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Ranked battles

Even as a subtle winter storm blanketed the Midwest over the weekend, the action was far from cold as it pertains to D-III women’s contests.

Ranked teams got back on the ice, two tournaments went down, and, as always, overtime games were in abundance.

At the Adrian College Bruiser Bowl Classic, the hometown and No. 4-ranked Bulldogs outscored their opponents 15-1 with a 10-0 shellacking of Manhattanville to open the event and then a 5-1 win over St. Olaf.

In the shutout over the Vaiants, Jade Walsh made just two saves through 40 minutes before giving way to Anne Rademacher for the final period, where she preserved the shutout with nine saves. Logan Taylor posted a goal and five assists for Adrian, while Sydney Smith went for a goal and three helpers, Kristin Lewicki scored twice with an assist and Michelle Jones added a pair of goals.

Against St. Olaf, Lewicki potted three goals with a helper and Taylor had two snipes and an assist as Brooke Gibson finished with 21 saves.

Also in Adrian, St. Olaf beat Finlandia 4-1 and Manhattanville topped Finlandia 4-3 on Lillie’s Ryan’s winner at 15:58 of the third period. The goal was also Ryan’s first of the season.

Another tournament was the DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic at St. Michael’s. The tournament opened with two shutouts on Friday as Sacred Heart beat Plymouth State 5-0 (Nicole Magee 33 saves) and Hamilton beat St. Michael’s 3-0 (Jaime Meroz 26 saves).

The second day of the event saw Hamilton beat Plymouth State 2-1 and SHU take another goose egg in a 5-0 win over St. Michael’s as Amanda Fontaine kicked out all 20 shots she faced.

Perhaps the marquee series of the weekend had No. 6 Amherst hosting No. 8 Middlebury. Nothing was decided, though, as the two teams played to a 2-2 tie Friday and a 3-3 tie Saturday. Sabrina Dobbins stopped 28 shots, including five in overtime, for Amherst in the opener, while Elizabeth Wulf’s goal at 18:09 of the third period gave Middlebury the tie on Saturday.

No. 2 Elmira picked up a 2-1 win over No. 9 Norwich on Saturday as Kelcey Crawford made 21 saves and Louisa Lippiatt Durnell had a goal and an assist.

Third-ranked Lake Forest swept St. Mary’s with a 2-1 win Saturday and a 4-2 win Sunday afternoon. Caroline Campbell’s power-play goal at 15:29 of the third stood as the winner and then in the finale, Michelle Greeneway notched a pair of goals.

Wisconsin-River Falls entered the weekend ranked seventh in the country, but settled for a scoreless tie Friday against Concordia (Minn.). Andrea Klug made 29 saves for Concordia. The Falcons regrouped and took a 10-2 win the following day as Dani Sibley had three goals and three assists and Amy Auran, Chloe Kinsel, and Karleigh Wolkerstorfer each scored twice.

After the loss to Elmira, Norwich came back with a 2-0 win over Utica. Laurie King posted 27 saves for the shutout.

Neumann’s Jackie Schneider scored an overtime short-handed goal 2:52 into OT Friday to sink Salve Regina, 3-2, Caroline Kivisto was Bethel’s OT hero at 4:52 Friday to beat Concordia (Wis.), 3-2, and Erika Martin lifted Chatham past Morrisville, 3-2, with her OT winner at 3:01 on Saturday.

Weekend Picks: Jan. 8

The action gets back to full force this weekend as most women’s D-III teams are back at it. Last week, Candace did better than Matt, correctly picking Holy Cross to win the Rutlant tournament and Middlebury to beat Lake Forest.

Numerous ranked teams are on the ice with a few marquee matchups and tournaments to look at this weekend. Let’s see how Candace and Matt do.

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 8-9

No. 8 Middlebury at No. 6 Amherst
Candace: Hard to see anything but a split in this series. Like Matt, I think home team wins first. Amherst 3-2, Middlebury 3-2
Matt: Definitely a key series this weekend for both squads, and quite possibly, the top matchup of the entire weekend. It would be easy to call a split here, but alas, that’s too easy. I see Amherst winning 4-2 to open the series and then Middlebury winning Saturday 2-1, perhaps in overtime.

St. Michael’s Tournament Burlington, Vt.
Candace: I like Sacred Heart to advance to face the host, with St. Michael’s winning the tournament. Sacred Heart 3-2, St. Michael’s 2-1; St. Michael’s 3-2, Hamilton 3-0
Matt: Sacred Heart downs Plymouth State 4-1 and then St. Michael’s beats Hamilton 2-0 to open the event. Call it a 3-1 win for Sacred Heart Saturday against the host school and a 3-2 win for PSU against Hamilton to close the tournament.

Adrian Tournament in Adrian, Mich.
Candace: Look for the home team to win the tournament again, beating St. Olaf, while Manhattanville takes third over Finlandia. Adrian 4-1, St. Olaf 3-1; Adrian 4-2, Manhattanville 2-1
Matt: This has a home team win written all over it. The fourth-ranked Bulldogs will beat Manhattanville 5-2 and St. Olaf 3-0. Finlandia is also at this event and may not score a goal in tough losses to both Manhattanville and St. Olaf.

Saturday, Jan. 9

No. 9 Norwich at No. 2 Elmira
Candace: Elmira will be pushed in this one, but I still like the Soaring Eagles to win. Elmira 2-1
Matt: If it wasn’t for Plattsburgh, Elmira would be at the top of women’s D-III. That’s not the case, obviously, but the Soaring Eagles take this one over Norwich. I’ll say the final is 5-3 with a late empty-netter to account for the two-goal cushion.

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.

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