Huskies Breeze Past Badgers
No. 7 Wisconsin dropped its first two games to unranked opponents this season. But the Badgers (14-5-2) didn’t lose to just any unranked team — they fell to St. Cloud State, which may have the most young potential in the WCHA, a conference of up-and-coming teams.
The Huskies (11-10-1) shocked the Badgers at St. Cloud, taking Friday’s game 9-4 before shutting out Wisconsin, 3-0, on Saturday. Although Wisconsin outshot St. Cloud both nights, the Beavers relied on the sturdy goaltending of sophomore Laura Gieselman, who has a 3.43 GAA, performed well above her average on the weekend, stopping 70 shots and holding Wisconsin to four goals in two games. But Gieselman got plenty of help from her rookie scorers on the forward line, who poured in a total of 15 points on the weekend.
The freshman threesome of forwards Ricki-Lee Doyle (17g, 21a) and Roxanne Stang (12g, 5a) and defenseman Kobi Kawamoto (13g, 15a) makes up half of the WCHA’s top six rookie scorers. Against Wisconsin, Stang recorded two multiple-goal performances, including a hat trick on Friday, Doyle scored three goals in two games and Kawamoto added a goal and three assists from the blue line over two games.
But St. Cloud’s young scorers have had plenty of help from experienced juniors Fiona McLeod (5g, 26) and Rachel Denner (11g, 13a), both of whom are among the conference’s top 15 scorers. McLeod, who switched to defense this year to make room for scorers like Doyle and Stang on the forward line, provided her young teammates with four assists against the Badgers.
The Huskies will look to avenge an earlier loss to Bemidji State when they take on the Beavers this weekend while Wisconsin will try to get back on its skates when it hosts Ohio State in Madison.
Around the ECAC
Travel partners Harvard and Brown both turned in impressive performances last weekend before taking a two-week hiatus from conference play. The No. 5 Crimson (11-6-0) and No. 6 Bears (9-3-3) both swept No. 8 Northeastern and No. 10 Providence, although the Ivy rivals completed the sweeps in very different manners.
Brown got things done at the defensive end, shutting out the Huskies, 2-0, and blanking the Friars, 3-0. Sophomore netminder Pam Dreyer turned in a solid performance while her teammates only allowed 35 shots in two games to keep Northeastern and Providence off the scoreboard.
Harvard, meanwhile, turned in its most impressive offensive weekend of the season. The Crimson put the hurt on two quality goaltenders, shaking Northeastern’s Erika Silva for six goals on Saturday and then welcoming Providence freshman Amy Quinlan to the Bright Center with seven goals on Sunday. Center Jennifer Botterill, the ECAC’s leading scorer, netted two goals in each game.
Harvard and Brown resume ECAC play February 2 and 3 against No. 9 New Hampshire and Maine.