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Picking right back up

In terms of women’s Division III action, 2016 picked up right where 2015 left off as teams hit the ice this past weekend.

Overtime and upsets seemed to be the weekend trend.

Kicking off the year on Jan. 1, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and St. Mary’s battled to a 1-1 tie as both teams popped their goals late in the third period — UWEC’s Lexi Wilson at 16:22, Jamie Henderson for St. Mary’s at 17:53.

The next night, Danielle Lucker lifted UWEC past St. Mary’s 2-1 with the power-play OT winner 1:52 into extra time.

The Rutland Herald Invitational was the start of the upsets as Holy Cross defeated Manhattanville, 4-3, in the opener and then No. 8 Castleton, 4-1, in the title game Sunday afternoon with four unanswered goals.

Delaney Flynn’s extra-attacker goal at 19:10 of the third period gave Colby a 3-3 tie with Castleton to open the tournament and Colby then blanked Manhattanville 2-0 in the consolation game as Angelica Crites stopped all 21 shots fired her way.

Saturday, St. Anselm’s Sarah Geisinger tied the game at three at 18:53 and then Allison Quinn at 1:14 of OT completed the comeback over Trinity.

In the last OT game Saturday, Chelsea Blackburn needed just 42 seconds to snap a scoreless tie and give Stevenson the 1-0 win over Chatham. Stevenson goalie Sarah Modzelewski made 32 saves.

Sunday’s lone overtime contest saw Olivia Hawes start the game with a power-play goal and end it with a power-play goal as Hamilton bounced Wesleyan 3-2. Jessica Brennan potted both goals for Wesleyan.

In terms of ranked teams in action, No. 2 Elmira edged Williams 2-1 Saturday, No. 6 Amherst downed Southern Maine 4-1 Sunday, and top-ranked Plattsburgh beat Ottawa in exhibition play Sunday afternoon. Plattsburgh plays another exhibition game Monday against Concordia (PQ).

The Codfish Bowl kicks off Monday in Boston with Canton, Endicott, Trinity, and Massachusetts-Boston partaking in the event.

Women’s D-III picks: Jan. 1

Well, here we go with the second half. Matt and Candace pick this week’s best games.

Jan. 1 – Wisconsin-Eau Claire at St. Mary’s
Candace: This will be a battle, but it goes to the road team. Wisconsin-Eau Claire 3-1
Matt: The only game on the schedule to kick off 2016, but it should be a good one. I see UWEC eking out a tight 2-1 win.

Jan. 2 – Williams at No. 2 Elmira
Candace: Elmira is going to be one of the contenders for the national championship. Elmira 3-1
Matt: Elmira keeps the wins coming, but it’s not a cake walk here. Let’s say a late goal and an empty-netter decides this one.

Jan. 2-3 – Rutland Herald Invitational in Rutland, Vt.
Candace: I’ll call my alma mater to win this, with Castleton the runner-up and Manhattanville in third. Holy Cross 3-2, Castleton 4-1; Holy Cross 2-1, Manhattanville 3-2
Matt: In the opening games Saturday, I like No. 8 Castleton defeating Colby and then Holy Cross downing Manhattanville. Then to close the event, I see Castleton winning it with a win over Holy Cross and Manhattanville taking third with a win over Colby.

Jan. 4-5 – Codfish Bowl in Boston
Candace: I’m going with Trinity to win it all. Trinity 3-2, Mass.-Boston 4-2; Trinity 2-1, Endicott 3-1
Matt: I like Endicott topping Trinity and then Canton beating Massachusetts-Boston in the two semifinals. Upstart Endicott then wins the event the next day and Trinity finishes third over UMB.

Jan. 5 – No. 3 Lake Forest at No. 8 Middlebury
Candace: I wish I could be at this one. I’ll go with the home team. Middlebury 3-2
Matt: A definite game of the week candidate. Nothing like two ranked teams playing a weeknight contest, eh? Let’s do it. Michelle Greeneway does it, too, and her hat trick lifts the Lakers past the Panthers here.

Weekend wrap: Dec. 13

The schedule was light over the weekend in the women’s Division III ranks as the first half has come to a close, in addition to the semester with final exams on tap, or, in some cases, completed.

Just a handful of ranked teams were on the ice, but other games came with their share of drama.

No. 10 Castleton swept its two games, beating No. 5 Middlebury 3-2 in overtime Saturday before again going to OT to topple Connecticut College 2-1 Sunday afternoon.

In Saturday’s contest, Anna Daniels’ dramatic extra-attacker goal at 19:57 of the third tied the game for Castleton and then Hannah Rose won it on the power play 3:18 into the extra session.

Sunday, Taylor Steadman scored both goals, including the winner at 3:06 of overtime.

Eighth-ranked Wisconsin-River Falls took Gustavus Adolphus to overtime as well on Friday night, winning 2-1 as Carly Moran was the hero 32 seconds in.

No. 9 Amherst won both of its games, defeating Massachusetts-Boston 4-2 Friday night and Salve Regina 8-2 the following night as Erin Martin scored a goal in each period. Amherst outshot Salve by a 60-15 count, including 22-2 in the first period.

The other ranked team in action, seventh-ranked St. Thomas, earned two wins by upending Wisconsin-Stevens Point 1-0 Saturday and 6-2 Sunday. In the first game, Becca Zarembinksi had the only goal and Mackenzie Torpy fashioned a 21-save shutout.

Two more games went to overtime on the weekend and both had winners.

Saturday, Holy Cross beat Colby 5-4 on Emily Lissner’s goal 1:42 into OT and St. Benedict’s Allison Kirk lifted her team to a 3-2 win over Concordia (Wis.) with a power-play goal at 2:49 of overtime. Alexis Machuga had tied the game with an extra-attacker goal at 19:14 of the third for Concordia.

All said and done, don’t expect much change, if any, in Monday’s USCHO.com Division III Women’s Poll.

Next action in women’s D-III circles is a New Year’s Day game as St. Mary’s hosts Wisconsin-Eau Claire at 5 p.m. CDT.

Women’s D-III picks: Dec. 11

The holidays are just about here, but before the stocking can be hung by the chimney with care, we have a slew of nonconference games this weekend.

Several ranked teams take the ice as well.

Candace and Matt take their best shot.

Friday, Dec. 11

No. 8 Wisconsin-River Falls at Gustavus Adolphus
Candace: Gustavus did not look good last week, and I think River Falls gets one on the road. Wis.-River Falls 3-2
Matt: Gustavus was ranked earlier in the season, but has faltered a bit as of late. This game gets the Gusties back in the top 10. Gustavus Adolphus 4-3

Saturday, Dec. 12

No. 10 Castleton at No. 5 Middlebury
Candace: One of the best matchups of the weekend. I like home ice. Middlebury 4-3
Matt: A potential NCAA tournament game in a few months? You bet. The early preview here has Middlebury coming out on top, which may or may not happen down the road. Middlebury 3-1

Sunday, Dec. 13

Wisconsin-Stevens Point at No. 7 St. Thomas
Candace: Look for the Tommies to squeak this one out. St. Thomas 2-1
Matt: Stevens Point is a poll bubble team and can stay with any team in the country on any given night. Here, though, the game belongs to the Tommies. St. Thomas 2-0

Women’s D-III wrap: Dec. 6

The weekend in women’s Division III has come and gone, and as always, you just never know with some of these teams.

Who could have predicted St. Benedict tying No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus 2-2 Friday night and then winning 3-2 in overtime Saturday, or even Connecticut College playing No. 3 Middlebury tight, only to lose 3-2 Friday and then play to a 1-1 tie Saturday?

There also seemed to be a large amount of shutouts over the weekend, too.

Top-ranked Plattsburgh continued its torrid pace with consecutive shutouts over Buffalo State, while No. 2 Elmira swept Potsdam.

Camille Leonard made 15 saves for Plattsburgh in the 2-0 win Saturday and then followed it up with a 10-save effort Sunday in a 5-0 win, a win that saw the Cardinals outshoot Buffalo State, 60-10.

Elmira and goalie Kelcey Crawford’s 15 saves blanked the Bears 5-0 on Saturday as five different players scored, and then Sunday, Amanda Peterson scored at 18:01 to bring Potsdam to within 3-2, but the Bears couldn’t get the equalizer. Kyle Nelson turned aside 20 shots for the Soaring Eagles.

For No. 3 Middlebury, does the Panthers’ weekend mean a drop in the national rankings? Carly Watson’s goal at 9:32 of the third period stood as the winner Friday. Katherine Chester made 30 saves for Connecticut College. Saturday, Chester stopped 31 as the two teams traded goals 2:05 apart in the second period.

Fourth-ranked Adrian handled Marian in a sweep with a 6-0 win Friday and a 5-2 victory Saturday. Brooke Gibson earned the 22-save shutout in the first game, while Kristin Lewicki posted a hat trick in the finale.

No. 5 Lake Forest tripped up Finlandia 6-1 and 11-0 over the weekend. Melissa Paluch and Amanda Brunges each scored twice Friday and LFC goalie made six saves, losing her shutout at 17:03 of the third period. Saturday, Michelle Greeneway scored four goals and Allie Carter stopped all 11 shots for the shutout.

St. Thomas, ranked sixth going into the weekend, won both ends of a home-and-home with Hamline, taking a 4-2 win on the road Friday and then coming home for a 3-0 shutout Saturday on the strength of Mackenzie Torpy’s 25 saves.

Seventh-ranked Norwich played just one game over the weekend, but made it count in a 6-0 win over Bowdoin on Friday. The goals came from six different players and Laurie King picked up the shutout with a 23-save outing.

No. 8 Wisconsin-River Falls won its home-and-home with Wisconsin-Superior, winning 5-2 away on Friday and 3-1 back home Saturday. Chloe Kinsel registered three goals the first night and then another on Saturday afternoon as Angie Hall stopped 25 between the pipes.

Which brings us to Gustavus. Friday night, Erica Power put GAC up 2-1 midway through the third period before Brigette Miller’s extra-attacker goal with 1:07 to play pulled St. Benedict into the tie. The Blazers came into the weekend with a 1-5-0 record. Saturday, on the road no less, Maddie Rainey tied it at 18:34 with another EAG and she then won it 2:29 into the extra session.

I’d expect the Golden Gusties to fall out of the top 10 come Monday afternoon.

Tenth-ranked Castleton sat idle last weekend.

Women’s D-III picks: Dec. 4

It’s almost the end of the semester, but don’t for one second think that games the next couple weekend don’t matter.

They do.

Like always, the women’s D-III team of Candace and Matt make their predictions on this weekend’s key contests.

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 4-5

No. 6 St. Thomas vs. Hamline
Candace: Both of these games will be very close, but I think St. Thomaas will get the wins. St. Thomas 2-1, 3-2
Matt: Hamline could easily be in the national rankings, while St. Thomas, on the other hand, already is. This may be the season for upsets, and I will call it now. The visiting team wins each game. St. Thomas 4-2, Hamline 3-1

Stevenson at Nichols
Candace: I figure Stevenson will be in the rankings sooner or later if it keeps this up. Stevenson 3-0, 4-1
Matt: I like this Stevenson team. It’s a team that is 7-0-1, yet no love from the national poll voters. Nichols has struggled mightily this season, so come Saturday night, Stevenson should be 9-0-1. Stevenson 5-1, 4-0

Wednesday, Dec. 9

No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus at No. 8 Wisconsin-River Falls
Candace: One of the best games on tap for the coming week. I like home ice. Wis.-River Falls 3-2
Matt: The only game where ranked teams play one another should be a doozy. Both teams have high-end talent, but it’s the Gusties that come away with a win in overtime here. Gustavus Adolphus 2-1

Women’s D-III wrap: Nov. 29

With the Thanksgiving holiday this past weekend, the schedule was a bit light for D-III women, but the action sure wasn’t.

The Cardinal/Panther Classic at Middlebury had three ranked teams taking part, and the event lived up to its name as a classic indeed.

In the opening game Friday, No. 2 Elmira knocked off No. 3 Middlebury, 3-1. After spotting the Panthers a 1-0 lead after one period, Elmira roared back to score three unanswered. Kelcey Crawford made 18 saves for the Soaring Eagles, while Marisa Dreher stopped 17 for Middlebury.

Saturday afternoon, top-ranked Plattsburgh handled Wisconsin-Stevens Point 5-1 on Melissa Sheeran’s two goals and an assist and Camille Leonard’s 30 saves in net. Giovanna Senese added a goal and three helpers for the Cardinals.

In the second contest Saturday, Elmira edged No. 9 Gustavus Adolphus, 2-1. Olivia Nystrom’s goal at 1:37 of the third period proved to be the game-winner. Kyle Nelson made 23 saves in the Elmira net.

Sunday’s games in the Cardinal/Panther Classic saw Middlebury tip Stevens Point 3-1 and Plattsburgh beat GAC by a 5-3 count.

Jessica Young had a goal and an assist in Middlebury’s win and Julia Neuburger fashioned a 20-save outing in the Panthers’ crease.

For Plattsburgh, a four-goal third period gave the Cardinals the win after being down 3-1 through two periods. Kayla Meneghin scored two for Plattsburgh and Sheeran added a goal and an assist to back Leonard’s 19 saves.

Also on Sunday, Connecticut College put 54 shots on Johnson and Wales goalies Kami Weiner and Chelsey Shaw in a 10-0 win. Elena Gualtieri scored twice with three assists and goalie Bailey Mertz needed to make just 12 saves to take the shutout.

Seven different players scored in the University of New England’s 8-0 whitewash of Salem State on Sunday. Carly Perreault scored twice and all three UNE goalies — Samantha Scobee, Sydney Helmbrecht and Giana Rifici — saw time in goal.

No. 10 Castleton, the only other ranked team in action over the weekend, blanked Williams 2-0 on Sunday as Jess Cameron stopped 46 shots in gaining the win. Williams outshot Castleton 46-17.

Casey Stathopoulos recorded two goals and two assists in Sacred Heart’s 7-2 win over Morrisville on Saturday.

Two overtime heroines to note this weekend, as Kaitlyn Perrins’ goal 1:29 in gave Chatham a 1-0 win over Becker on Sunday and on Saturday, Jillian Kosteck scored at 3:37 of extra time to complete St. Norbert’s 3-2 comeback over St. Mary’s. Lexi Pyykkonen tied the game at 15:13 of the third period for SNC. St. Mary’s goalie Ashley Corcoran was on fire in making 42 saves.

Women’s D-III picks: Nov. 27

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not too many games on the schedule this weekend, but a couple ranked teams do play, in addition to the Cardinal/Panther Classic that will feature the top three teams in the country.

Once the turkey is digested and the food coma wears off, check out this schedule this coming weekend.

Candace and Matt pick the top games.

Cardinal/Panther Classic

Friday, Nov. 27

Elmira at Middlebury
Candace: This is it, the marquee series of the weekend. I like the home ice team in this. Middlebury 2-1
Matt: Start it right off Friday with No. 2 Elmira playing No. 3 Middlebury. Wow. Tough to call, but I like Elmira 3-2.

Saturday, Nov. 28

Gustavus Adolphus vs Elmira
Candace: Elmira rebounds from a tough loss to take this. Elmira 4-2
Matt: I see a 5-2  for Elmira here

Wisconsin-Stevens Point vs. Plattsburgh
Candace: Someone will beat Plattsburgh, but it won’t be this game. Plattsburgh 4-1
Matt: Plattsburgh should go over Wisconsin-Stevens Point by a 4-1 count

Sunday, Nov. 29

Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Middlebury
Candace: The home team takes another in this top event. Middlebury 4-2
Matt: I like No. 3 Middlebury beating UWSP 3-0

Gustavus Adolphus vs. Plattsburgh
Candace: The top team wins again. Plattsburgh 4-1
Matt: Plattsburgh also blanking Gustavus, also 3-0.

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 28-29

Marian at Concordia (Minn.)
Candace: Home ice wins over an inconsistent team. Concordia 3-2, 4-2
Matt: Marian comes in at 2-5-0, while Concordia is 4-2-0. Look for the Cobbers to boost their record to 6-2-0 after the weekend with wins of 4-1 and 5-3, moving their winning streak to six games.

Sunday, Nov. 29

Williams at No. 10 Castleton
Candace: Castleton has shown marked improvement, but I like an upset here. Williams 3-2
Matt: With a 7-1-1 mark so far, there is a lot to like about Castleton. For Williams, just 1-1-0 with the late NESCAC start, the Ephs are still finding their identity. Castleton shows why it should move up the ranks Monday with a win this weekend, 2-1.

Women’s D-III wrap: Nov. 23

Wow, what a weekend in the women’s Division III circles!

As has become the norm, I suppose, upsets have been happening and individual stats are going from fantastic one week to just average the next.

Case in point, Endicott goalie Vendela Jonsson went into last weekend’s games with a perfect 4-0-0 record with four shutouts. Yes, she had yet to see a puck get past her.

Stevenson came to town and beat Endicott 2-0 Friday and then Saturday, the two teams played to a scoreless tie. Jonsson stopped 20 shots each game.

Jonsson’s new line (which still is hardly shabby): 4-1-1, 0.33 GAA and a .978 save percentage.

As far as ranked teams go, No. 1 Plattsburgh was idle last weekend.

No. 2 Elmira swept Utica in a home-and-home set with a 4-1 win Saturday and then a tough 2-1 win on Sunday. Meghan Fonfara scored at 14:58 and 18:56 of the third period Sunday to snatch the win for the Soaring Eagles.

Third-ranked St. Thomas played to a stunning 2-2 tie with Bethel Friday, but rebounded for a 1-0 win on a Karina Marette goal and Mackenzie Torpy’s 23 saves Saturday. That wasn’t enough to keep the Tommies at No. 3, though, as they dropped to No. 6 in the Women’s D-III USCHO.com Poll.

No. 4 Adrian handled St. Scholastica with a 3-0 shutout Friday night (Brooke Gibson 22 saves) and then blasted Finlandia 9-1 on Saturday, as Brooke Lupi tallied the hat trick.

Middlebury entered the weekend ranked fifth and swept Trinity by scores of 5-1 and 2-1 to open the NESCAC season for both teams. Anna Van Kula scored with 47 seconds left in regulation to eke out the 2-1 win Saturday. Middlebury moved up to third in the this week’s poll.

Michelle Greeneway scored twice to pace No. 6 Lake Forest to a 4-1 win over St. Norbert on Saturday. Keep an eye on the Foresters!

No. 7 Norwich played solid defense (an understatement) in blanking Salve Regina 3-0 Friday and Manhattanville 4-0 Saturday. Celeste Robert stopped 19 shots Friday and then Laurie King turned aside all 12 Saturday through 40 minutes before not seeing a shot in the third period. Adelle Murphy recorded a pair of goals for the Cadets.

Gustavus Adolphus tied Augsburg 2-2 Friday night before looking like (one of) the No. 8 team(s) in the country with a 4-1 win Saturday to complete the home-and-home. Allison Eder-Zdechlik went for a hat trick in the win for GAC on Saturday afternoon.

Wisconsin-River Falls, also ranked eighth heading into the weekend, took both ends of a home-and-home with Wisconsin-Eau Claire, winning 4-1 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday. UWRF goalie Angie Hall made 22 saves Friday, 16 on Saturday.

Wisconsin-Stevens Point dropped out of the top 10 this week after taking just one of four points against Wisconsin-Superior on home ice. The Pointers lost 2-1 Friday and then battled to a 2-2 tie Saturday. Natasha Singer was brilliant in stopping 38 shots for Superior in the first game and came back with 33 more saves in the rematch.

Katie Tang was the OT hero Saturday night as Colby beat Bowdoin 4-3 and Rachel Vigliano pulled the same heroics the same day as New England College edged Plymouth State 2-1.

Morrisville outscored Daniel Webster 21-0 in their two-game set last weekend.

While no ranked teams play other ranked teams this weekend, don’t expect the competition to be on the light side.

In fact, with all conferences on the ice, fans of D-III women’s hockey have reason to celebrate this weekend.

As always, USCHO Women’s Editor Candace Horgan and USCHO Women’s Writer Matt Mackinder do their best to pick the games they deem important on this weekend’s docket.

Friday, Nov. 20

Salve Regina at No. 7 Norwich
Candace: Salve is hot, but Norwich is Norwich. Norwich 3-1
Matt: While Salve is 4-1-0 and unranked, that could sure change with a win over Norwich. I’m a sucker for picking upsets, so let’s do that here. Salve Regina 3-2

Friday, Nov. 20

No. 4 Adrian at St. Scholastica
Candace: Adrian should rebound from its last disappointing outing. Adrian 4-2
Adrian: St. Scholastica is 3-2-0 after sweeping St. Norbert last weekend and Adrian proved it was mortal last weekend by losing to Lake Forest. Both teams have something to prove here, but it’s St. Scholastica with a hard-fought 5-3 win that is iced on a late empty-netter.

Friday-Saturday

Stevenson at Endicott
Candace: I love home ice for these picks. Endicott 2-1, 2-1
Matt: The battle of the unbeaten as both teams are 6-0-0 heading into this weekend series. Endicott goalie Vendela Jonsson is 4-0-0 and has yet to even allow a goal so far. What gives here? I say Stevenson dents the armor with a 2-1 win Friday before Endicott regroups for a 3-0 win Saturday, yes, with Jonsson getting the goose egg.

Friday-Saturday

Trinity at No. 5 Middlebury
Candace: A classic NESCAC game goes to the home team. Middlebury 3-2, 2-1
Matt: Middlebury and Trinity have yet to play a game this season, but will get after it this weekend. It’d be easy to call a split here with both teams probably working out opening-night kinks, and that works for me. Friday, it’s Trinity 4-2 and then Saturday, same score, reverse the teams.

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