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NCAA Week 4 Preview: Spotlight on Top 10 Clashes

All eyes on the WCHA as undefeated Bulldogs look to knock out Gophers

Graphic by Emily Scherer; Bulldog by Lauren Thompson; Gopher by Gopher Sports

Women’s college hockey fans will find highly entertaining matchups spread throughout the fourth weekend. Whether it’s watching the WCHA powers jockey for supremacy, the Ivies kick off their seasons, or a struggling top-10 ECAC team attempt to reverse their fortunes against the best team in the nation, there will not be a shortage of excitement.

John Mazza previews Week 4:

No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth @ No. 2 Minnesota, Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15

  • Coming off of a sweep of Minnesota State, UMD looks to continue its unbeaten run against the Golden Gophers.
  • Seniors Katherine McGovern (Scottsdale, AZ) and Lara Stalder (Luzern, Switzerland) both had amazing weekends. McGovern scored a goal in Friday’s game and a goal and 2 assists in Saturday’s game.
  • Stalder’s 5-point weekend added her name to the Bulldogs 100 career point club.
  • Minnesota is coming off the heels of a disappointing split series with Bemidji State.
  • After falling behind early in the third on Friday, senior captain Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, MN) led the team to a 3-1 victory after scoring 2 goals.
  • The next day, Minnesota could not find the back of the net, despite taking 31 shots on Bemidji, leading to the 2-0 loss.

No. 1 Wisconsin @ No. 7 Clarkson, Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15

  • Last week, Wisconsin played Ohio State, coming away with a win and a tie.
  • Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, QC) earned her 40th career shutout on Friday, becoming the first player in program history to do so.
  • On Saturday, Wisconsin earned an extra point after freshman Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, MI) scored the only goal in the three-round shootout.
  • Sophomore Loren Gabel (Kitchener, ON) opened up scoring for Clarkson on Friday, giving the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead before they lost 2-1.
  • After a loss and a tie last week against St. Lawrence, Clarkson dropped from 4 to 7 in this week’s poll.
  • With less than a minute remaining in regulation on Saturday, Clarkson was facing another loss. That’s when senior defenseman Corie Jacobson (Warren, ON) scored the tying goal for the Golden Knights.

Vermont @ Robert Morris, Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15

  • UVM only played once this past weekend, upsetting then No. 10 Boston University in a 3-2 victory.
  • Sophomore Saana Valkama (Pirkkala, Finland) had a point on every goal for the Catamounts, tallying 1 goal and 2 assists.
  • In her first game for UVM, sophomore netminder Melissa Black (Newmarket, ON) made 38 saves in a well-fought victory.
  • Trying to continue their undefeated run this season, Robert Morris is coming off a win and a tie against RPI.
  • Junior Amanda Pantaleo (Markham, ON) scored the game-winning goal on Friday after going five-hole on RPI goalie Kira Bombay.

Syracuse @ Northeastern, Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15

  • Syracuse started the season 0-2 after losing their opening games to Bemidji State.
  • Senior forward Jessica Sibley (Luseland, SK) scored the only goal of the weekend for Syracuse, coming on the power play just 12 minutes into the game on Friday.
  • Northeastern, coming off a shaky start, came out of this weekend with two wins over Lindenwood.
  • With 3 points this weekend, junior Denisa Krizova (Horni Cerekev, Czech Republic) tallied her 100th career point for the Huskies. She was also named Warrior Player of the Week by Hockey East.
  • Goaltender Brittany Bugalski (Boynton Beach, FL) posted 37 saves this weekend, including a 10-save shutout on Friday night.

Ohio State @ No. 9 Bemidji State, Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15

  • Facing No. 1 Wisconsin, the Buckeyes managed to come away from the weekend with a loss and a tie.
  • In Friday’s loss, Jessica Dunne (O’Fallon, MO) led the team in both shots (3) and blocked shots (5).
  • Julianna Iafallo (Eden, NY) opened up the scoring in the first period in Saturday’s 1-1 tie. It was her first goal of the season.
  • Bemidji split the series against Minnesota and is hoping to continue to ride that momentum this week.
  • Netminder Brittni Mowat (Glenboro, MB) was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week after making 57 saves this weekend, including a 31-save shutout during Saturday’s victory.
  • Summer Thibodeau (Maple Grove, MN) scored the game-winning goal just over a minute into the game. It was her first goal of the season.

McGill @ Harvard, Friday, October 14

  • McGill, a member of the CIS, has played two exhibition games against NCAA teams St. Lawrence and Vermont.
  • McGill won 3-0 against St. Lawrence. Rookie goaltender Tricia Deguire (Sherbrooke, QC) earned her first career shutout after making 34 saves.
  • Vermont proved to be more of a challenge; it took more than 60 minutes for McGill to win 3-2 in overtime. Rookie Lea Dumais (Beaconsfield, QC) scored the overtime goal after the team rallied from a 2-0 deficit.
  • Harvard will open its season this weekend in the exhibition against McGill.
  • Last year, Harvard finished 5th in the ECAC with a record of 17-12-3. Having graduated five seniors, including Michelle Picard (now playing in New York) and Emerance Maschmeyer (now playing in Calgary), the Crimson will look to co-captains Briana Mastel (Wallingford, CT) and Sydney Daniels (Southwick, MA), as well as their six freshman, to fill the void they left.

Note: All rankings listed are from SB Nation’s Week 3 D1 Poll.