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NCAA week 22 preview: Conference points up for grabs

Cornell draws two top 5 teams before heading into ECAC tournament

This weekend, No. 7 Cornell looks to take bite out of two ECAC teams ahead of them
cornellbigred.com

With the final games of the regular season in view, all teams are looking to secure conference points before the postseason begins. With only two points separating them, St. Lawrence and Cornell will fight it out for a better seed in the ECAC tournament. St. Lawrence is coming into the game with a loss to Princeton and hopes that leading scorer Brooke Webster will do what she does best. Cornell just defeated Brown to win the Ivy League title and will look to use this momentum for a better finish in the ECAC.

John Mazza previews Week 22:

No. 5 St. Lawrence @ No. 7 Cornell, Friday, Feb. 17

  • With one point on the weekend, St. Lawrence clinched home ice for the ECAC playoffs.
  • The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the first, thanks to a goal from Hannah Miller (North Vancouver, B.C.). However, opponent Quinnipiac scored in the second and St. Lawrence settled for a tie.
  • Despite striking first with goals from Dakota Golde (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) and Webster (Aurora, Ont.), Princeton scored four unanswered goals and the Saints fell 4-2.
  • After tying Yale, Cornell went on to defeat Brown, securing much-needed ECAC points.
  • Down 2-1 late in the third, Cornell needed a goal to tie the game. With just 2:47 left, Amy Curlew (Goose Bay, N.L.) found the back of the net, forcing a tie with the Bulldogs.
  • With the 5-1 win over Brown, Cornell secured the Ivy League title. The last time Cornell had a share of the title was the 2012-13 season, and they have not outright won since 2011-12.

Merrimack @ Vermont, Friday, Feb. 17, and Saturday, Feb. 18

  • After the 4-3 overtime loss to Providence, Merrimack still sits at the bottom of the Hockey East standings and is at risk of missing the tournament.
  • Entering the third with a 3-0 lead, Merrimack hoped to get out of the last place spot, but the late-game rally from Providence forced the game to overtime. Just 1:53 into the overtime period, the Friars completed the comeback, leaving the Warriors winless against them.
  • Taking one point, Vermont goes into its final week hoping for home ice in the quarterfinals of the Hockey East tournament.
  • Netminder Madison Litchfield (Williston, Vt.) made 38 saves, but a late goal from Providence forced a tie between the two teams.
  • In their next game, Vermont faced a crushing loss to Boston College. Only Victoria Andreakos (Aurora, Ont.) scored for the Catamounts in the 7-1 loss.

No. 1 Wisconsin @ No. 3 Minnesota, Saturday, Feb. 18, and Sunday, Feb. 19

  • Facing the No. 2 team in the country, Wisconsin proved they are still No. 1 with a tie and win against Minnesota-Duluth.
  • Wisconsin was scoreless through most of the game until Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) found the back of the net with just over 10 minutes left in regulation. The Bulldogs evened it up shortly after, forcing the game to overtime and a 12-round shootout.
  • The Badgers came back determined to win, crushing the Bulldogs 8-0 and clinching the WCHA regular season title. Senior Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.) made 15 saves and claimed her 50th career shutout.
  • With a sweep of North Dakota, the Golden Gophers go into the weekend riding a six-game win streak.
  • Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) and Kate Schipper (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) both had multipoint nights en route to the 4-2 victory on Friday night.
  • In game two of the series, Taylor Williamson (Edina, Minn.) and Caitlin Reilly (Chanhassen, Minn.) each scored two goals to help the Golden Gophers defeat the Fighting Hawks 6-2.

Rensselaer @ Princeton, Saturday, Feb. 18

  • RPI split the weekend, losing to Dartmouth and defeating Harvard.
  • Making only 19 saves on 24 shots, sophomore goalie Lovisa Selander (Sollentuna, Sweden) could not keep the puck out of the net, and the Engineers lost 4-0 to the Big Green.
  • With a pair of goals including the game-winner, Whitney Renn (Troy, MI) led RPI to a 4-1 victory over Harvard.
  • Facing the top teams in the ECAC, Princeton came away with two league points.
  • Scoring just 11 seconds into the game, Cassidy Tucker (Plymouth, Mich.) gave the Tigers and early lead. The Golden Knights rallied, however, and defeated Princeton 3-1.
  • Freshman netminder Steph Neatby (Toronto, Ont.) made 40 saves, as the Tigers rallied to defeat St. Lawrence 4-2.

Ohio State @ North Dakota, Friday, Feb. 17, and Saturday, Feb. 18

  • With a tie and a win against Minnesota State, the Buckeyes moved up to sixth in the WCHA standings.
  • Behind a goal in the third, Maddy Field (Oakville, Ont.) found the back of the net, tying the game for Ohio State.
  • With their final home game, Ohio State honored their seniors Breanne Grant (New Liskeard, Ont.) and Katie Matheny (St. Louis, Miss.). During the game, both seniors scored, lifting the Buckeyes over the Mavericks.
  • Last weekend, the Fighting Hawks was swept by No. 3 Minnesota, entering the final week with a 10-11-5 WCHA record and 13-13-6 overall.
  • Hallie Theodosopoulos (Brookings, S.D.) and Rebekah Kolstad (Mankato, Minn.) scored in the 4-2 loss on Friday night.
  • Down 5-0 entering the third, the Fighting Hawks did not give up. Halli Krzyzaniak (Neepawa, Man.) and Anna Kilponen (Orivesi, Finland) both scored on the power play, but North Dakota still lost 6-2.

No. 3 Clarkson @ No. 9 Colgate, Friday, Feb 17

  • With a pair of wins, No. 3 Clarkson remains in first place in the ECAC and is hoping to clinch the regular season this weekend.
  • Loren Gabel (Kitchener, Ont.) scored two third-period goals, completing the 3-1 comeback against Princeton.
  • With no goals on the board in the third period, both Clarkson and Quinnipiac were looking to score and take home the win. At 14:23, Clarkson’s Jessica Gillham (Uxbridge, Ont.) did just that, pushing the Golden Knights past the Bobcats for a 1-0 victory.
  • Colgate won both their games last weekend and are hoping to remain in fourth for the home-ice advantage in the ECAC tournament.
  • With a hat trick, Shae Labbe (Calgary, Alta.) led her team to a 7-3 defeat of Brown.
  • With the game knotted at one entering the third, Colgate needed a goal to complete the weekend sweep. Midway through the third, Megan Sullivan (Toronto, Ont.) found the back of the net, leading Colgate to a 3-1 defeat of Yale.

Note: All rankings listed are from Week 21’s SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division 1 Poll.