Weekend picks: Jan. 9

The weather outside is frightful, but inside, women’s Division III games this weekend should be delightful.

Two tournaments dot this weekend’s schedule on top of several ranked teams taking the ice.

As has become an exciting part of the weekend, women’s editor Candace Horgan and women’s writer Matt Mackinder take their picks on the wins and losses for the games ahead.

Friday, Jan. 9

No. 7 Adrian at No. 5 Gustavus Adolphus
Candace: Something tells me the road team is poised for a strong second half. Adrian 3-2
Matt: Another contest that is sure to be a nail-biter. Both of these teams have it all, but Gustavus has a smidge more and gets a 2-0 shutout here with Lindsey Hibbard in net.

Friday/Saturday, Jan. 9-10

St. Michael’s Tournament (St. Michael’s, Oswego, Plymouth State, Hamilton)
Candace: I like the Lakers over the home team in this tournament. Oswego 3, Plymouth State 1, St. Michael’s 2, Hamilton 1, Oswego 3-2
Matt: No ranked teams here, but expect some solid competition. Oswego is the only team better than .500 with a 7-2-0 mark, so I’ll go with the Lakers here.

Rutland Herald Invitational (Stevenson, Castleton, Manhattanville, Holy Cross)
Candace: I’ll pick my alma mater to take it over Castleton. Castleton 3, Stevenson 1, Holy Cross 4, Manhattanville 2, Holy Cross 3-1
Matt: Again, no ranked teams doesn’t mean the games aren’t meaningful. All four teams in this one are .500 or better, so picking a winner is a tough decision. That said, I’ll go out on a limb and say Castleton gets two wins to take the crown.

Sunday, Jan. 11

No. 3 Norwich at No. 2 Elmira
Candace: Last weekend, Elmira faced the No. 4 team, Middlebury, and tied. Something tells me the Soaring Eagles get the win here. Elmira 2-1
Matt: Wow. Talk about Happy New Year! This game will be everything a playoff game or even a national tournament game should be. So with both teams stacked in all areas, what gives? Do we call it a tie? Nope, no cowardice here. I say Elmira wins it in overtime on an Ashley Ryan goal.


Weekend wrap: Jan. 5

As the New Year rolls around, so do meaningful games in the women’s Division III ranks – and there were several this past weekend, all nonconference affairs.

Two tournaments dotted the weekend’s games as Adrian hosted its own tournament and Massachusetts-Boston brought in three other teams for the Codfish Bowl.

No. 9 Adrian beat Williams 3-1 and then Connecticut College 9-0.

The Bulldogs handed the Camels their first loss of 2014-15 by dominating the first period with five goals and having Jade Walsh got the shutout with an eight-save outing. Devyn Fitzhenry notched a hat trick for Adrian in the win.

Williams downed St. Olaf in the third-place game.

Stevenson won the Codfish Bowl on Saturday with a 3-2 overtime win against Mass.-Boston as Brooke Webber scored 9:22 into the extra session. UMB had topped Canton and Stevenson defeated Chatham 4-3 to open the event Friday.

Ariana Bourque’s goal seven seconds into the OT gave Bowdoin a 4-3 win over No. 8 St. Thomas Friday night. The Tommies then surrendered four unanswered third-period goals Saturday en route to a 7-4 loss to Trinity. That game was tied 3-3 after two periods.

Bowdoin finished out its weekend with a 4-1 win at Hamline on Saturday.

The marquee matchup of the weekend had No. 4 Middlebury at No. 2 Elmira on Saturday, but no bragging rights came out of it, as the game wound up a 2-2 tie. Katie Mandigo’s goal at 13:19 of the third period tied the game for Middlebury. Erin Weston scored both goals for Elmira, and Soaring Eagles’ goalie Kyle Nelson finished with 35 saves. Madeline Marsh made 26 saves for the Panthers.

Seventh-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point earned a split in a home-and-home with St. Norbert. UWSP won 5-2 on Friday at home before falling by the same score Saturday. Janna Beilke-Skoug made 48 saves for the Pointers in the first game, while Brianna Kelly finished with 22 for the Green Knights in Saturday’s rematch.

No. 10 Amherst swept its road weekend with a 3-1 win Saturday over Holy Cross and then a 3-2 victory Sunday over Southern Maine. Alex Toupal scored the game-winner Saturday with 1:40 to play in regulation and then Brenna Sullivan provided the drama Sunday afternoon with the winner at 17:41 of the third period.

Saturday also saw a scoreless tie between Marian and St. Catherine. Amanda Alexander stopped 37 shots in goal for the Sabres and Abbi White turned aside 29 for the Wildcats.

Women’s D-III picks: Jan. 2

Happy New Year!

With the calendar flipping to 2015, it also signifies the second half of the season, the time when two points on a nightly basis means more than ever as teams start to jockey for playoff positioning.

This weekend, a handful of ranked teams take the ice, with Candace and Matt making their picks for what promises to be a sound weekend of action.

No. 9 Adrian hosts a tournament, and the Codfish Bowl is being held in Boston. Adrian will be joined by St. Olaf, Connecticut College and Williams, while Massachusetts-Boston, Stevenson, Chatham and Canton take part in the Codfish Bowl.

Friday/Saturday, Jan. 2-3

Codfish Bowl and Adrian Tournament
Candace: I’ll pick Adrian to win its home tournament, beating Williams 3-2 on Friday and then beating St. Olaf in the final 4-2. I’ll take Mass.-Boston to win the Codfish Bowl, beating Canton 4-1 Friday and Chatham 3-2 Saturday.
Matt: I think home cooking suits Adrian at its event and the Bulldogs get two wins pretty handily. Out East, again, I see the home team picking up two victories, but look for Chatham to make some noise. Just a hunch.

No. 8 St. Thomas vs. Bowdoin and Trinity
Candace: Somehow, I think that St. Thomas will lose one here. Bowdoin 3-2, St. Thomas 3-1
Matt: St. Thomas is coming off a loss to Concordia (Minn.) in its last game on Dec. 6, so getting back in the win column is of the highest priority. Not only do the Tommies beat Bowdoin Friday night, but also knock off Trinity on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, Jan. 4

No. 4 Middlebury at No. 2 Elmira
Candace: This could be one of the best games of the year, but I like home ice. Elmira 3-2
Matt: Probably the marquee matchup of the weekend. The two teams have just three losses combined (Elmira is 9-1-0, Middlebury is 5-2-0) and this may shape up to be a goalie battle between Elmira’s Kelcey Crawford and Middlebury’s Madeline Marsh. I see a one-goal game with Elmira coming away with the ‘W.’

Weekend wrap: Dec. 15

Just 11 games went in the record books this past weekend, but even as the schedule was light, the action was quite the opposite.

As far as ranked teams go, No. 10 Wisconsin-Superior swept Marian, but by no means was it an easy task.

Superior started out with a 7-2 win Friday night and then escaped with an 8-7 win Saturday afternoon.

Friday’s win featured 59 shots on Marian goalie Ali Glazer, while Saturday’s victory saw the Yellowjackets score three goals in the first 3:19 to take an 8-6 lead and then hold off a late push from the Sabres.

Fifth-ranked Gustavus Adolphus defeated No. 7 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 3-1 on Saturday as the Gusties scored three in the third, including the game-winner from Emily Reibert at 17:44.

No. 8 Adrian played to a 2-2 tie with Massachusetts-Boston. Kaylyn Schroka scored both for the Bulldogs and Alyssa Sullivan and Angela Dandreo tallied for UMB. Both goaltenders (Adrian’s Jade Walsh, UMB’s Moe Bradley) finished with 31 saves.

Obviously, expect the rankings to see somewhat of a shakeup this week.

In other action, Franklin Pierce went on the road and swept Canton, Potsdam took both at home from New England College, St. Scholastica and Augsburg both topped Wisconsin-Eau Claire, with Augsburg goalie Rebecca Sonnek picking up the 22-save shutout in a 2-0 win, and Bethel edged Concordia (Minn.) 4-3 in overtime Saturday as Megan Niblock played the role of overtime hero 45 seconds into extra time.

Happy Holidays! We’ll see you in 2015!

Weekend picks: Dec. 12

With just 11 games on the Division III women’s schedule this weekend to take us into the holiday break, that doesn’t mean none of the games are meaningful ones.

Ranked teams will take the ice this weekend and will face formidable opponents.

Let’s see what our predictions are for the weekend of Dec. 12-14, shall we?

Marian @ No. 10 Wisconsin-Superior – Dec. 12-13
Candace: Home ice and a better team equals a sweep. Wis.-Superior 4-2, 4-1
Matt: Superior isn’t ranked No. 10 in the country for no reason and I see a sweep here on home ice. Look for a big offensive weekend from Karen Larson and for Superior’s two goaltenders (Megan Leikkari and Kim Kobar) to each grab a win.

No. 7 Wisconsin-Stevens Point @ No. 5 Gustavus Adolphus – Dec. 13
Candace: Gustavus has struggled of late, but they are at home for this one, and I think home wins the night. Gustavus Adolphus 3-2
Matt: Wow – what gives here? This matchup could very well happen once the national tournament rolls around in a few short months. I could take the lazy way out and pick a tie, but instead, I am picking the Pointers, possibly in overtime, by a 4-3 score. Give the game-winner to Ali Biagnini.

No. 8 Adrian @ Massachusetts-Boston – Dec. 13
Candace: Like Matt, I believe that Adrian is just too strong in this one. Adrian 4-1
Matt: Adrian remains undefeated this year and it will stay that way after this contest. Jade Walsh gets the win in goal and Kristen Lewicki scores twice. Just a hunch.

Happy Holidays!

Weekend wrap: Dec. 8

There is certainly no lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas in the ranks of women’s Division III hockey.

This past weekend was the perfect example of that.

Top-ranked Plattsburgh swept Buffalo State with a 7-0 win Friday and then hung on for a 2-1 win Saturday. Melissa Sheeran tallied a hat trick with an assist Friday, while Kayla Meneghin went for two goals and three helpers. Saturday, Bridget Balisy’s goal midway through the second period stood as the game-winner. The Cardinals allowed just 24 shots on goal over the weekend. … Oswego swept Neumann by scores of 4-1 and 3-2. In the one-goal win, Bridget Smith finished with 34 saves. … Utica topped Cortland 5-2 Saturday before the two teams tied 2-2 on Sunday. Cortland scored two late power-play goals in the second period. … Chatham pitched two straight shutouts over Williams Smith – 2-0 Saturday and 3-0 Sunday. … Second-ranked Elmira blitzed Potsdam 7-1 and 8-1 as Ashley Ryan scored twice with two assists Saturday and then added four more assists Sunday.

No. 9 St. Thomas split with Concordia (Minn.), taking a 4-2 win Friday before suffering a 2-1 defeat Saturday as Amber Schaack tallied the eventual game-winning goal late in the second period. … Fourth-ranked Gustavus Adolphus beat St. Olaf 7-2 Friday night before settling for a 1-1 tie Saturday. Annie Pumper’s goal at 10:19 of the third period gave St. Olaf the tie Saturday. … Macki Fadness’ goal at 18:35 of the third period tied the game and then Rory Petrisin won the game for St. Mary’s 4:48 into overtime to beat St. Catherine Saturday night. … Bethel swept Hamline, highlighted by a 19-save Maggie Straka shutout and two Natalie Simons goals in a 4-0 Saturday night win. … Augsburg and St. Benedict split a home-and-home as the visiting team won each game.

No. 10 Adrian swept St. Scholastica in convincing fashion, 7-4 Saturday night and then 4-2 Sunday afternoon. Kelsey Kusch scored five goals in the two games and Nina Waidacher registered a hat trick in Saturday’s win. … Michelle Greeneway and Melissa Paluch each scored two goals in Lake Forest’s 10-2 rout over Finlandia Saturday. … St. Norbert swept Concordia (Wis.) and in the process, only gave up one goal. Brianna Kelly made 18 saves Friday in a 3-0 shutout and then 15 on Saturday in a 4-1 win to gain the two wins in goal for the Green Knights.

Sixth-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point played two tight games with Wisconsin-Eau Claire, tying 3-3 Friday night and then taking a 2-1 win Saturday. Emily Lester’s goal at 13:54 of the third period Friday pulled Wis.-Stevens Point into the tie after Paige Dale’s two goals put Wis.-Eau Claire ahead and then Katherine Nejedlo’s goal early in the third period proved to be the winner Saturday. … No. 7 Wisconsin-River Falls swept No. 8 Wisconsin-Superior with a 6-2 win Friday and then a 4-1 victory on Saturday night. Dani Sibley scored twice for Wis.-River Falls on Friday and then four different players scored Saturday.

Third-ranked Norwich edged Amherst 4-3 Friday and then Loren Carrier posted a 19-save shutout in a 1-0 win Sunday over Bowdoin. Erin Joyce tallied the game-winner at 16:43 of the third versus Amherst. … Kelsie Fralick made 18 saves as Connecticut College blanked Plymouth State 2-0 Friday night. … In Williams’ 3-0 whitewash of Salve Regina Friday night, goalie Margaret Draper stopped all 24 shots fired her way. … Trinity took both from Southern Maine, 4-1 and 5-0. Cheeky Herr scored two goals Friday night and Sydney Belinskas took the win both nights, making 16 saves Friday and then 24 in the shutout. Lucy Robinson netted two for Trinity Saturday and Herr added another. … Stevenson blanked the University of New England 2-0 Saturday behind two goals from Chelsea Blackburn and a 35-save shutout out of Anastassia Nelson.

Weekend picks: Dec. 5

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 5-6

Wis.-River Falls vs. Wis.-Superior
Candace: A split in this one seems certain, with the home team prevailing in each. Wis.-River Falls 2-1, Wis.-Superior 3-2
Matt:One other series to watch is the home-and-home set between No. 7 Wisconsin-River Falls and No. 8 Wisconsin-Superior.

The WIAC is always a tough, albeit small conference, but the players have the talent to back it up.

The series starts in River Falls Friday and wraps Saturday night at Superior. I like a split here, with the home team taking each game.

Saturday, Dec. 6

St. Anselm at Bowdoin

Candace: I don’t believe in picking ties, and I like home ice in this one, though it’s a one-goal win. Bowdoin 3-2
Matt: Another key game this weekend is St. Anselm heading to Bowdoin on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks are 6-1-1, while the Polar Bears are 3-0-2. It’s one of those games where one would think something has to give and a tally mark will be put in someone’s loss column, but not today. The teams play to a 3-3 tie with the tying goal coming from Bowdoin with the extra attacker.

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 6-7

St. Scholastica at Adrian
Candace: This is a tough one to pick, but I’m going with home ice in both. Adrian 3-2, 3-1
Matt:The big series this weekend is in the NCHA, with St. Scholastica at No. 10 Adrian Saturday and Sunday.

Adrian remains unbeaten (5-0-1), having swept then-No. 9 Lake Forest early on and taking three of four points from St. Norbert on the road two weeks ago. St. Scholastica enters its third straight series against a top-four opponent from a year ago. Two weekends ago, the Saints tied and lost at Lake Forest after splitting with St. Norbert at home three weeks ago.

This weekend is a statement opportunity for Adrian and St. Scholastica, as Adrian can grab a firm grip on the conference lead, while St. Scholastica can pick up a win against a ranked opponent and possibly build some momentum into the second half of the season. Adrian wins two one-goal games, with one in overtime.


Weekend wrap: Dec. 1

The action over the weekend was light in the women’s Division III circles, but that doesn’t mean the games that were played were light on drama.

All games were nonconference, with the highlight being Plattsburgh hosting and winning the Cardinal/Panther Classic on Sunday. The tournament featured four of the top five teams in the USCHO.com Division III Women’s Poll to boot.

Top-ranked Plattsburgh downed No. 2 Elmira 4-2 in the final after tying No. 4 Gustavus Adolphus 4-4 in the semifinals.

Camille Leonard made 29 saves to get the win against Elmira in a game that saw Plattsburgh use four different goal scorers. Johanna Eidensten notched both goals for Elmira.

Five of the six games over the weekend that went to overtime ended in a tie:- Holy Cross and Bowdoin 0-0 Saturday, Canton and University of New England 4-4 Saturday, the aforementioned Plattsburgh-Gustavus contest, Salve Regina and Connecticut College 1-1 Sunday, and Buffalo State and Franklin Pierce 1-1 Sunday.

The one OT game that saw a winner emerge was when fifth-ranked Middlebury defeated Gustavus 3-2 in the consolation game of the Cardinal/Panther Classic. Maddie Winslow was the hero 1:09 into the extra session after Lydia Wagner’s extra-attacker goal at 19:21 of the third period tied it for Gustavus.

In the Holy Cross-Bowdoin stalemate, Lan Crofton made 34 saves for Bowdoin, while Alexandra Stevenson kicked out 19 at the other end for the Crusaders.

Other top performances saw Katie Abbott score two goals to pace Stevenson past Nichols 7-2 Friday night, Jessica Thulin make 31 saves and Jackie Tavella score the only goal in Colby’s 1-0 win at Massachusetts-Boston on Saturday, and Tori Salmon going for three goals and three assists in Amherst’s 9-1 shellacking of Cortland on Sunday.

Women’s D-III picks: Nov. 29

The turkey has been digested and for some, the shopping has begun..

For now, USCHO Women’s Editor Candace Horgan and Division III writer Matt Mackinder give their thoughts on the big games this weekend.

Saturday, Nov. 29/Sunday, Nov. 30 - Cardinal/Panther Classic
Matt: Wow — four ranked teams all under one roof, and of those four, all are in the USCHO.com top five. The home team and No. 1-ranked team, Plattsburgh, may have home-ice advantage and will beat No. 4 Gustavus Adolphus in the first game, but falls in the tournament final Sunday to No. 2 Elmira, who should top No. 5 Middlebury in its first game. I like the tournament final to be a one-goal game, with possible overtime.
Candace: I think Plattsburgh takes the whole shebang, but it might be in OT. Friday: Plattsburgh 4-2 over Gustavus; Elmira 3-2 over Middlebury. Saturday: Plattsburgh 3-2 over Elmira; Middleburg 3-2 over Gustavus.

Saturday, Nov. 29 – Holy Cross at Bowdoin
Matt: The two teams have just one loss between the two of them (Holy Cross at 6-1-0, Bowdoin 2-0-1) and though neither team is ranked, this game has an aura about it that makes it a viable contest on the schedule. I like Holy Cross 4-2, with an empty-netter to seal it late in the third.
Candace: I’d like to pick my alma mater, but I think that Bowdoin is a little stronger. Plus, Bowdoin is at home. Bowdoin 3-1

Tuesday, Dec. 2 – No. 7 Wisconsin-River Falls at St. Benedict
Matt: These weeknight games can play tricks on a team’s routine, but not for seventh-ranked UWRF, which takes down St. Benedict on the road by a 6-2 count. Give Chloe Kinsel two goals and two assists for the Falcons.
Candace: I think it might be closer than Matthew thinks, but I agree with the result. Wis.-River Falls 4-2

Weekend wrap: Nov. 24

The weekend that was in Division III women’s hockey…

Massachusetts-Boston played a pair of overtime games last weekend, setting for a 1-1 tie Friday at St. Anselm and then another 1-1 stalemate Saturday at home against Southern Maine. … Castleton and Manhattanville went to a scoreless tie Friday night. Paula Stephens made 26 saves for Castleton, while Kirsten Shaughnessy stopped 29 for Manhattanville. … Katie Couture’s second goal of the game 47 seconds into overtime lifted Southern Maine to a 3-2 win Friday night over the University of New England. … Third-ranked Norwich won two more games with a 3-0 shutout at Salve Regina Friday night and then a 5-3 win at Manhattanville on Saturday. Celeste Robert finished with 28 saves in the shutout. … Seven different players scored in St. Anselm’s 7-0 win over Nichols Saturday night, and Hannah Synnott earned the shutout, making just 11 saves. … Kara Violette scored the tying goal at 15:36 and then the winner at 19:34 as Holy Cross rallied to beat St. Michael’s 4-3 Saturday night. … Franklin Pierce took two in a row, beating St. Michael’s 1-0 Friday and then U of New England 4-1 Saturday.

Oswego and goalie Bridget Smith posted back-to-back shutouts over Potsdam, winning 4-0 Friday and 3-0 Saturday. Smith made 29 saves in the first game, 28 in the second. … Buffalo State took two straight 3-1 wins on the road against Chatham. … No. 2 Elmira won both ends of a home-and-home with Utica. Ashton Hogan recorded two goals and an assist in Saturday’s 4-1 win and then added three more, including the game-winner at 17:41 of the third period, and an assist in a 7-5 win on Saturday. … Catherine Linehan’s overtime power-play goal at the 57-second mark gave William Smith a 3-2 win over Neumann Saturday night. Neumann came back with a 2-1 win Sunday, as Megan Russelo netted both goals.

No. 7 Gustavus Adolphus swept a home-and-home with Hamline with a 6-3 win Friday and a 4-0 shutout Saturday on the strength of 19 saves from Lindsey Hibbard. … Ninth-ranked St. Thomas also won a home-and-home, beating St. Olaf 7-0 Friday on the road and then 2-1 on home ice Saturday. Friday’s win featured a hat trick from Nuala Flood and 10 saves from goalie Paige Kittelson. … Bethel and Concordia (Minn.) played a couple of tight games as Concordia won 3-2 on Friday and Bethel defeated Concordia 4-2 the following afternoon. Tori Davis’ goal with 4:24 to play in the third period was the game-winner in the opener. … Augsburg swept a home-and-home with St. Catherine, winning both by a goal (3-2 and 2-1) … St. Mary’s swept St. Benedict, with Marah Shields’ 19 saves enough for the 2-0 shutout on Saturday.

St. Scholastica and Lake Forest played two competitive games as the two teams battled to a 2-2 tie Friday and then Lake Forest took a 3-1 win Saturday. … No. 10 Adrian battled St. Norbert to a 1-1 tie on Friday and then Jade Walsh made 33 saves in a 2-0 shutout for the Bulldogs on Saturday. … Amanda Waigand scored two goals in Marian’s 5-1 win at home over Concordia (Wis.) on Friday night.

No. 4 Middlebury used a two-goal, three-assist game from Emily Fluke in a 7-2 win at Trinity Sunday afternoon. This was just one day after dropping a 4-3 decision to Trinity. … After beating Wesleyan 4-1 Friday night, Amherst needed overtime Saturday and Lynddy Smith was the hero on a power play 2:17 into the extra frame. … Bowdoin swept a home-and-home from Colby, winning 6-1 Friday as Miranda Bell popped three goals and then taking a 1-0 shutout Saturday on the back of Lan Crofton’s 30-save performance. … Connecticut College tied Hamilton 3-3 Friday and rebounded for a 4-0 win Saturday as Katherine Chester finished with 24 saves for the shutout.

No. 6 Wisconsin-River Falls won both ends of a home-and-home with Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 7-1 Friday and then 3-2 Saturday in a game that saw UWRF take a 3-0 lead into the third period and UWEC score twice to close the gap, but couldn’t find the equalizer. … No. 5 Wisconsin-Stevens Point split with No. 8 Wisconsin-Superior in games that were decided late. Wis.-Stevens Point posted a 3-2 win Friday night with two third-period goals. Wis.-Superior won 3-1 the next afternoon with three unanswered goals.

Stevenson and Canton split their weekend series, with Canton winning 2-0 Friday and then Stevenson coming back for a big 7-1 win Saturday. Rebecca DiNardo pitched a 40-save shutout Friday night. … Concordia (Wis.) blanked Finlandia 4-0 Saturday as Brittany Sticha scored twice and Andrea Mizanskey turned aside all 31 shots between the pipes.

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