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.
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.
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.