Women’s D-I wrap: Jan. 27

Olympic absences, overtimes, and other significant results
We’ve reached that point of an Olympic year where players start to disappear off of their college rosters as they join their national teams for camps leading up to the Sochi Games. That can impact conference races or national positioning.

Six of Friday’s games went beyond 60 minutes. In general, it appears that the field has become more tightly bunched as the season has progressed. Most of the squads that struggled initially are proving to be more competitive as they gain experience.

Showdowns in the CHA and ECAC provided more insight as to how those races will unfold, and Boston College continues to pull away in Hockey East.

Yale and Brown play historic series
The Bulldogs and the Bears played a noteworthy home-and-home series. Friday’s match in New Haven drew a program-record crowd of 1,124 fans to watch a 2-2 tie in the White Out for Mandi. That bettered the attendance mark set at the White Out for Mandi of 1,066 on Nov. 12, 2010 versus Rensselaer. Early estimates of the donations to the Mandi Schwartz Foundation from the contest were at least $29,000.

In the game, Phoebe Staenz gave Yale a first-period lead when she picked off a pass at neutral ice, flew up the rink and split the defense, and finished by zipping a shot to the top corner. Catherine LeBoeuf tied the score on a second-period power play, but Jamie Haddad put the Bulldogs back on top midway through the third period. With under three minutes to play, Jessica Hoyle pulled Brown even, and that’s how the game ended. Two of the circuit’s top goalies battled to a stalemate, with Aubree Moore making 31 saves for the Bears and Yale’s Jaimie Leonoff responding with 29 saves of her own.

On home ice in Providence on Saturday, Brown celebrated 50 years of the program. Brittany Moorehead staked the Bears to a lead halfway through the first period, and that held up until Krista Yip-Chuck struck short-handed for the visitors to ignite a third-period rally. The Bulldogs added two additional goals at six-minute intervals by Haddad and Tara Tomimoto to earn a 3-1 victory. Yale is now unbeaten in its last five games, a feat it last accomplished in early 2007.

Robert Morris finally falls
No. 8 Robert Morris saw a lengthy unbeaten streak of its own come to an end on Saturday. The Colonials hadn’t been bested in their previous 14 skates before losing at Mercyhurst, 5-3, as each team was whistled for a dozen penalties. The Lakers charged out of the gate, taking a 2-0 lead as they outshot the visitors, 17-0, in the opening 20 minutes. In defeat, Rebecca Vint had the type of hat trick Gordie Howe would approve, scoring all three RMU goals on power plays and adding a trio of minors. Thea Imbrogno assisted on all three. Mercyhurst got three power-play goals of its own, but added a couple more while the teams were at full strength. Shelby Bram, Christine Bestland, and Molly Byrne all had three-point games for the Lakers and Kaleigh Chippy tallied twice. Rookie Jessica Dodds took her first loss of the year, having stayed undefeated through her first 19 decisions.

In spite of losing the battle, the Colonials may have done enough to win the CHA war. They dominated the second period on Friday, owning a 13-1 advantage in shots and scoring three times. Mackenzie Johnston found the net twice and Vint struck while on a penalty kill. All that the Lakers could muster was a late goal by Byrne on a power play with an extra attacker on the ice as they lost, 3-1.

The results keep RMU atop the CHA standings by a game, so Mercyhurst will need help to extend its streak of league titles.

Clarkson jumps back into ECAC picture
No. 6 Clarkson thrust itself back into the race in ECAC Hockey by winning twice, most notably upending No. 4 Cornell, 3-1. Jamie Lee Rattray, the country’s leading scorer, assisted on Vanessa Gagnon’s goal in the first period and scored an insurance goal in the second stanza. Carly Mercer had the game’s first tally for the Golden Knights, while Brittany Styner and Erin Ambrose each had a pair of helpers. Clarkson opened the weekend by dumping Colgate, 5-2; Rattray netted a hat trick plus an assist, Ambrose assisted four times, and Mercer had three points.

The Big Red managed only a single point from their North Country trip, as they had to settle for a frustrating 1-1 tie at St. Lawrence on Friday. Carmen MacDonald stymied Cornell, turning aside 51 shots. Jenna Marks gave the Saints a lead 12 minutes in, and it took more than two periods before Hanna Bunton was able to score the equalizer. Paula Voorheis played both games in the Big Red net.

North Dakota wobbles but survives
No. 3 North Dakota was playing without three of its top four scorers, but managed at 3-3 tie and a 2-1 win as it hosted Bemidji State. Meghan Dufault was injured and Michelle Karvinen and Susanna Tapani had left to join the Finnish Olympic team, but team points leader Josefine Jakobsen stepped up with two goals and an assist on the weekend. After Jakobsen put UND ahead with less than two minutes to play in the opener, Kaitlyn Tougas scored in the final minute with her team short-handed and its goalie off for an extra attacker to forge the tie. Tanja Eisenschmid scored the decisive goal on Saturday, but an Olympic sabbatical looms for her as well.

Boston University malaise worsens
January continues to be unkind to No. 10 Boston University. The Terriers slumped to 2-5 in the month as they were swept out of Vermont, 4-2 and 5-1. Roxanne Douville made 56 saves on the weekend, and the Catamounts featured a balanced attack with goals by eight different players, including one in each game from Delia McNally. Gina Repaci supplied a pair of helpers from the blue line in each contest. BU has lost its last four games.

Northeastern short on bodies, not resolve
Northeastern extended its winning streak to four games, despite having only 13 skaters available for all of those contests. The Huskies swept Maine in Boston. Brittany Esposito scored with 5:29 left in regulation to force overtime, and then assisted on Kelly Wallace’s game-winner at 2:54 in the extra session. Esposito and Heather Mottau had three-point games. Saturday’s 8-2 triumph was more convincing. Esposito and Wallace tallied twice with an assist, and Hayley Masters had three helpers.

Buckeyes battling
Ohio State went to overtime for the fourth straight game on Friday, and this time, emerged a 3-2 winner without the need of a shootout. Julia McKinnon scored 38 seconds into OT after Minnesota State had staged a third-period rally on goals by Nicole Germaine and Shelby Moteyunas. The Buckeyes won, 4-2, on Saturday to extend their unbeaten streak to five. Claudia Kepler scored twice, part of a five-point weekend for the freshman.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 2 Wisconsin swept rival Minnesota-Duluth, 3-1 and 2-0. Alex Rigsby needed just 37 saves to earn both wins. Brittany Ammerman and Blayre Turnbull had a goal and an assist in the first game; Sarah Nurse matched that in the second contest.

No. 1 Minnesota had similar success versus St. Cloud State, winning 3-0 and 3-1. Meghan Lorence scored three goals, giving her tallies in four straight games. Kate Schipper and Rachel Ramsey had three assists in the series.

No. 5 Harvard has the country’s second-best winning percentage after claiming wins over Union, 2-1, and Rensselaer, 3-1. Brianna Laing shut out the Dutchwomen with 15 stops. Hillary Crowe had three goals on the weekend, including two in the victory over the Engineers where Emerance Maschmeyer recorded 30 saves.

No Haley Skarupa, no problem, for No. 7 Boston College. It swept both ends of a home-and-home series with New Hampshire and ran the nation’s second-longest unbeaten streak to nine games. Taylor Wasylk provided three goals and two assists in 5-3 and 3-2 triumphs. Dana Trivigno had five points as well, including four in the first game in Boston.