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NCAA week 18 preview: ECAC boasts prime matchups

Sliding Raiders look to correct recent woes against surging Golden Knights

Pressure is on Raiders’ captain Annika Zalewski to spark team
Pat McCarthy

With movement in the polls, both Colgate and Clarkson want to prove they deserve their spots. Clarkson is hoping to show they are the second-best team in the country. Led by Beauts prospect Cayley Mercer (13G-20A), Clarkson is determined to win. Meanwhile, Colgate saw themselves fall in the polls and are intent on moving up. Sophomore Jessie Eldridge (9G-20A) leads Colgate in points and utilizing her offensive talent will be necessary to win. With a few weeks left, every point counts.

John Mazza previews Week 18:

No. 10 Colgate @ No. 2 Clarkson, Saturday Jan. 21

  • Colgate is hoping to bounce back after two losses and dropping to No. 10 in the poll.
  • In their first home game of 2017, the Raiders got shut out by Quinnipiac 2-0. The Bobcats took an early lead and Colgate could not find the back of the net despite the 27 shots on net.
  • The next day, Bailey Larson (Sycamore, IL) score the lone goal for the Raiders late in the first. However, Princeton scored four unanswered goals to defeat Colgate 5-1.
  • Clarkson finished last weekend with two wins increasing their unbeaten streak to 18 games.
  • Michaela Pejzlova (Pardubice, Czech Republic) scored with three minutes left in the game to lift Clarkson over Yale last Friday. Cayley Mercer (Exeter, ON) scored a minute later to secure the 4-2 victory.
  • Led by Cassidy Vinkle’s (Belleville, ON) first period hat trick, the Golden Knights routed the Brown Bears 8-1 last Saturday. They are hoping to use this momentum this weekend and continue their unbeaten run.

No. 6 Boston College @ Vermont, Friday Jan. 20 and Saturday Jan. 21

  • Boston College swept Merrimack last weekend increasing their conference record to 12-2-2.
  • With 2:30 left in the game, captain Andie Anastos (Farmington, MI) scored the only goal of the game, winning it for the Eagles.
  • Anastos again led her team to victory the next day, tallying a goal and the game-winning assist. The Eagles are now on an 11-game unbeaten run and hope to extend it against Vermont.
  • The Catamounts had a successful weekend against Boston University, tying both games against the former 10th ranked team.
  • With goals from Ève-Audrey Picard (Longueuil, QC) and Alyssa Gorecki (Monee, IL) in the third Vermont went up 3-1 on the Terriers. However, BU scored two late goals tying the game at three apiece.
  • Picard scored the tying goal for the Catamounts the next day, leading to a 1-1 tie and two points on the weekend.

Cornell @ No. 5 St. Lawrence, Saturday Jan. 21

  • With a tie and a win, Cornell picked up three points in the ECAC. With tough conference opponents, the Big Red is looking to beat St. Lawrence this weekend.
  • With just over a minute left in regulation, senior Hanna Bunton (Belleville, ON) put the puck past the Princeton netminder to tie the game 1-1.
  • Bunton was the hero again, this time against Quinnipiac. After ending regulation knotted at two goals apiece, Bunton scored just 10 seconds into overtime to clinch the victory for Cornell.
  • St. Lawrence had a successful weekend, easily defeating both Brown and Yale.
  • Fifteen different players registered at least one point in St. Lawrence’s 7-2 victory. Emily Middagh (Winnipeg, MB) and Michelle Alonardo (Wilmington, MA) both netted their first career goals.
  • With four goals in the first period, St. Lawrence skated to a 4-1 win over Yale. Amanda McClure (Stratford, ON) scored two goals during the victory.

North Dakota @ No. 1 Wisconsin, Saturday Jan. 21 and Sunday Jan. 22

  • The Fighting Hawks swept Minnesota State last weekend. There are now 12-7-5 overall and 9-5-4 in conference play.
  • Heading into the third down 2-1, North Dakota rallied to defeat the Mavericks 3-2. At 1:22 into the final stanza, Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, MB) scored the game-tying goal. Less than a minute later Grace Hirschy (Fort Wayne, IN) netted the game-winner.
  • With a goal and two assists, Ryleigh Houston (Winnipeg, MB) led North Dakota to a 4-0 shutout of Minnesota State.
  • With back-to-back shutouts over St. Cloud, the Badgers show no sign of slowing down.
  • Led by hat tricks from Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, CA) and Emily Clark (Saskatoon, SK), they routed the Huskies 9-0.
  • Saturday was a special night for the Badgers. Not only did they defeat St. Cloud 2-0 but they also set the NCAA women’s hockey attendance record. With 15,359 people in attendance at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin now hold the top five single-game attendance spots in a successful Fill the Bowl night.

No. 7 Quinnipiac @ Merrimack, Friday Jan. 20

  • Quinnipiac split the weekend with a win against Colgate and a loss against Cornell.
  • With a goal apiece from Taylar Cianfarano (Oswego, NY) and Raquel Pennoyer (Rehoboth, MA), the Bobcats shut out Colgate 2-0.
  • Quinnipiac suffered an overtime loss to Cornell the next day. Goaltender Sydney Rossman (Excelsior, MN) made 23 saves in the loss.
  • Up against No. 6 Boston College, Merrimack gave it their all but dropped both games to the Eagles.
  • Making 37 saves, netminder Léa-Kristine Demers let in only one goal against the second-best offense in the country, as the Warriors lost 1-0.
  • Paige Voight (St. Michael, MN) scored the lone goal for Merrimack in the 3-1 loss on Saturday.

Note: All rankings listed are from Week 17’s SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division 1 Poll.