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Staturday: Back in action

Mike Murphy

The All-Star Games are over, the home stretch of the CWHL and NWHL has begun and the NCAA Tournament is drawing nearer.

CWHL

  • The Toronto Furies get an extended rest before the Clarkson Cup Playoffs begin. They Furies are the only team not in action this weekend which means that Brampton’s Jocelyne Larocque has an opportunity to become the sole leader in penalty minutes in the CWHL. She and Toronto’s Renata Fast are currently level with 38 PIM each.
  • The Boston Blades have more even strength goals this year (19) than they had total goals last year (17). Kate Leary has been a big part of that accomplishment, the rookie has six goals at evens this season. Meghan Grieves’ seven primary points at even strength haven’t hurt the cause either.
Al Saniuk
  • Speaking of Leary, if she gets two points this weekend against Brampton she will have twice as many points as the Blades’ leading point scorer had last season (Myers and Kickham each had seven points).
  • The Thunder finished last season with 16wins and 33 points. This season the best they can hope for is 12 wins and 26 points. Last year Brampton had just seven losses in regulation, this year they have 10.
  • Two of the women with the best chance to catch Montreal’s Ann-Sophie Bettez in the goal-scoring race this year are teammates. Both Marie-Philip Poulin and Caroline Ouellette are two goals behind Bettez’s league-leading mark of 17. Brampton’s Jess Jones is the third woman heading into the weekend with 15 goals.

NWHL

  • Anne Schleper, who signed for $21,000 in the offseason and was Buffalo’s third-highest paid skater, finishes her NWHL career with one assist (primary, power play) in six games with the Beauts.
  • Buffalo’s Harrison Browne had two goals heading into the All-Star Game (both shorthanded). So naturally he scored two more in the All-Star Game itself.
  • Last year Brittany Ott had one shutout and posted a .926 save percentage. She’s heading into this weekend with a .944 save percentage and three shutouts. Ott has one shutout per every three starts this year. I think we can safely assume Otter will be keeping her crown as the NWHL’s Best Goaltender when it’s time for the awards.
  • In five games this season New York Riveters’ alternate captain Amanda Kessel has four power play points. Only Corinne Buie and Kourtney Kunichika have scored more on the man advantage this year.
  • A race to keep an eye on during the home stretch of the 2016-17 NWHL season is whether or not Alex Carpenter can catch Hilary Knight’s 33 points from last year. Carpenter has 22 points in 12 games this year and has five more games to catch her teammate’s record.

NCAA Division I

  • St. Lawrence’s Brooke Webster has 26 points on the road this year, making her the most dangerous player in the nation when she’s on the visiting team.
  • Ohio State’s Maddy Field is 13th in the WCHA in scoring with 24 points in 32 games. She leads all skaters in points in the conference who doesn’t play for UMD, Wisconsin or Minnesota.
  • The Hockey East scoring title is a great race to watch. BU’s Victoria Bach has 42 points in 30 games this year and Northeastern’s Denisa Křížová has 39 points in 29 games. Also in the mix are Bach’s teammate Mary Parker, BC’s Makenna Newkirk and Northeastern’s McKenna Brand.
  • Connecticut goaltender Annie Belanger has done a fine job stepping into the role left available by Elaine Chuli’s graduation. Belanger has a .934 save percentage and a record of 11-12-4 for the Bulldogs. Last year Chuli had a .940 save percentage and a record of 12-12-2.
  • Minnesota’s Kelly Pannek has recorded three or more assists in four games this year and Wisconsin junior Emily Clark has two games where she has recorded four or more assists. Pannek maintains her lead in the nation’s scoring race.
  • Since the beginning of the new year Wisconsin has 54 goals for and 9 goals against in 11 games. The Badgers are the only team without a regulation loss in 2017.