Women’s D-I wrap: Dec. 15

Clarkson delivers
Neither cold nor snow could stop No. 6 Clarkson on Saturday; maybe RIT should have tried gloom of night.

After falling by a 12-1 score at Clarkson to open the season, the Tigers hosted the Golden Knights in the first outdoor game for the program. The temperature was 13 degrees when the puck dropped, and snow was falling through the game, which was still scoreless as it approached the midway point. Over a stretch of 3:20, Clarkson rattled off three goals, two by Carly Mercer.  Kolbee McCrea scored late in the second period and again early in the third to get RIT back within a goal. Vanessa Gagnon had two goals, including a short-hander, as the Golden Knights closed with another three-goal run and skated off with a 6-2 win.

Bestland climbs charts for Lakers
In the only CHA conference games of the week, Mercyhurst traveled to Lindenwood for a series, where in the first game senior Christine Bestland and sophomore Emily Janiga blew away the Lions while engaging in a bit of can you top this.

Janiga tallied short-handed to open the scoring and give the Lakers a lasting lead. Bestland followed with a short-hander of her own eight minutes later, the first of her goals in a pure hat trick. Then it was Janiga’s turn once more, sandwiching goals in the second and third periods around a Caitlyn Post goal for Lindenwood to complete her own hat trick. Janiga wound up with three helpers and six points in the Lakers’ 7-1 victory.

Bestland finished with five points on the day, pushing her career total to 205 and moving her ahead of Valerie Chouinard (200) and Bailey Bram (201) into third place on the all-time list for Mercyhurst. Bestland figures to still have a shot at catching Jesse Scanzano (225) for second place. Meghan Agosta-Marciano holds first for both the program and the entire NCAA with 305. Bestland now has 33 points on the season, tied for second in the country.

On Sunday, Nicole Hensley was in the Lindenwood net and the Lions shut down Janiga and Bestland, but Jenna Dingeldein picked up the slack with two goals and an assist. Shelby Bram contributed three helpers. Katie Erickson had the lone goal for Lindenwood in a 4-1 Mercyhurst win.

North Dakota gets road sweep
No. 4 North Dakota gained 5-2 and 2-1 wins at Minnesota State. Meghan Dufault had two assists and was one of five goal scorers on Friday. Susanna Tapani scored twice on Saturday as UND completed the sweep despite 43 saves from Danielle Butters. The wins moved North Dakota to within a game of Wisconsin for second place in the WCHA.

Bulldogs bounce back
After going winless in its previous five games, Minnesota-Duluth closed 2013 with a pair of 2-1 triumphs at St. Cloud State. The Bulldogs’ top line carried them in the series. Senior Jamie Kenyon scored three of the goals, Hannah Bramm had four helpers, and Jenna McParland added two assists and put in the game-winner on Saturday with 14 seconds left. Kayla Black recorded both wins. Molli Mott had both goals for the Huskies on the weekend.

Vermont wins in overtime
Amanda Pelkey split the defense in transition and roofed a backhander 3:54 into OT to give Vermont a 1-0 win at Dartmouth. The Catamounts had the better chances throughout the game, but Lindsay Holdcroft stopped the first 24 shots. The Big Green’s best opportunity came when Laura Stacey got loose on a second-period breakaway, but she was stoned by Roxanne Douville, one of her 18 saves in registering the shutout. Vermont heads into the break with a winning record of 8-7-4, while Dartmouth (2-11-0) will look to regroup.

Dutchwomen and Black Bears split
Union took the first game versus Maine, 2-0. Stefanie Thomson and Courtney Turner scored power-play goals and Shenae Lundberg had the 21-save shutout.

Union’s power play continued to do good work in game two, scoring three times, but Maine matched that production and added three more tallies for a 6-3 win. Lundberg was chased after yielding four goals on 12 shots. Shawna Lesperance led the way with two goals, including the game-winner, while Abbey Cook and Kelly McDonald contributed two-point games. Thomson had two more goals for the Dutchwomen.

Future Frozen Four sites announced
The NCAA announced the locations for four future tournament championships. The Frozen Four is scheduled for Minneapolis, Minn., in 2015 and 2018, Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, N.H., in 2016, and Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., in 2017.

Women’s D-I picks: Dec. 13

Well, once again I couldn’t gain ground on Arlan, as New Hampshire doomed me to finishing with the same record as him, 12-4-1 (.735). Entering our last week, where we are both picking the same way, it looks like Arlan has the six pack wrapped up, although maybe if I shoot for gaining one game a week, I can catch him. Unfortunately, this isn’t the week for that. On the year, I am 132-49-20 (.706) while Arlan is 139-42-20 (.741).

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 13-14

North Dakota at Minnesota State
Candace: One of these games might be close, especially if Michelle Karvinen can’t play, but I’ll assume North Dakota is simply too strong. North Dakota 3-1, 4-1
Arlan: The Mavericks are actually the hotter team, having won three of their past four while UND has only one win over its previous four contests. I’m going to assume that is more about the quality of the competition faced and stick with the favored team, although I think at least one game will be close. North Dakota 4-3, 5-1

Minnesota-Duluth at St. Cloud State
Candace: The Bulldogs were just swept by BU, but I think they should be able to end their first half on a high note. Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, 4-3
Arlan: Other than a sweep at Ohio State, the Bulldogs have done little to inspire confidence since October other than a tie with Wisconsin. Conversely, their 3-5-2 record over that time is still better than SCSU’s mark of 3-6-1. The Huskies did win and tie in Duluth, but after scoring six goals in a game last weekend, I’m not sure that there are many more where those came from. Minnesota-Duluth 2-1, 4-1

Maine at Union
Candace: Union has been a little more inconsistent than I expected, but Maine has been dreadful. And Union is at home. Union 3-2, 4-2
Arlan: I fully expect this to be a split. As for the order, I have not even a semblance of an idea. Union did manage a sweep in Orono last year, one of only two series sweeps for the Dutchwomen over a team not named Sacred Heart in their D-I history. Also, picking Maine to win has not been a profitable venture over the last couple of seasons, so I’ll just pick Union twice and hope at least one is correct. Union 4-2, 2-1

Saturday, Dec. 14

Clarkson at RIT
Candace: This one should be a lot closer than the last time these two faced off, but there are too many good players at Clarkson who are also leaders, like Jamie Lee Rattray, Carly Mercer, and Erica Howe, for RIT to win this one. Clarkson 4-1
Arlan: I’m confident that RIT won’t lose by 11 goals as it did back in September. The Tigers will be excited to be hosting the program’s first outdoor game, and as they demonstrated at Robert Morris, they are capable of going toe-to-toe with a ranked opponent. At the end of the day, Clarkson just has more ways that it can come out on top. Clarkson 2-1

Women’s D-I wrap: Dec. 9

McCloskey out at New Hampshire
Brian McCloskey became the second coach in Hockey East to be removed during the current season. New Hampshire ended McCloskey’s employment on Dec. 5 in response to an incident with one of his players on the team’s bench during the team’s game versus Ohio State on Nov. 30. He was midway through his 12th season in charge of the Wildcats, having led them to 252 wins, six straight Hockey East regular season titles from 2004-09, league tournament crowns in the last four of those years, and five NCAA Tournament appearances from 2006-10, including reaching the Frozen Four in 2006 and 2008.

For the immediate future, the Wildcats will be directed by associate head coach Jamie Wood and assistant Stephanie Jones. After falling to Harvard, 5-0, on Friday, the team got its first win of the post-McCloskey era on Sunday, defeating Dartmouth, 2-1. After Lindsey Allen gave the Big Green a first-period lead, Jessica Hitchcock and Hannah Armstrong scored in the second and third periods, respectively. Ashley Wilkes recorded 24 saves to get the win.

PairWise stalemate
In a series that promised to have huge implications come March when selections are made for the national tournament, No. 4 North Dakota and No. 6 Clarkson split 2-1 decisions. UND sandwiched goals from Josefine Jakobsen and Lisa Marvin in the odd periods around a Shelby Nisbet tally in the middle stanza. Shelby Amsley-Benzie’s 26 saves ensured that two goals would be enough.

The host Golden Knights struck back on Saturday, when Jamie Lee Rattray put them ahead to stay just 26 seconds into the game. Her second goal on a power play late in the second frame proved to be needed insurance as Amy Menke put UND on the board with 13:05 left. Erica Howe closed the door the rest of the way, finishing with 25 stops.

Another top-10 deadlock
No. 5 Harvard and No. 6 Boston College were also unable to decide anything in a single-game tilt, skating to a 1-1 tie. It looked like the Eagles would be unable to solve Emerance Maschmeyer, and Miye D’Oench’s early goal would prove decisive. However, Katie King Crowley went to her bag of tricks early, and just after the Crimson rang their second pipe of the third period, she sent out an extra attacker earlier than usual, and 25 seconds later, Emily Pfalzer beat Maschmeyer with 87 seconds remaining in regulation. Nobody scored in overtime, although each team came close. Maschmeyer finished with 51 saves and Corinne Boyles handled 35 chances at the other end.

In the Harvard win over UNH, Maschmeyer got the night off and rookie Brianna Liang remained perfect as a collegian by stopping all 29 shots. Hillary Crowe’s two goals and an assist fueled the offense.

Hensley heroics
The country’s busiest goaltender, Lindenwood’s Nicole Hensley, made 46 saves at Syracuse on Friday to steal a 2-1 game for the Lions. Katie Erickson’s power-play goal with six seconds remaining decided the outcome. Syracuse was able to get three pucks by Hensley out of another 47 shots on Saturday, and it added an empty-net goal for a 4-1 triumph. Margot Scharfe and Nicole Ferrara each had a goal and a helper for the Orange. For the season, Hensley’s 638 saves are 150 more than the next goalie in that category, Minnesota State’s Danielle Butters.

More naughty than nice
If Santa Claus has been watching, then Ohio State wound up on the wrong list heading into Christmas. The Buckeyes showed No. 1 Minnesota just why they are on record pace for penalty minutes with 376 minutes and an average of 20.9 per game, including 29 minutes in their final contest of 2013. That style of play has dropped Ohio State to the WCHA’s cellar halfway through the league slate.

The Gophers took home 9-2 and 5-1 wins from Columbus. Rachael Bona’s first career hat trick highlighted Saturday’s victory, in which Maryanne Menefee and Dani Cameranesi also had multi-goal games. On Sunday, Sarah Davis and defenseman Milica McMillen found the net twice apiece; Bona and McMillen had six-point weekends.

Bulldogs barrage
The start of the Yale at Princeton game was delayed by two and a half hours when the scoreboard became stuck on the ice. Once the problem was resolved and the game started, freshman Phoebe Staenz kept the scoreboard moving. She bagged four goals and Jaimie Leonoff made 38 saves as Yale upended Providence, 5-1. Four goals in a game by a Bulldog was last accomplished by Lisa Meyers versus Boston College on Feb. 4, 2001.

Winless no more
The last team without a win ended that frustration on Friday when Maine dropped Brown, 2-1. Katy Massey and Brianne Kilgour scored in the opening frame and freshman Mariah Fujimagari turned aside 20 shots to earn her first win as a Black Bear. Saturday, Brown jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals by Janice Yang, Jennifer Nedow, and Catherine LeBoeuf. That ended Fujimagari’s day; Meghann Treacy came on in relief and shut Brown down the rest of the way. The Bears were giving two goalies a chance to get their first action in net in place of usual stalwart Aubree Moore. Freshman Monica Elvin handled all 23 shots cleanly, but when sophomore Micaela Ross entered just after the game’s halfway point, Maine rallied. Brittany Huneke, Audra Richards, and Kelly McDonald all scored, the last two coming in the final five minutes. Overtime ended with a 3-3 tie.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 2 Wisconsin swept a matchup of backup goalies over Bemidji State. With Badger Alex Rigsby out with a lower-body injury and BSU’s Brittni Mowat ill, Wisconsin won, 7-2 and 5-0. Ann-Renée Desbiens took over for Rigsby and earned both wins, including the shutout. Madison Packer netted a hat trick and Katy Josephs a pair of goals in the opener. Packer had a goal and two assists to spur Sunday’s win.

No. 3 Cornell spotted Syracuse a pair of early goals and stormed back with the game’s final five tallies to win, 5-2. Defenseman Cassandra Poudrier did the most damage with two goals, and Paula Voorheis made 39 saves to claim her first win for the Big Red.

Shiann Darkangelo scored twice and Kelly Babstock added three points in No. 8 Quinnipiac’s 4-2 defeat of Union. Kathryn Tomaselli had both goals for the Dutchwomen. Darkangelo, Nicole Brown, and Morgan Fritz-Ward all had two-point games the next day in the Bobcats 3-1 win over Rensselaer.

Sarah Lefort, Louise Warren, and No. 9 Boston University all enjoyed huge weeks. Lefort had a hat trick and a helper in a 5-2 win over Northeastern on Tuesday. Warren scored the other two goals and assisted twice. Lefort had two more goals with an assist in a wild 6-5 contest with Minnesota-Duluth. Warren had a goal and a helper, as did Samantha Sutherland and Rebecca Russo. Lara Stalder had three helpers for the Bulldogs. The Terriers completed the sweep by a 4-2 score on Saturday. Lefort (2-2-4) and Warren (2-1-3) were the offensive heroes once more, and Victoria Hanson’s 33 saves gained her the win. For the week, Lefort finished with an impressive seven goals and four assists, with Warren not far off with five goals and four assists.

It wasn’t easy, but No. 10 Robert Morris swept RIT on home ice, 2-1 and 4-2. Brittany Howard and Thea Imbrogno contributed a goal and an assist to the opener. Maeve Garvey scored twice in the second game, as the Colonials answered immediately to wipe away two one-goal deficits. Jessica Dodds was in net for both contests and upped her personal mark to 13-0-1 in her first campaign.

Knocking on the door
Mercyhurst indicated that it wants back into the rankings, trouncing Penn State, 7-0 and 8-0. Christine Bestland had a hat trick with an assist, Kaleigh Chippy a pair of tallies, and Emily Janiga added four assists in the first game as Amanda Makela denied all 35 shots. Chippy scored two more, Shelby Bram added a helper to her two goals, and Christie Cicero assisted three times in support of Julia DiTondo’s shutout.

Women’s D-I picks: Dec. 6

Both Arlan and I went 10-5-1 last week, as New Hampshire ruined my promising two-game lead on Arlan after Friday. Oh well. On the year, I am now 120-45-19, while Arlan is 127-38-19. Perhaps I should aim to gain a game or two a week.

Friday, Dec. 6

Union at Quinnipiac
Candace: Union should play the Bobcats tough, but will fall short. Quinnipiac 3-1
Arlan: Union has been idle for so long that I’d forgotten all about the Dutchwomen. Quinnipiac 3-1

Rensselaer at Princeton
Candace: I think I could flip a coin 10 times and have better odds that I’m right in this. Princeton 2-1
Arlan: Based on what I witnessed last weekend, the Engineers would be the smarter pick. Princeton 2-1

UNH at Harvard
Candace: Harvard should win this, although it might be closer if the Crimson look ahead to Saturday’s big game against BC. Harvard 4-1
Arlan: The Wildcats haven’t won in this series since February of 2009. Harvard 3-1

Yale at Providence
Candace: I think Yale has a legitimate shot at the ECAC tournament this year. Yale 3-2
Arlan: The Friars are on a season-best three-game winning streak. Yale 4-3

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 6-7

RIT at Robert Morris
Candace: The Tigers did split with Mercyhurst a couple of weeks ago, but that was at home. Robert Morris 3-1, 2-1
Arlan: The Colonials are still looking for their first win over the Tigers. Robert Morris 2-1, 2-1

Minnesota State at St. Cloud State
Candace: Can the Huskies score? Can the Mavericks? Minnesota State 2-1, 3-1
Arlan: Two teams that look like they would be better, but for some reason, they aren’t. St. Cloud State 2-1, Minnesota State 3-1

Bemidji State at Wisconsin
Candace: A major test for a Badgers team without the best goalie in the game right now, but I think they will pull through. Wisconsin 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: Bemidji State usually puts up a pretty good fight in Madison, and the Badgers are without Alex Rigsby. Wisconsin 3-2, 3-1

Minnesota Duluth at Boston University
Candace: The Terriers haven’t been particularly great out-of-conference this year, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Boston University 3-2, 4-2
Arlan: Did UMD empty the tank versus Wisconsin? Is BU tired after playing Northeastern? Will anyone win? Will anyone score? Minnesota-Duluth 2-1, 3-2

North Dakota at Clarkson
Candace: Like Arlan, I think a split, and like Arlan, I have no idea which team wins which game. North Dakota 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: I’m convinced that this will be a split, but I’d have to flip a coin on the order. North Dakota 3-2, 2-1

Saturday, Dec. 7

Boston College at Harvard
Candace: Arlan is right. Boston College 2-1
Arlan: I’m more confident that Candace will pick BC than in the game’s outcome. Harvard 2-1

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8

Minnesota at Ohio State
Candace: OSU finally won a pair, but it won’t help against the Gophers. Minnesota 4-1, 4-2
Arlan: Have the Buckeyes discovered something in New Hampshire? Will it matter this weekend? Minnesota 3-1, 3-2

Sunday, Dec. 8

Dartmouth at New Hampshire
Candace: I’m not sure I’ve correctly picked a UNH game this season. Dartmouth 2-1
Arlan: Rumor has it that Candace enjoys picking UNH games. New Hamsphire 2-1

Wednesday, Dec. 11

Vermont at Dartmouth
Candace: Given how many times the Catamounts have gone to OT this season, a tie wouldn’t surprise me. Dartmouth 3-2
Arlan: No matter the outcome of its games this week, Dartmouth will head into the Christmas break with its worst record of the NCAA era. Dartmouth 4-3

Women’s D-I wrap: Dec. 2

Thanksgiving schedules
With the holiday this week, many teams got started early, while others had the week off or played only exhibitions.

St. Lawrence and Mercyhurst, in particular, paid with their legs for the privilege of having their games for the week completed by the time turkey dinner was served. Both played road series the weekend before their Tuesday and Wednesday set in Erie. The host Lakers came out on top in both games by 3-2 scores. The first win required a rally from two goals down that wasn’t completed until Christie Cicero’s goal with 73 seconds remaining, her second tally of the game. Mercyhurst led almost all the way on Wednesday, taking a lead it would not relinquish on J’nai Mahadeo’s goal with 5:04 elapsed. Cicero doubled the lead four minutes later, the teams traded goals in the second period, and a Brooke Webster goal with 12 seconds left was not enough as the Saints fell.

Overtime all of the time
Vermont played three road games versus ECAC foes, and 60 minutes was insufficient to decide any of them. Dayna Colang’s second goal of the game at 3:45 of OT ended a 4-3 win at Brown on Tuesday. Bonus hockey didn’t solve anything at Colgate, as games on both Saturday and Sunday produced 2-2 ties. The Catamounts entered the third period with a lead that didn’t survive on either occasion. Nicole Gass scored for the Raiders to erase a one-goal deficit on Saturday. Colgate needed markers by Taylor Volpe and Taylor Craig on Sunday to come from two down to tie.

Bobcats claim the Nutmeg Classic
After a 1-1 tie at Princeton on Tuesday extended its winless streak to three games, No. 8 Quinnipiac bounced back with wins over RIT and Yale to earn the championship of the Nutmeg Classic. Shiann Darkangelo’s hat trick highlighted the 8-0 trouncing of RIT. She and Kelly Babstock had five-point games, Morgan Fritz-Ward scored twice, and Sydney Rossman notched her first collegiate win.

In the title game, Phoebe Staenz and Stephanie Mock gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead before the game was five minutes old. Emma Woods answered on a power play with another 49 seconds gone for the Bobcats, Olivia Brackett tied the game 20 minutes later, and Lindsey West potted the game-winner early in the third period. Babstock contributed a pair of assists in the 3-2 triumph.

On the other side of the bracket, Connecticut went winless in the event. The Huskies lost a see-saw affair to Yale, 5-4, despite three-point games by Michela Cava and Kayla Campero. Staenz had three points for the Bulldogs, and Taylor Marchin won it in the last minute. Crunch time proved unkind to UConn in the third-place game as well. Erin Zach assisted on Celeste Brown’s tying goal for the Tigers with under two minutes in regulation, and then Zach won it a couple of minutes into overtime, her third point of the contest.

Last unbeaten falls
No. 3 Cornell entered the week as the only remaining D-I team without a loss. Thanks to a 2-0 win over No. 7 Boston College on Friday at Lynah Rink, the Big Red improved their record to 9-0-2. Hayleigh Cudmore scored on a power play early in the second period and assisted on Taylor Woods’ insurance goal on a third-period power play. Lauren Slebodnick denied all 27 shots in posting the shutout.

Saturday did not go as well for Cornell. Meagan Mangene gave the Eagles a lead 12 minutes into the game, and Slebodnick left with an injury before another minute passed. Paula Voorheis came on in relief and was charged with the loss as the Big Red fell, 4-1. Taylor Wasylk, Danielle Doherty, and Emily Field added goals for BC, and only Jessica Campbell was able to dent the armor of Corinne Boyles, who saved the other 39 attempts.

Streakiest teams
Now that Minnesota’s record streak has receded in the rearview mirror, which team owns the longest active winning streak? Clarkson. And Minnesota. Both have won the last four. In terms of unbeaten streaks, Harvard and Robert Morris are both longer at seven games, and Wisconsin leads the way with 12 straight.

Signs of life
After losing to Robert Morris on home ice on Tuesday, Ohio State was winless in its previous nine games, eight of them defeats. The Buckeyes rebounded on Saturday and Sunday on the road at New Hampshire, sweeping the Wildcats, 3-2 and 2-0. Lisa Steffes got the start in the OSU net both days, including the 21-save shutout. Julia McKinnon keyed the offense with three points on the weekend.

Shots are overrated
Rensselaer was outshot in both games of a road series at St. Cloud State, but thanks to 44- and 31-save efforts by Kelly O’Brien, came home with 4-1 and 2-1 victories. Jordan Smelker and Heidi Huhtamaki had three-point weekends.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 2 Wisconsin navigated a second consecutive tough WCHA road series without a loss. Minnesota-Duluth twice took one-goal leads on markers by Demi Crossman and Jamie Kenyon, but Courtney Burke and Madison Packer responded. Overtime ended tied at 2-2, and only the Bulldogs’ Meghan Huertas converted once the shootout commenced, so UMD earned the extra league point. On Saturday, Wisconsin goalie Alex Rigsby was knocked from a scoreless game with an apparent leg injury. Ann-Renée Desbiens came on in relief and completed the team shutout, earning the 1-0 win when Karley Sylvester scored the game’s only goal a couple minutes into the final period.

No. 1 Minnesota overwhelmed Princeton by scores of 6-0 and 9-1. Ten different Gophers contributed goals, none scoring more than twice.

Five players scored for No. 5 Harvard in a 5-0 whipping of Dartmouth, and Marissa Gedman added a couple of assists with hers. Emerance Maschmeyer gained her fourth shutout via 25 saves.

No. 10 Robert Morris posted a come-from-behind, 2-1 win on Tuesday at Ohio State. Brittany Howard and Rebecca Vint scored to keep Jessica Dodds undefeated in net. Howard bagged all four goals for the Colonials, one shy of the program record, in a 4-2 victory over Maine on Friday; Vint and Thea Imbrogno assisted three times.

Women’s D-I picks: Nov. 29

Well, Arlan continues to pull away. I think I should concede. Last week, Arlan and I went 15-7-4 (.653), so I moved to 110-40-18 (.708), while Arlan moved to 117-33-18 (.750) on the year.

I have no idea how to catch him.

Friday, Nov. 29

Northeastern at Dartmouth
Candace: Dartmouth is home, but it has been inconsistent of late. Of course, Northeastern hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire either. Northeastern 2-1
Arlan: Kind of like when I don’t know how to spell a word, it looks wrong no matter how I type it. Dartmouth 4-3

Robert Morris at Maine
Candace: I feel more comfortable picking this than any other. What does that say? Robert Morris 3-1
Arlan: The Colonials’ offense has dried up of late, yet they’re unbeaten in the last six games. Robert Morris 2-1

RIT at Quinnipiac
Candace: Which streaky team prevails? I have to go with home ice. Quinnipiac 4-2
Arlan: The Bobcats have scored 11 goals in the last eight games and only twice in their current three-game winless streak. Quinnipiac 4-3

Connecticut versus Yale
Candace: Both squads have shown significant improvement this year, so I have no idea which to pick. Yale 3-2
Arlan: Watching Yale last weekend, the Bulldogs play better once they are several goals down. Connecticut 4-2

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 29-39

Wisconsin at Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: Defense beats offense, and most other defenses. Wisconsin 2-1, 3-1
Arlan: The Badgers haven’t done particularly well at AMSOIL, including failing to score on their most recent trip. Wisconsin 2-1, 2-1

Boston College at Cornell
Candace: I think this will be a split, but am not sure which team wins which game. Boston College 2-1, 2-1
Arlan: The Eagles really need one of these games so I expect a desperate effort; if so, which game do they win? Cornell 5-4, 2-1

Rensselaer at St. Cloud State
Candace: A good chance for the home squad to build momentum ahead of a big WCHA series. St. Cloud 2-1, 3-2
Arlan: Two teams coming off of emotional series versus “Bye.” St. Cloud State 2-1, 3-2

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1

Princeton at Minnesota
Candace: Princeton is an improved team, but not enough to beat Minnesota. Minnesota 4-1, 4-1
Arlan: Minnesota has won its last 19 games against non-WCHA opponents. Minnesota 4-2, 3-1

Ohio State at New Hampshire
Candace: Sooner or later, Ohio State will start winning again, but for now, I’ll pick New Hampshire, even though every time I do, the Wildcats lose. New Hampshire 3-2, 2-1
Arlan: Some series scream, “split,” but this feels like a sweep one way or  the other. May I wait for the first result before picking the second? Ohio State 3-2, 2-1

Sunday, Dec. 1

Dartmouth at Harvard
Candace: I’m sure this will be a barnburner of a game, but I like the Crimson this year. Harvard 3-2
Arlan: You can throw records out the window in rivalry games; nonetheless, I’m just going to pick the better team. Harvard 4-2

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Boston University at Northeastern
Candace: Northeastern and BU played to overtime a month ago, but the Terriers have gotten better, while Northeastern has stayed the same. Boston University 3-2
Arlan: This went to OT last time, but I don’t really see signs that the Huskies have closed the gap. Boston University 4-2

Cornell at Syracuse
Candace: I’m not sure Syracuse is good enough to keep Cornell in check for long. Cornell 4-2
Arlan: A potential trap game for Cornell as it closes out 2013 after a much-anticipated series with BC. Cornell 3-2

Women’s D-I wrap: Nov. 25

Goals at a premium
Some days, the defense wins. Consider Friday’s 10 games. Of the 20 teams in action, only two scored more than three goals: Clarkson seven, and Minnesota State four, the last into an empty net. In only one other game, Harvard’s 3-1 win over Boston University, did both teams combine for more than three goals. On the day, those 20 offenses combined for 32 goals. Accounting for the three scoreless overtimes played, that yields a scoring average of 1.56, equal to the offensive production of Dartmouth, which at the time ranked 29th out of 34 teams.

Perhaps this can be partially explained by the country’s top three offenses having the day off; Clarkson with the No. 4 scoring average did score seven times. However, the fifth and sixth-most prolific offenses met in Grand Forks, N.D., and played to a scoreless tie.

Saturday, with a different mix of teams, offenses rebounded slightly and 24 teams combined to score 57 times, and for a scoring average of 2.37. That is hardly scalding, but it would move up the list to 19th out of 34.

Defense wins championships
In the marquee series of the weekend, No. 2 Wisconsin traveled to No. 4 North Dakota and came home with five of six WCHA points. The Badgers’ Alex Rigsby saved all 34 shots and Shelby Amsley-Benzie had a 21-save shutout as neither team could convert through regulation nor overtime in a 0-0 tie Friday. Wisconsin’s Blayre Turnbull, the final shooter in the shootout, was able to slip the puck through Amsley-Benzie’s five hole and gain her team the extra league point.

Saturday’s rematch started down the same path until the Badgers committed a second-period penalty. Karley Sylvester stole the puck and scored short-handed for the weekend’s first goal; Michelle Karvinen scored on the same power play a minute later to even the score. Wisconsin got three power-play opportunities in the final period, and Madison Packer and Brittany Ammerman cashed in on two of them. The defense in front of Rigsby was more stout in the second game despite the goal allowed, and she only had to make 20 saves in earning the 3-1 win.

And then there was one
With Lindenwood’s 2-1 defeat of Penn State on Friday, Maine is the only remaining winless team. Nicole Hensley had a rare opportunity to watch an opposing goaltender face more rubber than she did; Lindenwood outshot its guests, 35-23. Jordin Pardoski put Penn State on the scoreboard first, just 2:38 into the contest. Carrie Atkinson and Jocelyn Slattery scored second-period goals, and Hensley saved the other 22 shots to earn the win.

Penn State got its offense untracked on Saturday to earn a split with a 4-1 win, goalie Celine Whitlinger’s third of the season. Hannah Hoenshell, Taylor Gross, Laura Bowman, and Jenna Welch scored while Shannon Yoxheimer added a couple of assists, giving the Nittany Lions their first CHA points.

Where did all the brooms go?
No. 10 Mercyhurst took home the CHA season title in last year’s first campaign as a six-team league by sweeping eight of its 10 conference series. The Lakers won’t match that feat this time, as they’ve failed to sweep any of their first three CHA weekends. That’s been a problem overall for Mercyhurst so far; its only clean weekend came versus Maine.

RIT became the latest team to take a bite out of the Lakers on Friday, 2-1, the Tigers’ first win over the perennial CHA champion. Kolbee McCrea scored twice in the first period, set up both times by Morgan Scoyne. Ali Binnigton saved 42 out of 43 shots, including all 32 over the final two periods, to earn her eighth victory of the year.

Mike Sisti opted for a goaltending change on Saturday, starting sophomore Julia DiTondo for the first time in her career. Dakota Waites put the Tigers up early, but Caroline Luczak and Emily Janiga scored in rapid succession in the middle period to give Mercyhurst a 2-1 lead. McCrea tied the score 90 seconds into the final frame. Sophomore defenseman Lauren Kilroy scored her first career goal at 6:45, and that proved to be the decisive goal in a 3-2 Lakers victory.

New look atop the CHA
Robert Morris took three of four points in a pair of defensive struggles at Syracuse. The Colonials’ Ashley Vesci answered a short-hander by Nicole Ferrara in the second period in Friday’s 1-1 tie. The result was the first non-win on the ledger of Robert Morris rookie goalie Jessica Dodds (9-0-1). Her ninth win came on Saturday in a 2-1 decision. Thea Imbrogno knotted the score after another Ferrara first goal, and Rebecca Vint won it with over a minute left. The results place the Colonials atop the conference with 13 points; RIT is four points down with two games in hand. Mercyhurst sits in an unfamiliar third place.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 9 Boston University began the weekend by falling on the road at No. 6 Harvard, 3-1. Gina McDonald, Samantha Reber, and Miye D’Oench provided the Crimson with a goal in every period. Emerance Maschmeyer made 34 stops to hold the Terriers off of the scoreboard until just over four minutes remained. Sunday found BU in New Hampshire, and Sarah Lefort and Kayla Tutino scored in the odd periods to bookend a Hannah Armstrong tally for the Wildcats. Kerrin Sperry made 29 saves to preserve the 2-1 win for the Terriers.

No. 8 Clarkson had its best weekend of the season. Vanessa Gagnon scored the first of her two goals 29 seconds into Friday’s 7-0 win at Princeton. Brittany Styner and Erin Ambrose had identical output with one goal and three assists, while Jamie Lee Rattray bettered that with a goal and four helpers. Erica Howe needed only 14 saves to record the shutout. The Golden Knights followed that up with an impressive 3-0 road win at No. 5 Quinnipiac. Rattray scored in each of the first two periods, and Ambrose completed the scoring in the final minutes. Another 23 saves earned Howe her national-best seventh shutout.

The Bobcats also skated to a 1-1 tie versus St. Lawrence. Rylee Smith scored first for the Saints, Kelly Babstock responded, and Carmen MacDonald’s 47 saves were a huge reason why no winning goal was scored.

No. 1 Minnesota went on the road to Yale for a pair of games and won, 5-1, on Saturday with five different players scoring. Brad Frost picked up his 200th win behind the bench before the halfway point of his seventh season, the quickest to reach that milestone. The Gophers completed the sweep of the Bulldogs on Sunday, 4-1. The line of Rachael Bona, Hannah Brandt, and Meghan Lorence each scored a goal and assisted twice.

It wasn’t always emphatic, but No. 7 Boston College got a much-needed sweep of a home-and-home series with Connecticut. The home half came easily enough; the Eagles outshot the Huskies, 54-18, in a 6-2 win. Kristyn Capizzano and Emily Field potted a pair of goals apiece. The going was tougher on the road, but Andie Anastos’ third-period goal was the difference in a 3-2 triumph.

Other sweeps and splits
Elsewhere in Hockey East, Northeastern won the first game, 2-1, before losing the second at Vermont, 3-2. Providence got its offense untracked in sweeping visiting Maine by 8-1 and 4-2 scores.

Ohio State is 0-7-1 in November after being swept out of Mankato by the Mavericks. The 4-1 and 2-1 wins were the first WCHA points of the season for Minnesota State.

Bemidji State scored only once in Duluth, but that was enough to gain a split with Minnesota-Duluth. After the Bulldogs took a 3-0 verdict on Friday, the horn sounded on an apparent scoreless tie in regulation on Saturday. The officials reviewed a shot by Ivana Billic at 19:45 of the third period and determined that it had in fact entered the net. The goal went on the board, UMD was unable to get an equalizer as those final 15 seconds were replayed, and Brittni Mowat had a 38-save shutout.

Women’s D-I picks: Nov. 22

Well, we picked a lot of games last week, and Arlan moved even farther in front of me. Last week, I went 20-7-3 (.716) to move to 95-33-14 (.723) on the year, while Arlan went 21-6-3 (.750) to move to 102-26-14 (.773). I wonder how many games he’ll beat me by this year?

Friday, Nov. 22

Clarkson at Princeton
Candace: Princeton is showing marked improvement, but Clarkson needs this game. Clarkson 3-2
Arlan: Is Princeton in the domain of teams that Clarkson can defeat? Just how big is that domain? Clarkson 2-1

St. Lawrence at Quinnipiac
Candace: This should be close, but I expect the Bobcats to come out on top. Quinnipiac 2-1
Arlan: The Bobcats look to avenge their ECAC playoff loss to the Saints. Quinnipiac 2-1

Boston University at Harvard
Candace: I have to make up some ground somehow. Maybe the Terriers will help. Boston University 2-1
Arlan: A win should move Harvard into the top four in the PairWise Rankings. Harvard 1-0

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 22-23

Mercyhurst at RIT
Candace: I expect two close games, with the Lakers winning both. Mercyhurst 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: Let’s just pretend that it is the old days and the Lakers don’t lose to anyone, including RIT. Mercyhurst 3-2, 4-1

Robert Morris at Syracuse
Candace: Which Syracuse team shows, and which Colonials team shows? Robert Morris 2-1, 3-2
Arlan: I left this one for last because it had me dreaming up grammar errors like “perplexingest.” Robert Morris 1-0, 4-3

Northeastern at Vermont
Candace: This is more than likely a split, but I’ll pick a Northeastern sweep in the hopes that I get some more ground back. Unlikely, since it’s a Hockey East game. Northeastern 2-1, 2-1
Arlan: I’m not sure if Northeastern has anyone as good as Pelkey and Zuback. Vermont 3-2, 2-1

Ohio State at Minnesota State
Candace: Arlan’s right. No idea on who wins which night, so we’ll go Buckeyes as the more likely to take both. Ohio State 3-2, 3-1
Arlan: My guess is that this is a split, but I have zero insight into the order, so I’ll try to get one right. Ohio State 2-1, 4-2

Bemidji State at Minnesota-Duluth
Candace: The Bulldogs continue to puzzle me, but I think this is a sweep. Minnesota-Duluth 3-1, 3-2
Arlan:  Both the Beavers and Bulldogs have better records on the road. Minnesota-Duluth 2-1, 4-1

Wisconsin at North Dakota
Candace: North Dakota is primed for a letdown after an emotional win in breaking Minnesota’s streak. Plus, NoDak has even more trouble beating Wisconsin than Minnesota. Wisconsin 2-1, 2-1
Arlan: UND is looking for its first sweep of the Badgers, but I look for Alex Rigsby to be the difference. Wisconsin 2-1, 3-2

Saturday, Nov. 23

St. Lawrence at Princeton
Candace: Princeton really surprised me last week against UNH and BC. I think they might take this. Princeton 2-1
Arlan: Another game that promises entertainment value, and likely the best chance of the week for the Saints to win. St. Lawrence 3-2

Clarkson at Quinnipiac
Candace: This is a hard game to pick. I’ll go with the Golden Knights goalie. Clarkson 2-1
Arlan: Clarkson hasn’t had much success against ranked opponents. Quinnipiac 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 23-24

Connecticut home and home with Boston College
Candace: Will the real BC Eagles stand up? Hopefully. Boston College 2-1, 4-1
Arlan: If I think about this too long my head will hurt, so I’ll just say that suddenly the Eagles are all better. Boston College 4-2, 5-1

Maine at Providence
Candace: Sooner or later, Providence should start winning. Providence 4-2, 3-2
Arlan: PC hasn’t won in seven games; Maine hasn’t won at all. Providence 3-2, 5-2

Sunday, Nov. 24

Boston University at New Hampshire
Candace: New Hampshire has plagued me all season. I’ll take the Terriers. Boston University 3-1
Arlan: UNH is supposedly getting players back from injury; the question would be, how soon? Boston University 2-1

Tuesday, Nov. 26

Quinnipiac at Princeton
Candace: Should be a great game, but I expect Quinnipiac to win. Quinnipiac 4-2
Arlan: A very entertaining bunch of games coming up in the ECAC. Quinnipiac 4-3

Robert Morris at Ohio State
Candace: OSU upset Mercyhurst earlier in the year. Then they tanked. Robert Morris has shown signs of life. Robert Morris 4-2
Arlan: Ohio State has been about as steady as a Hockey East team, so it won’t do what I expect — whatever that is. Ohio State 2-1

Tuesday-Wedneady, Nov. 26-27

St. Lawrence at Mercyhurst
Candace: As Arlan says, this is a brutal stretch for the Saints. Mercyhurst 4-2, 3-2
Arlan: SLU plays four games in six days in three states, all on the road — brutal. Mercyhurst 3-2, 3-1

Women’s D-I wrap: Nov. 18

How are the slopes?
Two teams from Hockey East traveled to Vail, Colo., to challenge a pair of WCHA schools. No. 2 Wisconsin had the best of the proceedings, winning twice.

Friday, the Badgers needed a late third-period rally to down Northeastern, 3-2. Brittany Ammerman scored the tying goal and assisted on the game-winner, the first by Jenny Ryan for Wisconsin.

Her team put No. 8 Boston University away much earlier on Saturday, wrapping up the scoring in a 5-0 triumph by the second intermission. Five Badgers scored; Sydney McKibbon and Blayre Turnbull added an assist with their tallies.

Boston University salvaged a split out of the weekend with its 2-0 win over St. Cloud State on Friday. Kerrin Sperry out-dueled Julie Friend with a 28-save shutout.

St. Cloud State also had a .500 weekend after winning a battle of the Huskies over Northeastern, 3-2. Julia Gilbert’s goal just past the midway point of the game proved decisive.

Fit to be tied
Top-10 clashes were plentiful this week. In a Friday game matching ECAC powers, No. 6 Harvard was unable to hold off No. 3 Cornell. The host Crimson took a first-period lead on goals by Miye D’Oench and Sydney Daniels. That held until the final frame, when the Big Red’s top line countered. Jillian Saulnier scored twice, tying the score at 2-2, and later, 3-3, after Mary Parker had put Harvard back on top. Jessica Campbell and Emily Fulton had two-point games as well for Cornell.

Both squads rebounded from the tie with two-goal wins on Saturday. Hanna Bunton led the way with a goal and two assists as the Big Red tripped Dartmouth, 4-2. Brianna Laing posted 21 saves as Harvard whitewashed Colgate, 2-0.

Snapped strings
On Saturday, No. 1 Minnesota ran its winning and unbeaten streaks to 62 with a 6-1 triumph over No. 4 North Dakota. That was also the 10th straight win over UND. Megan Wolfe scored twice and Hannah Brandt went beyond the 100-point barrier in her second season. All of those team streaks ended on Sunday when North Dakota got first-period markers from rookies Kayla Gardner, Gracen Hirschy, and Susanna Tapani, and the Gophers comeback came up one goal short.

Winless weekend
No. 5 Boston College was unable to find any traction versus No. 7 Quinnipiac and Princeton. Shiann Darkangelo’s second goal of the game with 2:03 to play proved decisive for the Bobcats in their 3-2 win. The Eagles and the Tigers traded power-play goals in a 1-1 tie. Haley Skarupa’s goal for BC was answered by Kelsey Koelzer a period later.

Kelly Babstock and Morgan Fritz-Ward scored late in the second and third periods, respectively, and Quinnipiac followed its BC win with one over New Hampshire. Chelse Laden backstopped both contests, and is the only goalie in the country yielding less than a goal per game on average.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 10 Mercyhurst took three of four points from Syracuse, but that was only enough to forge a third-place deadlock in the CHA standings with the Orange. The Lakers needed a third-period goal by J’nai Mahadeo to earn the tie on Friday. Christie Cicero returned from a disqualification-mandated one-game suspension with a two-goal, one-assist effort in Mercyhurst’s 5-3 victory the next day.

No. 9 Clarkson recorded its first sweep in more than a month over Providence. Christine Lambert posted a hat trick on Saturday to highlight a Golden Knights’ weekend in which 14 of 16 skaters registered a point.

An even bigger mess
Some other teams that had been struggling enjoyed sweeps this weekend of opponents with even greater problems. Vermont scored nine goals to Maine’s two to keep the Black Bears winless. Minnesota-Duluth kept Ohio State trending downward with 3-2 and 2-0 wins. Bemidji State returned home from its conflict in Columbus to twice dump Minnesota State, 4-1 and 3-2. RIT gained a pair of one-goal decisions over Penn State to run its unbeaten streak to four games.

Yale got its first win of the year Friday and followed it up with another on Saturday. The Bulldogs stopped Rensselaer, 2-1, and Union, 6-4.

Women’s D-I picks: Nov. 15

Since Hockey East teams continue to plague me, Arlan has now opened up a six-game lead in our season picks race. Last week, I went 13-4-3 (.725), while Arlan went 14-3-3 (.775). Overall on the year, I am 75-26-11 (.718), while Arlan is 81-20-11 (.773). Maybe I should concede the six pack now.

Friday, Nov. 15

Cornell at Harvard
Candace: I liked Harvard’s play against Clarkson last week; can they shut down the Big Red? Something tells me it will be close, but Cornell takes it. Cornell 3-2
Arlan: Harvard will have to shut down Cornell as Quinnipiac did, a task that no other team has accomplished. Cornell 3-1

Colgate at Dartmouth
Candace: Dartmouth has been dreadful, but the Big Green have to start winning sooner or later right? Dartmouth 4-3
Arlan: Goaltending has been an issue for both, but Colgate’s has been a touch better than that of Dartmouth. The rules say that they can’t both lose. Colgate 4-3

Yale at Rensselaer
Candace: It’s probably a bad thing when your best result is a scoreless tie. Rensselaer 2-1
Arlan: Yale seems to play best versus better teams; RPI is all over the map. Rensselaer 3-2

Brown at Union
Candace: Aside from a good game against Clarkson, Brown has really struggled, but Union was porous on defense last week. Brown 2-1
Arlan: It is difficult to score against Brown; the Bears have difficulty scoring against anyone. Union 2-1

New Hampshire at Princeton
Candace: New Hampshire has killed me on picks more than any other team. Maybe I’ll get this one right? New Hampshire 2-1
Arlan: It’s unusual to think of the Tigers as the deeper team, but UNH has been banged up. Princeton 4-2

Boston College at Quinnipiac
Candace: This will be a really close game, but I’m expecting the Eagles to come out on top. Boston College 4-2
Arlan: There seems to be an unusually high number of tight games this week. Boston College 2-1

Boston University vs. St. Cloud State
Candace: St. Cloud has the skaters to make this one a really interesting game. Boston University 2-1
Arlan: The Huskies have made it hard on ranked teams not named Wisconsin. Boston University 2-0

Northeastern vs. Wisconsin
Candace: Boston College may have exposed the Huskies last week. Wisconsin 5-1
Arlan: The Badgers have been one of the most consistent teams in the country. Wisconsin 4-1

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 15-16

Syracuse at Mercyhurst
Candace: I’d like to finally pick Syracuse to beat Mercyhurst, but I just can’t. Mercyhurst 3-1, 4-1
Arlan: The Orange are bound to beat the Lakers someday, but it is hard to predict an event that has never happened. Mercyhurst 2-0, 2-1

Penn State at RIT
Candace: I figure there will probably be a tie in here somewhere, but since I can’t pick ties, advantage home team. RIT 3-2, 2-1
Arlan: Penn State came very close against Syracuse, but there is a gap between its best game and its poorer performances; the Tigers have had trouble on Saturdays. RIT 3-1, 4-3

Minnesota State at Bemidji State
Candace: Home ice is probably good for a win, but picking the right game is tough. Bemidji is coming off a really good weekend against Ohio State, so let’s be safe and call a Beavers sweep. Bemidji State 2-1, 3-2
Arlan: The Mavericks have had two weeks to prepare and the Beavers are coming off one of the strangest weekends in their history. Minnesota State 3-1, Bemidji State 2-1

Minnesota-Duluth at Ohio State
Candace: Ohio State has swooned since beating North Dakota, but the Bulldogs haven’t looked great either. Ohio State 2-1, Minnesota-Duluth 2-1
Arlan: The road team won all six games head to head last season. Minnesota-Duluth 4-3, 3-2

Providence at Clarkson
Candace: Providence can’t win at all of late, so even if Clarkson has trouble scoring, it should be enough. Clarkson 2-1, 3-2
Arlan: Two teams that expected to be higher. Clarkson can’t score, while Providence has problems defending. Clarkson 3-2, 2-1

Saturday, Nov. 16

Cornell at Dartmouth
Candace: Dartmouth plays Cornell well even in down years, but it isn’t enough. Cornell 3-1
Arlan: Dartmouth has given Cornell a lot of problems over the years, but I don’t think this year’s Big Green is up to it. Cornell 5-2

Colgate at Harvard
Candace: Advantage, best defense out there. Harvard 4-1
Arlan: If I had to pick one game to call a lock it would be this one. Harvard 4-0

Brown at Rensselaer
Candace: I have to make up ground on Arlan somehow. Rensselaer 2-1
Arlan: It is reminiscent of the kind of games RPI has lost this year. Brown 2-1

Yale at Union
Candace: See above. Union 2-1
Arlan: Yale is bound to win one sooner, not later. Yale 4-2

Boston College at Princeton
Candace: I think the Eagles have their high-flying offense uncorked just in time. Boston College 4-2
Arlan: I get the feeling that this will be an excellent game to watch. Boston College 4-3

New Hampshire at Quinnipiac
Candace: This isn’t the same Bobcats team as in years past. Quinnipiac 3-1
Arlan: Goals figure to be scarce. Quinnipiac 2-1

Northeastern vs. St. Cloud State
Candace: I’d normally pick Northeastern in this one, but something tells me the western Huskies are in better shape. St. Cloud State 2-1
Arlan: I’ll reverse the score of their last meeting three years ago. St. Cloud State 2-1

Boston University vs. Wisconsin
Candace: This could be a close one, but something tells me the Badgers have too much for the Terriers. Wisconsin 3-2
Arlan: The Terriers have started well; the Badgers have started better. Wisconsin 3-1

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 16-17

Vermont at Maine
Candace: Vermont made me look silly, again, last week, although OT in one of these wouldn’t surprise me. Vermont 2-1, 3-2
Arlan: I have no idea, but Maine is winless through 10 games. Vermont 3-2, 4-2

North Dakota at Minnesota
Candace: Yes, Minnesota will lose at some point And yes, they tend to get threatened more at home. But no, I can’t pick North Dakota. Minnesota 3-1, 3-2
Arlan: Biggest test of the season for the improved UND defense. Minnesota 3-2, 4-3

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