Women’s D-I wrap: Dec. 12

Some separation evident as most arrive at the break
Four series over the weekend matched teams from the top 10 as compiled by KRACH. Two of those produced splits, with the home team winning the opener, but unable to complete the sweep the next day. Meanwhile, the nation’s top two teams posted a pair of victories apiece to open a gap in their conference race.

Pattenden ties career wins mark as Mercyhurst goes 1-1 at Boston College
In a series that had the potential to give one team an inside track to host an NCAA quarterfinal come March, the Eagles led throughout Friday, cementing a 4-2 win with an empty-net goal. The hosts struck first on Saturday as well, but it would prove to be their last lead, as the Lakers converted twice on second-period power plays to edge ahead. Although BC would tie the game at 2-2 to force overtime, Jill Szandzik connected in OT for a 3-2 Lakers victory. Mercyhurst goaltender Hillary Pattenden posted the 91st victory of her career, matching the total compiled by Jessie Vetter while at Wisconsin.

Fighting Sioux and Bulldogs split in Grand Forks
Minnesota-Duluth carried a three-game winning streak, its longest of the first half, into its series at North Dakota. Despite a strong effort in the Bulldogs’ net by Jennifer Harss, UMD could get nothing accomplished at the other end in Saturday’s first game. The Fighting Sioux emerged with a 2-0 decision, as Jorid Dagfinrud ran her personal shutout streak to over eight periods. However, that string came to an abrupt end the next day, as Pernilla Winberg solved her a mere 65 seconds into the rematch and the Bulldogs cruised, 5-1.

Wisconsin and Minnesota record sweeps
The visiting Badgers spotted Bemidji State the first goal of their weekend series, then claimed nine of the next 10 tallies as No. 1 Wisconsin won for the 14th straight time. The Beavers were swept for only the second time in their new home, both at the hands of the Badgers. No. 2 Minnesota stayed within sight of the WCHA leaders, vanquishing Ohio State by 3-1 and 4-1 margins. The Gophers remain two full games down on Wisconsin, but their lead over UND grew to five points with two games in hand.

Top ECAC teams prosper
With ECAC power Cornell idle, three other league contenders won a pair of games. Only Quinnipiac’s wins came in conference, with the Bobcats stifling Princeton 1-0 and 3-0 in a home-and-home series. Harvard took out Hockey East opponents Providence and New Hampshire by comfortable margins of 5-1 and 5-2 respectively. Clarkson generated just enough offense to subdue Niagara by 3-1 and 1-0 verdicts.

Hockey East race taking shape
For the second straight Wednesday, Northeastern produced a win over Boston University to cast the Huskies as the likely threat to Boston College for HEA dominance. NU freshman Kendall Coyne has amassed 16 points in league action, best in the circuit, while senior Florence Schelling’s goaltending stats are the best of those playing regular minutes.