This Week in D-I Women’s Hockey: January 22, 2010

Been scanning around the world of women’s pucks, finding things to catch my eye.
One doesn’t have to look far at all.

Camp Randall Shinny

For starters, I noticed that the process of laying down the outdoor rink at Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium is in preparation for the coed (men’s and women’s) college double-dip is now underway.

There’s no doubt that the event, which will feature the Bemidji and Wisconsin women followed by the Michigan and Wisconsin men, will be a memorable one to play in, and to attend.

I wonder, though, what tips the folks running Wisconsin’s soiree may have picked up from the recent Frozen Fenway event.

Dealing with Mother Nature is one thing. If it snows, you break out the shovels. If the mercury sinks to near zero, the ice will be harder than ever.
However, it was clear from watching the Fenway spectacle that the ice-sheet itself began to suffer under the strain of back-to-back games. By the third period of the BC/BU men’s game, the surface seemed to be begging for mercy.

Musical Chairs in the CHA

Ever seen anything quite like the wackiness that is the CHA standings?
Five teams in the league, four teams separated by a measly point, three of them chasing the team (Mercyhurst) that has been second to none in the polls since Week One of the season.

It could certainly make for some interesting hockey during this weekend’s two-game set between Mercyhurst and Syracuse, to be staged in the Salt City.

Rink Goes Pink

The Hockey East-sponsored “WHEA Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer” initiative will take center-stage throughout the league this week. Four tilts being played this weekend have been selected as “Skating Strides” events, namely BU/Vermont (Friday), BC/PC and Maine/UConn (Saturday), and PC/BC (Sunday).

Previously, the league’s four other rinks went pink for a night.
Gate receipts, as well as the proceeds from the sales of pink game-used sweaters, sticks, and the like will all be funneled toward breast cancer charities.

Kudos to the HEA for putting its platform to work on behalf of this critical cause.

Walking On to Greatness

Kudos, too, to Vermont’s Chelsea Furlani – a home grown Catamount – who is now the school’s all-time (Division I) scoring leader.

Furlani, who hails from just up the road in Colchester, notched career point No. 46 last Sunday when she scored in a 4-1 loss to UConn. Not a bad feat for someone who was a humble freshman walk-on, following after her sister Kari.

“If I did this in another state I don’t know if it would have meant anything to really anyone to be honest,” Furlani said. “But all these people that have watched me in youth hockey and high school hockey are still with me, and that’s a really cool feeling.”

Kessler Atop Harvard’s Ladder

Another school career mark fell last week, when Harvard goalie Christina Kessler registered her 64th victory in the Crimson net.

The old mark was held by Kessler’s direct predecessor, Alie Boe, now an assistant at Union, with whom Kessler shared the mark for over a month.
A few small matters such as exams and Canadian national team commitments kept Kessler from seizing the mark outright until last weekend, when she backstopped the Crimson to a 5-1 triumph over Colgate.

This weekend, Kessler will get the chance to increase her win total at Boe’s expense, as Harvard will host Union.

Apropos of Nothing …

My favorite hockey name at the moment belongs to Ohio State freshman, “Hokey” (given name Cassandra) Langan, although one wonders how she would have fared had she attended Virginia Tech. Alas, the VT don’t ice a hockey team, so there is no Hokey for the Hokies.


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