got right back into the win column on Saturday, defeating Vermont, 5-2. Coyne and Kasidy Anderson scored twice, and Shelby Herrington added a goal and two assists. Mackenzie MacNeil and Victoria Andreakos found the net for the Catamounts.

Brittni Mowat stopped 38 of 40 shots on the weekend to back No. 6 Bemidji State to a pair of 3-1 wins over Minnesota State. Kristin Huber and Alexis Joyce gave the Beavers a lead in the opener, and after Amanda Conway closed the Mavericks to within one, Summer Thibodeau hit an empty net. Kaitlyn Tougas tallied twice as BSU completed the sweep, with Hanna Moher also scoring. Defenseman Lena Düsterhöft notched her first goal for MSU.

No. 9 Harvard defeated New Hampshire, 4-0, on Wednesday. Emerance Maschmeyer turned aside all 26 shots from the Wildcats to back the shutout. Miye D’Oench led the attack with a goal and two assists.

Other action
On Tuesday, Cornell rallied twice in the third period to tie Colgate, 3-3, on the first goals of the season for Christian Higham and Jess Brown, the latter with an extra attacker. Hanna Bunton of the Big Red and Megan Sullivan of the Raiders had a goal with a helper.

Syracuse took down RIT, 5-1, as Jessica Sibley netted a pair of goals. Brooke Baker’s first goal as a Tiger thwarted the shutout bid.

On Friday, Colgate held off Syracuse, 2-1. Jessie Eldridge and Nicole Gass staked the Raiders to a lead, and a late extra-attacker goal by Megan Quinn of the Orange only denied a shutout to Julia Vandyk, who made 35 saves for Colgate.

Cornell and Mercyhurst split a series. The Lakers took the opener, 5-1, with 20 saves from Sarah McDonnnell. Jaclyn Arbour’s first goal of the year at 11:05 of the middle stanza broke a 1-1 tie. Mercyhurst pulled away with three goals in the third period, including a conversion of a penalty shot by Hannah Bale. Bunton poured in a hat trick and added an assist as the Big Red skated to a 6-1 rout on Saturday. Paula Voorheis returned to Cornell’s net with 24 saves.

Brown salvaged a split at RIT. After the Tigers took the first game with big offensive performances by Logan Land with two goals and an assist, Regan Rust with a goal and two helpers, and Carly Payerl with a pair of tallies, the Bears struck back with a 2-1 win. All three goals came via the power play, with Brown’s Leah Olson netting the winner at 16:58 of the final period. She and Maddie Woo finished with a goal and an assist. Cassie Clayton had RIT’s lone tally. Julianne Landry made 22 saves to pick up her first win of the season.

St. Cloud State swept Ohio State, 3-2 and 4-1. Molly Illikainen’s second goal of the game broke a 2-2 tie with under four minutes left on Friday. Earlier, she assisted on Alyssa Erickson’s goal. Kendall Curtis led the Buckeyes with a goal and an assist. Katie Fitzgerald made 33 saves and the Huskies’ power play clicked on three of five chances on Saturday, with defenseman Brittney Anderson leading the way with a goal and two assists.

Boston University swept a home-and-home series from Merrimack. Victoria Bach pounded in a hat trick in a 5-1 win on Friday. Back on home ice, Sarah Lefort had three helpers in a 4-2 victory.

Theresa Knutson gave Connecticut a lead 46 seconds into its game versus Vermont, and the Huskies led throughout in winning, 3-2. Justine Fredette assisted on that goal and also scored twice.

Elaine Chuli made 38 saves as Connecticut shut out Maine, 2-0. Leah Buress scored in the first period and defenseman Kayla Mee added her first collegiate goal.

Providence earned at split a New Hampshire. The Wildcats used three power-play goals, two by Amy Boucher and another from Nicoline Jensen, to build a 3-0 advantage, and they held off a rally by the Friars when Brooke Boquist struck twice. Madison Myers made 21 saves to help Providence rebound with a 4-1 win. Christina Putigna gave the Friars a lasting lead and later added an assist.

What to watch: pre-Thanksgiving stuffing

No, not the kind that you saturate in butter, bake inside a turkey, and then wonder why you feel so stuffed yourself after eating three helpings during a Thanksgiving feast. Although that might play into it, if some coach has an Aunt Edna with a stuffing recipe that would put the late Julia Child to shame and wants to be able to partake.

Anyway, several team’s schedules are stuffed with games over the coming days so that they can have a few days off over the holiday to enjoy those Thanksgiving traditions. Providence and Northeastern each play three times in five days. Mercyhurst competes four times in six days. Busiest of all is St. Lawrence, as the Saints take to the ice for four games over five days.

SLU and travel partner Clarkson host the most critical games in the ECAC over the coming week, when Quinnipiac and Princeton visit the North Country. These four games should help to define who is who in the ECAC race, and if that isn’t convincing, those four games are it for conference play in the ECAC for the next seven days.

No. 8 Quinnipiac at No. 4 Clarkson, Friday, 7 p.m. EST
The Bobcats finished a game behind Clarkson in the ECAC race last season. Currently, they sit third in the league standings with Clarkson two games back, but the Golden Knights have those two games in hand. Both teams need these points to keep pace with Harvard and Dartmouth in first and second place, respectively. Quinnipiac won all three meetings last year, two of them by scores of 1-0.

No. 10 Princeton at St. Lawrence, Friday, 7 p.m. EST
Only Harvard has a better league winning percentage than the .750 that the Saints have turned in thus far, and if they were to win all three of the games they have in hand, the Saints would pass Harvard in the standings. Princeton sits a point above St. Lawrence, but the Tigers have played two more games. The two split their league meetings last year, with the road team winning both.

No. 5 Northeastern at No. 2 Boston College, Friday, 7 p.m. EST
The marquee match of the week. If anyone is going to challenge BC’s supremacy in Hockey East, it will likely be the Huskies. The Eagles are second in the country in both offense and power play conversion, while Northeastern ranks third in each category. Boston College has a decided edge defensively, ranking third while the Huskies are 13th, allowing twice as many goals per game. Northeastern hasn’t won a game in this rivalry since the 2013 Hockey East semifinals.

Cornell at Mercyhurst, Friday, 7 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 3 p.m. EST
It is strange to see neither of these teams ranked, as they have played frequently in recent years, with the outcome impacting tournament seeding and, in three cases, NCAA tournament advancement. This year, it is getting late early for the at-large hopes of each. Both Cornell and Mercyhurst desperately want a sweep. Last year’s only meeting ended in a draw.

Minnesota-Duluth at No. 7 North Dakota, Friday, 7:07 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 4:07 p.m. CST
UMD is the first team to get a crack at the newly christened Fighting Hawks. The Bulldogs have come out on the short end of this matchup in recent years; their one win last year was their first since 2011.

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence, Saturday, 3 p.m. EST
A trap game for Quinnipiac, as it went 0-1-1 against the Saints last year, perhaps focusing too much on Clarkson. Or maybe stylistically, SLU’s up-tempo game creates problems.

Princeton at Clarkson, Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
Clarkson took a pair of one-goal games in 2014-15.

Penn State at St. Lawrence, Monday, 7 p.m. EST, and Tuesday, 4 p.m. EST
The Nittany Lions lost the only previous two games in this pairing back in the first year of their program. This series figures to be worth a look just to see the Saints’ legs burn.

Northeastern at No. 9 Harvard, Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST
The Crimson’s first game against a Boston school this year. They won the only meeting versus Northeastern last season by a goal.

Women’s D-I picks: Nov. 20

I had a pretty good week last week, going 20-4-3 (.796). On the year I am 140-32-20 (.781). The marquee matchups this week are in the east, but let’s see how I do.

Friday, Nov. 20

Quinnipiac at Clarkson
A long road trip equals a win for the home team, but it won’t be easy. Clarkson 3-2

Princeton at St. Lawrence
I think the Saints are getting better, and Princeton may be a little overrated. St. Lawrence 2-1

Northeastern at Boston College
One of the big series of the weekend, but I think home ice equals a win. Boston College 4-2

Vermont at Connecticut
I think Vermont isn’t quite as good as its record. Connecticut 2-1

Syracuse at Colgate
I favor the Orange in this nonconference battle. Syracuse 3-1

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 20-21

Merrimack vs. Boston University
A home-and-home, but I don’t think the Warriors get that close. Boston University 4-1, 4-1

Minnesota State at Bemidji State
The Beavers rebound from the sweep last weekend. Bemidji State 2-1, 3-1

Ohio State at St. Cloud State
A tough one to pick, as both are so up and down. Ohio State 2-1, 2-1

Minnesota-Duluth at North Dakota
Perhaps NoDak got rid of its yips last weekend in its loss. North Dakota 3-1, 4-1

Yale at Minnesota
I wonder if these games will even be close. Minnesota 4-1, 5-1

Cornell at Mercyhurst
I have no idea, literally none. Mercyhurst 3-2, 3-1

Brown at RIT
I think the Bears get at least one win. Brown 2-1, 3-1

Friday and Sunday, Nov. 20 and 22

Lindenwood at Wisconsin
See above re: Minnesota. Wisconsin 4-0, 5-1

Saturday, Nov. 21

Vermont at Northeastern
I don’t think this will be close, particularly if the Huskies lose to BC the night before. Northeastern 4-1

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 21-22

Providence at New Hampshire
Home ice, perhaps? New Hampshire 3-2, 2-1

Sunday, Nov. 22

Connecticut at Maine
Long road trip equals home ice win. Maine 3-1

Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 23-24

Penn State at St. Lawrence
The Nittany Lions are better than their record, but fall short. St. Lawrence 3-1, 4-1

Tuesday, Nov. 24

Mercyhurst at Colgate
A month ago I’d have picked differently. Mercyhurst 2-1

Northeastern at Harvard
Northeastern’s Beanpot pre-tour continues, with the same result. Harvard 2-1

Wednesday, Nov. 25

Providence at Boston College
The Eagles should sleepwalk through this. Boston College 5-1

Mercyhurst at Colgate
Can the Lakers game some momentum? Sure. Mercyhurst 3-2

Weekend wrap: 11/15

Badgers yield a goal but remain perfect
After an NCAA record shutout streak of more than nine games, or 624 minutes and 19 seconds, No. 1 Wisconsin finally had to watch an opponent celebrate. By the time Maria Lindh of Minnesota-Duluth scored in the third period on Saturday, the Badgers already led, 4-0, on their way to a 4-2 win and a series sweep. The win marks the first time in program history that Wisconsin has started by winning its first 12 games. Annie Pankowski had a goal and two assists to spark its offense.

Wisconsin took the series opener by a 3-0 verdict, with Ann-Renée Desbiens making 17 saves to record her NCAA-leading eighth shutout. Jenny Ryan assisted on all three goals, and Erika Sowchuk and Rachel Jones scored and added a helper.

Boston College keeps pace
No. 2 Boston College won three times on the week to stay perfect as well, although the Eagles flirted with the end of their winning streak when they needed overtime to down Boston University, 4-3. The Terriers came from behind twice to force the extra session, getting tying goals from Maddie Elia and Rebecca Russo. Alex Carpenter took advantage of Hockey East’s four-on-four overtime format to score her second goal of the game to decide the matter. Dana Trivigno and Kristyn Capizzano netted the other BC goals, and Haley Skarupa had a pair of assists.

BC was back to drama-free hockey as it swept a home-and-home series from New Hampshire, 6-1 and 3-0. Gabriella Switaj stopped 22 of 23 shots to win the opener. Skarupa and Andie Anastos scored twice, and Skarupa, Capizzano, and Trivigno all had three points. Katie Burt returned to the net on Saturday and thwarted all 24 UNH shots to notch her sixth shutout. Carpenter, Toni Ann Miano, and Skarupa provided the markers.

Brandt sets program career points mark
Hannah Brandt had been stuck on 99 goals for five games, but she broke out of her scoring drought with five goals on Saturday in No. 3 Minnesota’s 8-3 win over No. 5 Bemidji State. Besides getting her beyond the century mark in goals, that boosted her to 247 career points, surpassing Natalie Darwitz for the all-time high by a Gopher. Included in her outburst was a natural hat trick to start the scoring. Dani Cameranesi also had five points in the contest, and Taylor Williamson scored her first Minnesota goal. Nina Rogers found the net for the hosts, while Emma Terres, Ivana Bilic, and Bailey Wright fueled a third-period rally by the Beavers.

Amanda Leveille was the story in Minnesota’s 4-0 win on Friday, making several big stops to earn an 18-save shutout. The Gophers got a goal apiece from the line of Kelly Pannek between Cara Piazza and Kate Schipper, with Schipper’s three points leading the way.

Coyne stays hot
Kendall Coyne of No. 7 Northeastern, the country’s leader in points per game, had a six-point weekend to help the Huskies to a sweep of Merrimack. Coyne had a hat trick as Northeastern cruised to an 8-3 win in the opener. Baye Flanagan and Allison Sexton scored their first collegiate goals for the Warriors.

The Huskies completed the sweep by a 6-0 count. Brittany Bugalski turned in a 14-save shutout, and Denisa Krížová scored twice.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 4 Clarkson won three times to improve to 13-1-2 on the year. Five different Golden Knights scored and Cayley Mercer had three assists in the 5-1 victory over Syracuse. Shannon MacAulay, Savannah Harmon, and Olivia Howe scored to rally Clarkson over Connecticut, 3-1. The Huskies had taken an early lead on a a Jordy Zacharias tally. After Mercer opened the scoring on Saturday, 43 saves by Elaine Chuli and goals by Margaret Zimmer and Zacharias had Connecticut poised for an upset, but Erin Ambrose and Howe scored goals in the final three minutes to push the Golden Knights to a 3-2 win and a series sweep.

No. 8 Quinnipiac took three of four ECAC points from No. 10 Princeton in a crucial home-and-home series. It took two periods, but the Tigers’ Karlie Lund answered a goal by Meghan Turner to produce a 1-1 tie on Friday in Hamden. Kimberly Newell was the busier of the two goaltenders with 30 saves, compared to 19 for Sydney Rossman. The Bobcats trailed entering the third period on Saturday, but scored three times in the frame to garner a 4-2 win. Cydney Roesler tied the game and sealed the triumph with an empty-net goal, and Nicole Brown furnished the game-winner. Taylar Cianfarano also scored for Quinnipiac, while the Molly Contini and Cassidy Tucker lit the lamp for the Tigers.

Ohio State got a split on the road at No. 6 North Dakota. After Amy Menke put UND on top at 11:43 of the third period on Saturday, Kendall Curtis tied it up 1:25 later and Maddy Field gave the Buckeyes a 3-2 win after another 55 seconds ticked away. Alex LaMere made 38 saves in the win. North Dakota bounced back with a 4-1 victory on Sunday behind two goals by Menke.

No. 9 Harvard defeated Union, 5-0, and Rensselaer, 2-1. The Crimson had five goal scorers and four players with two points as Brianna Laing and Molly Tissenbaum combined to shut out the Dutchwomen. Miye D’Oench scored the game-winner in the third period and Emerance Maschmeyer made 32 saves to hold off the Engineers. RPI’s Taylor Schwalbe and Jessica Harvey traded second-period goals.

Other action
Mercyhurst stayed unbeaten in CHA play with a sweep of Lindenwood, 3-2 and 2-1. After Sarah Bobrowski and Brittania Gillanders had given the Lions a 2-1 lead in the opener, Samantha Fieseler tied the game with her second goal of the game and her career. Megan Whiddon scored the winner 24 seconds into the third period. Molly Blasen and Whiddon gave the Lakers a quick lead on Saturday, and a short-handed goal by Shara Jasper was the only response the Lions could generate. Sarah McDonnel got the win with 14 saves.

Penn State got a series win at Robert Morris. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie on Friday. Amber Rennie and Brittany Howard gave the Colonials leads, only to have Hannah Bramm and Laura Bowman tie it up. Celine Whitlinger and Jessica Dodds finished with 29 and 31 saves, respectively. Senior Micayla Catanzariti broke loose with a hat trick to carry the Nittany Lions to a 5-1 victory on Saturday. Whitlinger turned away 36 of 37 shots.

Colgate swept a home-and-home series from RIT, 3-2 and 3-1. Jessie Eldridge and Shelby Perry scored six minutes apart in the second period to give the Raiders a lead they would not relinquish on Friday. Back home on Saturday, Eldridge scored the deciding goal at 12:36 of the middle stanza. Julia Vandyk saved 32 of 33 shots.

Brianna Veerman scored twice to spur Cornell’s 5-2 win over Syracuse.

Sam Donovan had a hat trick as Brown won for the first time this season, defeating Sacred Heart, 6-1.

Robyn Chemago and Dartmouth turned in a pair of shutouts, 4-0, over Rensselaer, and a 2-0 defeat of Union. Melissa Black stopped 38 of 39 shots for the Dutchwomen, but Lindsey Allen scored the winning goal 32 seconds into the middle period.

The Big Green started their week by dropping a 4-1 decision to Maine. Audra Richards netted a pair of goals and Maria Fujimagari saved 26 shots.

Maine also fell twice to BU, 5-3 and 3-2. Maddie Elia and Sarah Lefort scored twice in game one; Dakota Woodworth gave the Terriers a lasting lead on Sunday.

Providence split a series at Vermont, winning 4-1 on Friday when Alanna Serviss made 22 saves and Madison Sansone tallied twice. The Catamounts scored the final three goals to grab a 4-3 win on Saturday. Vermont got a power-play opportunity with just seven seconds left, and it was enough for Taylor Willard to score with 3.8 seconds showing on the clock.

St. Cloud State swept Minnesota State, 4-1 and 4-2. Molly Illikainen and Julia Tylke had three-goal weekends, and Katie Fitzgerald made 50 saves in the series.

Women’s D-I picks: Nov. 13

I had a decent week again, going 20-5-4 (.758) to move to 120-28-17 (.778) on the year. Let’s see how we can do this week with some big games on tap out west.

Friday, Nov. 13

Rensselaer at Dartmouth
Two teams that are very hard to predict makes me lean toward home ice. Dartmouth 3-2

Union at Harvard
The Crimson looked to have shaken off the loss to Dartmouth, which means bad news for Union. Harvard 5-1

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 13-14

Princeton vs. Quinnipiac (home-and-home)
I’m not completely sold on the Tigers yet, thought Quinnipiac has looked vulnerable of late. Let’s go with home ice for each. Quinnipiac 4-2, Princeton 3-2

Lindenwood at Mercyhurst
A Lions win in at least one game wouldn’t surprise me, but I’ll go traditional this time. Mercyhurst 4-2, 2-1

Penn State at Robert Morris
The Colonials seem to have a bit of swagger again. Robert Morris 3-1, 4-1

Boston College vs. New Hampshire (home-and-home)
The Eagles escaped the trap game against Boston University and should win going away. Boston College 5-1, 4-1

Merrimack vs. Northeastern (home-and-home)
Kendall Coyne and company should skate to an easy win. Northeastern 5-1, 5-1

Minnesota State at St. Cloud State
Perhaps the Mavericks get their first conference win this weekend. St. Cloud 3-2, Minnesota State 2-1

Wisconsin at Minnesota-Duluth
The Bulldogs would be happy to break Wisconsin’s shutout streak. Wisconsin 4-0, 3-1

Bemidji State at Minnesota
The Gophers won’t take the Beavers lightly, and will use home ice to erase the memory of two painful losses last year. Minnesota 4-1, 4-2

Saturday, Nov. 14

Union at Dartmouth
The Big Green keep pace in the ECAC. Dartmouth 2-1

Rensselaer at Harvard
The Engineers have played the Crimson tough before, but I like Harvard in this one. Harvard 4-2

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 14-15

Maine at Boston University
If the Terriers who played Tuesday come out, they should win easily. If they are still down after losing in OT, it could get interesting. Boston University 4-1, 4-1

Ohio State at North Dakota
UND needs both of these games to stay with Bemidji. I think they take them. North Dakota 4-2, 3-2

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Colgate at Cornell
Do the Big Red finally get untracked a little? Cornell 2-1

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Syracuse at RIT
The Tigers should keep this game closer than last month’s blowout loss, but get the same result. Syracuse, 4-2

New Hampshire at Harvard
Gone are the days when this would be a battle to the end. Harvard 4-1

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