Women’s D-I wrap: Jan. 21

Trading punches
Several top contenders faced off over the weekend, and each proved capable of inflicting some damage on the other.

No. 4 Cornell gained revenge for its loss to No. 6 Clarkson back in November with a 3-1 win on home ice by limiting the Golden Knights to 17 shots on goal. That completed a strong week for the Big Red, as they also thumped Syracuse, 8-1, and St. Lawrence, 6-0, their third straight win over the Saints. Junior Brianne Jenner had a huge week, recording six goals and five assists, nearly half of the production that she’d managed over her first 13 games.

No. 2 Boston College extended its unbeaten streak to 18 and its winning streak to 13 with a 5-1 mugging of No. 8 Mercyhurst on Friday. Alex Carpenter and Ashley Motherwell each found the net twice, but the Eagles lost high-scoring rookie Haley Skarupa to injury. The Lakers scored the first two goals on Saturday, and BC stormed back to tie 3:10 into the third period. Mercyhurst went back on top on a Jenna Dingeldein goal just 84 seconds later, and Stephanie Ciampa made the 3-2 lead stand up. Ciampa made 40 stops in improving to 10-1-0 on the season, and Christine Bestland and Christie Cicero had a hand in all three goals for the Lakers.

North Dakota, a team that continues to lurk just outside the rankings, hung a goose egg on No. 7 Wisconsin in a 3-0 win Friday, the fifth whitewashing that the Badgers have endured this season. Jocelyne Lamoureux scored twice with a helper, Meghan Dufault provided a pair of primary assists, and Shelby Amsley-Benzie turned away all 19 shots. The defending WCHA season champs struck back on Saturday, as Madison Packer blocked a shot late and beat everyone down the ice to finish on a breakaway for a 2-1 win. Alex Rigsby made 28 saves in the Wisconsin net, beaten only by Lamoureux’s 26th goal of the season, second most in the country.

Defense?
Providence and No. 10 Northeastern played in a defensive classic last year in a Hockey East semifinal with the Friars winning, 2-0, the second goal scored into an empty net. That seemed fitting for teams coached by former goaltenders. The Friars and Huskies met again on Sunday at Northeastern for Skating Strides, and if that most recent meeting was close to the vest, then it was a vest still hanging in a closet. The hosts emerged with an 8-7 victory.

Northeastern grabbed an early 3-0 lead, and the teams alternated goals until the score was 7-5 after two periods. Rachel Llanes scored what proved to be the game-winner 2:50 into the final chapter. The Friars answered with consecutive power-play goals, the second by Rebecca Morse coming with 9:37 remaining. Providence was unable to find the equalizer, in part because it couldn’t maintain possession of the puck long enough to clear its own zone over much of the final minute plus. Casey Pickett and Kendall Coyne each netted a pair for the Huskies, as did the Friars’ Molly Illikainen.

Wildcats starting late but quickly
New Hampshire made us wait for its 2013 debut before rattling off three road wins. Two weeks passed before UNH took to the ice, dispatching Union, 4-2, and sweeping Connecticut by 3-1 and 2-0 scores. Sophomore Jenn Gilligan backstopped all three victories, denying 58 of 61 shots in total. Megan Armstrong, Arielle O’Neill, and Kristina Lavoie each potted a couple of tallies for the week.

Big Green: hot or not?
Dartmouth stretched its unbeaten streak to six games with a 3-0 win over Union and a 2-2 tie with Rensselaer. The latter had to feel a bit empty, as the Big Green were outshot, 12-3, over the final period and overtime and allowed a 2-0 lead to slip away on goals by Eleeza Cox and Jenn Godin in the last six minutes of regulation. Dartmouth looks to be solidly positioned for an ECAC playoff berth, and is only a point shy of fourth place and the final home-ice spot as it prepares for a crucial three-game sequence versus St. Lawrence, Clarkson, and Harvard, three higher teams in the standings.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 5 Boston University eased by Northeastern, 5-4, on Wednesday as the teams combined to score three goals in each period in a game that seems high scoring until compared to Northeastern versus Providence. The Terriers built a 5-2 lead behind a hat trick from rookie Sarah Lefort, and held on as the Huskies rallied in the final two minutes plus.

No. 1 Minnesota swept Minnesota State, 8-1 and 6-0, to tie Wisconsin’s NCAA record unbeaten streak of 32 games. Amanda Kessel followed up her four-point hat trick on Friday with three assists on Saturday to bring her career point total to 201. The junior leads the country in both goals and assists.

No. 2 Harvard played three games at Bright Hockey Center, dropping Connecticut, 5-1, RPI, 4-1, and Union, 1-0. The Crimson have won seven straight and have not lost over their last 13. Jillian Dempsey had three goals on the week, including the game’s only tally versus the Dutchwomen. Laura Bellamy earned two of the wins and leads the country in goals-against average (0.54) and save percentage (.968), and is tied for second in shutouts (five).

Chelsea Knapp saved 54 of the 56 shots she faced for No. 9 Ohio State to aid the Buckeyes to a 1-1 tie and 3-1 win versus visiting St. Cloud State. Junior Ally Tarr had a pair of goals on Saturday after scoring the only marker of the shootout on Friday to give OSU the bonus point in the WCHA standings. The Buckeyes sit a game back of Wisconsin for second place with two games in hand and lead Minnesota-Duluth, their next opponent, by a game.

52 COMMENTS

  1. Great article and great responses so far. I think people need to understand that ESPN could care less about hockey, NHL or College. Its Football and Basketball and that’s about it. Their coverage of hockey, when they do cover it, is poor at best. 

    Everyone seems to think ESPN is the end all for sports. I highly disagree. Their coverage of the bread and butter sports has gone downhill and its really hard to watch any sporting event on that network anymore.

    I would rather see someone that actually cares about hockey show it rather than ESPN, like NBCSN or even NHLNetwork. They already cover the NHL and NHLN covers the world junior tournament, so why not college hockey. I think they would do a great job.

  2. ESPN has no interest in the Frozen Four if a Boston area team isn’t in it. Beanpot got more Sports Center coverage than the national championship

  3. I think ESPNU does a good job, and I find myself watching it fairly often, but it certainly is disappointing they have moved the Frozen down a tier. 

  4. ESPN is the network of Football & Basketball but I blame the NCAA for this one.  Why not leverage the Men’s basketball tournament to FORCE ESPN to carry the other championships on the flagship?  When ESPN bought coverage for the World Cup, SportsCenter changed from anti-soccer to pro-soccer.  Sure, not a ton of highlights but soccer does make the top 10 fairly consistently.  Still loses out to the NBA equivalent to the empty netter but there are no more stupid comments from the anchors about how soccer sucks.  If ESPN gets behind hockey, it will change everything about the sports success.

  5. Thanks for your work, Dave.  You are absolutely correct that CBSCS has brought a ton of exposure to the best sport on the planet, and in spite of the criticism from DU_Fan, most of us very much appreciate the work you do.  You are knowledgeable and you clearly keep in touch with the game, as opposed to the ESPN people who only notice it at tourney time.

    As for the criticism from DU_Fan, it’s hard to take someone seriously from a fan or knowledge standpoint when they confuse the Broadmoor with the MacNaughton, Mis-spell MacNaughton, and call the Final Five the “Frozen Five.”

  6. I’m certainly glad that UND was able to come out with a win
    this weekend. It’s about time the squad is able to cash in after all that work.
    It’s hard for me to associate the twins with so many losses. I guess the rest
    of the team realized the honor it’s to play with such a talent that they
    decided to step up and give it all.

    In the western matter, what happened to OSU? Did the players
    decided to finish their season early? It’s supposed to be the opposite, this
    time a year is when teams usually step it up to the final race.

    I have a feeling the Crimson ran out of gas by the time they
    played Union. Only 1 goal seems a bit low particularly against the Dutchwomen.
    Union is a team that I wonder if the players listen to Julie Chu or do they
    just pretend. I’ve like a sponge absorbing all that knowledge, that’s pure
    gold.

    Now things start to make more sense as the Big Green and the
    Big Red seem to be doing what’s expected. I hate seeing wasted talent.

    Eastern bound, I keep on wondering if NU players know the
    definition of consistency and 60 minutes of play (taking Coyne out of that
    one). At what point as player do you lose track? Sorry Flint, what you have is
    lack of will not lack of talent on your squad.

    Now to the match series of the week… or at least what I
    thought it would be, BC at Mercyhurst. I think it is safe to say King proved
    that even her 4th line can shake you up. Friday’s game was a bit disappointing,
    I expected so much more from the Lakers; certainly not used to see them “not”
    play like they did. If it wasn’t for Ciampa the whole series would have been a
    blow out, if you gonna lose at least do it with dignity. Saturday came along
    and that looked more like DI hockey from the Erie squad. While Ciampa came out
    stronger than Friday (if that’s even possible), Boyles didn’t have her greatest
    game. BC also got caught up vacationing in the sin bin for too long. In hockey
    east and WCHA the refs tend to let the players “play” more and allow a bit more
    physicality than in the CHA. With this said, the Eagles have to find a way to
    stay out of the box. Mercyhurst showed BC they can score on the power play no
    matter how good your penalty kill record is (2 goals on Saturday’s win). That
    game was overall a good experience for both teams. It showed the Lakers that if
    they give it all they might just edge things their way (loved the excitement of
    the players when the clock ran out, like they had won a championship). It also
    showed BC not to rely so much on their offense to come back and clean up (even
    up), they must stay strong on D including staying out of the box. Once in a
    while you’ll find a wall like Ciampa and Noora, what do you do then?

    • Not sure when they took the pic, but I was at the game. About 85% full. There is an ongoing issue with tickets being given to companies and then the seats not being used. It’s pretty sad when there are fans that would fill those seats. Hopefully, they will be addressing this issue.

    • That must have been early. It didn’t really fill in until about 5-10 minutes into the game. Most people were enjoying the 65 and partly cloudy weather an extra bit I think.

      The official sold tickets were 10,383. There were lots of folks in the Standing room areas. It was 85-90% full in the actual seats. The sections next to the student section behind the Wisconsin net in periods 1 & 3 was less than that for some reason. Those are great seats.

      To be fair, no one is very excited about B1G hockey yet and given how we’ve done against other Minnesota teams this year, I would say we’re happy about it, but no one is doing cartwheels since we’re pretty well cemented into that 17 spot in the PWR.

      • That part of the student section did not sell well pre-season to the students, and they got a late start trying to sell those tickets. Nice job athletic department!

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