Weekend Wrap: Feb. 28

ECAC Hockey
A wild season in ECAC Hockey was backed up by a competitive quarterfinal round. Two series went to overtime in the decisive third game, and even the top seed needed overtime both days to advance.

Quinnipiac swept its series from Rensselaer, 3-2 and 2-1, although not without struggles. Jaimie Grigsby and Josefine Hansen scored 89 seconds apart to put the Engineers up heading into the second intermission of the opener. The Bobcats rallied, and goals by Emma Woods and Nicole Connery had the scored tied before the third period was eight minutes old. Woods won it with a goal 2:04 into overtime. Connery’s assist on the play was her 100th point for Quinnipiac. Game two was more of the same, as Grigsby gave RPI a lead with just 25 seconds gone, but Taylar Cianfarano pulled Quinnipiac even. From there, it was a matter of the Bobcats trying to figure out how to get another puck past Lovisa Selander. The Engineers’ freshman goaltender made 57 saves Friday and bounced back with another 66 on Saturday. Finally at 13:24 of the second overtime, Nicole Brown got her own rebound and slid it under Selander to propel Quinnipiac to the next round.

The Bobcats will next take on St. Lawrence.

Justine Reyes scored 5:37 into overtime on Sunday to earn the Saints a 4-3 win over Princeton in the deciding game. Molly Contini’s second goal of the game on a power play with an extra attacker on the ice and 15 seconds remaining in regulation had tied the game for the Tigers and necessitated the extra session. St. Lawrence got two goals and an assist from Brooke Webster, and a goal and a helper by Amanda Boulier. Cassidy Tucker also found the net for Princeton. The Saints other win came in the opener, when Kirsten Padalis scored midway through the final frame and Grace Harrison pitched a 29-save, 1-0 shutout. Kimberly Newell kept the Tigers in the contest with 45 stops. Princeton forced a third game with a 4-3 win on Saturday when Karlie Lund fired in the winning goal with under two minutes left. That capped a Tigers rally from two down that included goals by Stephanie Sucharda, Kelsey Koelzer, and Keiko DeClerk, and a total of three points by Sucharda. Boulier scored a pair for SLU, and Reyes also tallied.

Although out of the ECAC tournament, Princeton’s season may not be over. The Tigers retain the seventh spot in the PairWise Rankings, and if the winners of the ECAC, Hockey East, and WCHA tournaments come from teams in the top six in those rankings, then Princeton would be the final at-large team included in the NCAA field.

Clarkson swept Cornell, 2-0 and 5-2. The Golden Knights were the only victor in the league that didn’t need overtime, but they did have to rally from a two-goal deficit on Saturday. Kelly Mariani scored the game-winning goal with less than six minutes left, and Rhyen McGill and Renata Fast added insurance tallies. Cayley Mercer and Olivia Howe pulled Clarkson back to even after the Big Red broke on top with goals from Jess Brown and Christian Higham. Erin Ambrose had four assists. In the opener, Geneviève Bannon scored the deciding goal in the first period and Mercer hit an empty net late, as Shea Tiley stopped all 15 shots.

The Golden Knights will face Colgate next.

The Raiders advanced when Shae Labbe scored at 14:45 of overtime in the third game to give them a 3-2 win. Megan Sullivan’s second goal of the day at 2:36 of the third period tied the score at 2-2, after Harvard had rallied to take a first-period lead on goals by Lexie Laing and Grace Zarzecki. Ashlynne Rando made 40 saves for the victors. The teams traded 4-1 wins prior to Sunday. Sullivan scored twice in the opener and added an assist. Sydney Daniels had two goals and an assist for the Crimson as they bounced back to take the middle game.

Hockey East
Outside of Vermont giving Boston University a scare, and New Hampshire extending Connecticut to a third overtime, Hockey East’s quarterfinals followed the script.

Boston College continued its march toward perfection, having minimal difficulty in dropping Maine, 5-2 and 5-1. The Black Bears were able to trade with the Eagles in the early going, but behind a two-goal-one-assist effort from Makenna Newkirk and a goal and a three-point game by Dana Trivigno, the Eagles pulled away in the opener. While short-handed, Brooklyn Lanlgois’ first tally of the season gave Maine its only lead of the series, but despite 61 saves from Meghann Treacy, Lexi Bender had three primary assists to spur BC’s triumph.

Next for the Eagles is Connecticut, after the Huskies took two one-goal decisions from UNH. Brittany Berisoff scored twice, and Leah Buress had a goal and two assists as UConn breezed to a 3-0 lead in the opener. Ultimately, it needed every one of Elaine Chuli’s 44 saves after Julia Fedeski and Kate Haslett rallied the Wildcats. Buress’ second goal of the day at 3:17 of the third OT finally finished off UNH on Saturday. Leah Lum had a goal and assisted twice, and Chuli came up with 69 stops. Taylor Wenczkowski had a pair of markers for the Wildcats.

The other Huskies also advanced, with Northeastern downing Providence, 5-2 and 6-2. On Friday, Kendall Coyne had two goals and an assist, and Sarah Foss made 33 saves. In the series-clinching win, Coyne completed a hat trick with a couple of empty-net goals, giving her four points. Heather Mottau and Denisa Krížová had three-point games, with the latter netting a goal. Northeastern faces BU in the semifinals.

In a deciding third game, Boston University jumped out quickly and cruised to a 6-1 win over Vermont. Erin O’Neil made 32 saves, Rebecca Leslie scored twice, and Maddie Elia had a goal and two assists. O’Neil had a 25-save shutout in the opener, a 3-0 win for the Terriers. Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga, Sammy Davis, and Kayla Tutino supplied the goals. Madison Litchfield made 38 saves the next day as the Catamounts rallied to extend the series with a 4-2 win. Taylor Willard and Rachael Ade scored for UVM, Saana Valkama did so twice, and the Terriers’ rally attempt with back-to-back short-handed goals from Rebecca Leslie and Victoria Bach came up short.

WCHA
The only league without any series needing a third game, the WCHA did have one upset and one overtime game, both coming in Bemidji, where Minnesota-Duluth got revenge for last season.

Wisconsin’s Ann-Renée Desbiens posted a pair of shutouts over Minnesota State to tie and then surpass the NCAA record for shutouts in a season, now at 18. The junior made 13 stops in blanking the Mavericks, 4-0, on Friday. Brianna Quade made 52 saves for MSU, but Emily Clark’s goal late in the first period put Wisconsin ahead to stay. Mellissa Channell matched Clark with a goal and an assist, and Sarah Nurse and Sam Cogan also tallied. The Badgers finished off the Mavericks’ season by a 6-0 score, with Annie Pankowski leading the assault with a goal and two helpers.

Top-seeded Wisconsin will face UMD in the semifinals.

The Bulldogs’ top line had a big weekend, but in Friday’s 5-1 win, Katherine McGovern got UMD off and running with the first of her two goals. Ashleigh Brykaliuk, Michela Cava, and Lara Stalder took it from there, each getting a goal and an assist, with Stalder adding an extra helper. Meanwhile, Kayla Black made 33 saves to subdue the Bemidji State offense, which managed only an Alexis Joyce goal. Kristin Huber struck first on Saturday for the Beavers, but Black stopped their other 46 shots. Brykaliuk tied the game in the second period, her 100th point at UMD. Stalder, who assisted the tying goal, gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 victory at 11:10 of overtime.

North Dakota also got a huge series from its top line in thumping St. Cloud State twice by 6-1 scores. On Friday, Meghan Dufault scored twice with two assists, and her wings, Amy Menke and Becca Kohler, each had a goal and two helpers. Kohler got the offense started 70 seconds into Saturday’s game, and she and Menke finished with two goals and an assist, while Dufault had one of each. Shelby Amsley-Benzie stopped 37 of 39 shots she faced on the weekend.

The Fighting Hawks get a semifinal date with Minnesota.

The Gophers swept Ohio State, 5-2 and 5-0. After Claudia Kepler scored a third-period goal to tie Friday’s game at 2-2, Minnesota outscored the visitors 8-0 over the rest of the series. Dani Cameranesi had six points in the series, including a hat trick on Saturday. Amanda Kessel had two goals on Friday, Kate Schipper scored in both games, and Amanda Leveille earned the shutout with 25 saves Saturday.

College Hockey America
Lindenwood took the opener on Friday, but the other four games in the league went the way of the hosts.

With its season in the balance, Robert Morris rallied to 3-1 and 5-1 wins after the Lions sprang a 4-3 upset. Lauren Bailey came on in relief for the Colonials after Lindenwood had raced to a 4-0 lead on Friday and stopped 67 of 69 shots over the rest of the weekend. Brittany Howard and Mackenzie Johnston had a goal and an assist apiece on Saturday. Ashley Vesci included two goals in her four-point game on Sunday. Shara Jasper’s goal and two assists fueled the Lions’ uprising in the opener.

Robert Morris gets a meeting with Mercyhurst in the semifinals, with Penn State advancing to take on Syracuse.

Celine Whitlinger turned in a 20-save shutout of RIT in the opener with the Nittany Lions winning, 2-0. Laura Bowman scored in the final minute before the first intermission, and Hanna Bramm doubled the lead six minutes out of the break. Bowman and Amy Petersen each had a goal and an assist when PSU lead 3-0 after two periods on Saturday. The Tigers rallied behind Caitlin Wallace and Darcy Henderson goals, but came up short in a 3-2 victory for Penn State.

56 COMMENTS

    • You’re totally correct, of course.  I should know better than to rely on the CCHA’s weekly release, which is where I found that note.  I should have double-checked the facts myself.  Thank you!

      • It’s Now 8 losses in a row for Ohio State Buckholes hockey team.Will they still be ranked in the top 10?Stick a fork in them they are Cooked.

  1. with 13 safe and you mentioning in the first scenario harvard, wmu and cornell being your last three … you’re discounting the aha champion for the autobid and the automatic 16th spot. so really, we’re looking for two teams. :-p

  2. Props to the Sioux and Denver. They went into the weekend on the bubble and not only did they get locked into the tourney but Und might be a number 1 seed. Und will have to do what they did this weekend again next weekend in the same spot.

    • So true, we had pressure games starting last Saturday against Wisconsin. Don’t know how much will be left in the tank with 6 games over 9 days. Also, 2 went to OT and a third went double OT. One plus is that the altitude training might help.

      • If we would have lost either Saturday or Sunday against Wisconsin, there is now way we would have made it through.  Best case in PWR Predictor would have DU 14th. That would require a ton of luck in the outcome of the other playoffs for all the leagues.

  3. The Bubble (5)
    Western Michigan
    Northern Michigan
    Michigan State

    Surely there must be a school called ‘East-South-Central-Michigan.’

  4. “If Cornell wins or ties and Western Michigan win, they get two of the spots, Michigan State or Northern Michigan gets the other spot.”
    Not if Harvard wins the ECAC.  Harvard has to get one of these spots and Mich St and N Mich are out.

  5. I know that it’s all based on a combination of statistics, but it’s still hard to believe that a team who finished tied for second in the CCHA regular season and will at worst finish as the conference tournament runner-up is still on the bubble.  Hopefully my Broncos can just win it tonight and seal it because this is just too nerve-wracking.  I will say this (and I don’t think I’m being biased), if they do get in they’ll be a four seed that no number one will want any part of.  WMU is a gritty team and with Andy Murray having a week to prepare for an opponent they’ll have a great chance to knock someone out.

    • I agree,win or lose Saturday night WMU should be in the tournament.They deserve it.It will be a fraud if they do not get in the field of 16.That being said GO BLUE!

    • Union tied them twice early in the season, when Union wasn’t playing so well.
      So I think Union, if a number one seed, would have no problem playing them.
      Union may have the most well-rounded team of them all, and perhaps the best goaltender in the nation.

    • I’ll go with a good team, but I think you can throw gritty out the window. I do agree that I (UND) wouldn’t want to play them. Look forward to having you guys in a conference with us in two years!

    • Agreed. I like the Pairwise and think it’s a great tool, but there are some issues with the formula that need to be resolved. There needs to be a common sense factor when looking at the last at large teams to get in. I feel that as the system is right now there is zero common sense.

      Just for example NMU has no business even being in the conversation right now, yet there are a number of scenarios that can still put them in the tournament. At team that finishes that low in their conference, loses in the first round of their tournament, and has a losing record against TUC”s should be done.

      • Absolutely… these, and other factor we aren’t privy too will knock them out.
        Western Michigan would have the biggest gripe, with Cornell next. Everyone else is basically .500 and exited early in their tournaments, so they really can’t blame anybody but themselves. Merrimack hasn’t played well down the stretch. Only Harvard has played their way into the bubble… but Union is playing like a #1 seed, so their chance will most likely end tonight.

  6. Merrimack is in with losses by Harvard, Cornell, and Air Force. all three must lose for the Warriors to get in.

  7. It is a shame that Western finished tied for 2nd in the CCHA, smoked #1/2 seed last night en route to the conference championship and still might not make it in if they don’t win. Then again, they do only have a .590 winning percentage so it’s hard to get too upset

  8. The crazy thing no one seems to be picking up on is how the ECAC could put in 1 school (Union) or 3, (add Cornell and Harvard), depending how tonight goes.  Wouldn’t that make CCHA fans so angry?

  9. NCAA Bracketology update, my opinion.

    Right now, with the ECAC, AHA and CCHA finals done and the Hockey East and WCHA games in hand this is my prediction for the seeds.

    1) BC2) Michigan 3) Union 4) N. Dakota5) Miami6) Ferris7) UMD8) Minn9) BU10) Maine11) Denver12) UMASS Lowell13) Cornell14) WMU 15) MSU16) Air Force

    My regional breakdowns are as follows.

    The breakdown should be

    Worcester, Mass
    BC vs Air Force
    Minn vs BU

    Bridgeport, Conn
    Union vs WMU
    Ferris vs Denver

    Green Bay, Wisconsin
    Michigan vs MSU
    UMD vs Maine

    St. Paul, Minn
    N. Dakota vs Cornell
    Miami vs Umass Lowell

    The first change we need to make is Minnesota to the St. Paul regional as host. I will switch Minnesota with Miami

    Now we need to avoid conference matchups in round one. We have Michigan-MSU as the only conference matchup. We can switch MSU with Air Force, or Cornell. Lets move Cornell East to the BC regional and move MSU to St. Paul and put Air Force in with Michigan.

    We now have the following regionals.

    Worcester, Mass
    BC vs Cornell
    Miami vs BU
     
    Bridgeport, Conn
    Union vs WMU
    Ferris vs Denver
     
    Green Bay, Wisconsin
    Michigan vs Air Force
    UMD vs Maine
     
    St. Paul, Minn
    N. Dakota vs MSU
    Minn. vs Umass Lowell

    I would still like to avoid 3 western teams in with Union, but given all 4 #2 seeds are from the western conferences The only switch I can see being made in switching BU and Denver so Worcester and  Bridgeport are both 2-2. Denver has to stay east because moving them west would create a conference game.

    One other possibility is moving UMD and Maine to Bridgeport and moving Ferris and Denver to Green Bay.

    I think this might be the best solutuion so in my final bracket I will have.

    Worcester, Mass

    BC vs Cornell
    Miami vs BU
     

    Bridgeport, Conn

    Union vs WMU
    UMD vs Maine

     
    Green Bay, Wisconsin

    Michigan vs Air Force
    Ferris vs Denver

    St. Paul, Minn

    N. Dakota vs MSU
    Minn. vs Umass Lowell

    • Just thought I’d point out, with five CCHA teams in the field, a first-round intra-CCHA game is allowed by the rules.  I think some people may be forgetting that…

  10. Dave’s constant commentary on his record vs Jim is tiresome and irrelevant. Can you both please write your blurbs independently about THE GAMES and post after?

    • It was relevant this time because every pick was originally going to be the same and with almost identical rationales. When there are differences in our thought process, we mention the differences. But I wasn’t just going to say “Ditto” throughout this week’s picks.

  11. both of you goons are about to eat crow for not showing Maine some respect. UML and BC are about to be exposed to speed tenacity and actual human decency, the last of which will confuse them as entire organizations.

  12. Typical you guys always bet against ECAC. There was a sweep this weekend and it was Union beating UNH. Why you continue to doubt the Dutchmen is ridiculous!!! Number 6 and should be number 1 or 2. Clearly better than St. Cloud and I would argue better than Minnesota.

    • Were you at the games? I am not taking anything away from the Dutchmen as they played very well but you are giving them a bit too much credit. UNH was a no show for the first 10 minutes Friday night (unfortunately they found themselves down 2-0), other than that it was 110 minutes of evenly played hockey. Stevens played slightly better than DeSmith and that was the difference, not Union outplaying UNH.

      • It’s not that I think union would have outplayed them completely, I know how good HE and UNH has been. It’s just the blatant disregard for the ECAC on the onset prior to games being picked. One of the prognosticators felt ” bad” selecting union in that weekend’s match ups. Let’s see feeling bad about selecting the number 6 team in the country against an unranked team ( I believe) there is something wrong with that. Also, Union is 7-1 against ranked teams this year, I think we can assume Union is better than most teams in the country. Plus a final 8 ( anialating BC .. I was at the game) frozen 4, and three years in a row making the NCAA they have been dominant the last few years.

        • UNH is #17 and had been 4-1 since the break and playing well. I don’t pay attention to who these guys or any guys pick. Truth is, Union has been very good the past few years. As a UNH fan and more importantly a college hockey fan, FF attendee every year, blah, blah, blah… I would have predicted a split. As I said, I was taking nothing away from Union, I just feel they have a ways to go to be mentioned with Minnesota. After them, it’s pretty wide open and of course anybody can be beaten any day. I, for one am very happy to see ECAC teams coming along and making the HE/ECAC rivalry fun and even again. BTW (again no disrespect) but what the heck happened to QU last night???

          • Fair insight, and yes, I agree that anyone can be beaten any given night. I would have to say that after QU gave Merrimack a beatdown the night before, they came out flat. I didn’t see the game but that would be my guess. I have a friend of mine that went and follows Merrimack religiously, and he would argue that is probably what happened.

    • Based on the results of the two teams, Union and Clarkson didn’t seem very different. Clarkson had put together a strong record, but when it played Lowell for three games it got only a single point. And when it played Hockey East’s last place team, it only got a split.
      Had Union been hosting UNH, I’d have picked them to sweep, but on the road I was leaning toward Clarkson-like results.

      • Dave,

        Yes, Clarkson has a strong start, but over the last fee years they have been traditionally weak, and I don’t think they have a lot of experience. Union has been strong the last few years, and leading into this weekend having a 5-1 record against ranked teams. They swept St. Cloud in St. Cloud, lost a close on to QU, and beat them once. I just don’t see the Clarkson and Union comparison.

        • What does last year have to do with anything? If it were important to making picks, then I should be picking Notre Dame and BU even though they’re doing poorly in Hockey East this season. Last year is irrelevant.
          Most importantly, you need to put your opinion out there BEFORE the weekend results instead of after. My guess is that if UNH had swept, I wouldn’t have heard a peep from you. In retrospect, I wish I’d picked Union to sweep and my view of the Dutchmen this year increased with their performance. But that’s easy after the results are in.
          If you think I’m being unfair, say so before the results are in.
          But thanks for reading and I applaud your passion. Even if it comes at my expense. :)

          • Dave,

            Considering the number of returnees, the coach, and the recent success, I think last year does play some role. That being said, if we take your point and just focus on this year, Union had been super dominant on the road, their record and ranking I believe should have earned them greater respect than they usually garner.

            Personally, I’m not saying a split wouldn’t have been the right pick either, but I would have liked to have heard you say you were at least more confident with your ECAC selection. But yes, I’ll try to comment prior to the results, but my comments are addressing you pre- weekend picks.

  13. Hockey East vs ECAC 2013 – 2014
    HE leads. The current Interconference Record is 21-19-8 thus far for the regular season with just Harvard in the Beanpot for a chance to catch up. Despite your strong anti-ECAC bias, the leagues are about evenly matched.

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