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NCAA week 21 preview: Regular season winds down

Weekend slate includes matchup of potential Frozen Four teams

No. 2 Bulldogs look to chip away at No. 1 Badgers top spot at La Bahn
Al Saniuk

With the regular season coming to a close, this week sees the top two teams in the country go head-to-head. Duluth’s top scorer, Lara Stalder, will look to break trough the brick wall that is Ann-Renée Desbiens. Meanwhile Annie Pankowski will look to continue her point streak and prove that Wisconsin truly is the best team in the nation.

John Mazza previews Week 21:

No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth @ No. 1 Wisconsin, Saturday Feb. 11, and Sunday, Feb. 12

  • With two wins against North Dakota, Duluth is looking to use the momentum to defeat Wisconsin.
  • With the 2-0 shutout on Friday, netminder Maddie Rooney (Andover, Mass.) extend her shutout streak to eight periods, stopping 58 straight shots.
  • With a little over a minute left in Saturday’s game, Stalder (Luzern, Switzerland) broke the 1-1 tie, pushing the Bulldogs past the Fighting Hawks.
  • The Badgers extended their win streak to 12 games with a sweep of Bemidji State.
  • With two goals apiece, Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask.) and Abby Roque (Sault St. Marie, Mich.) led Wisconsin to their 500th program win.
  • Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, Calif.) scored during the 4-2 win the next day. She has tallied 27 points during the 12-game streak and is proving to be a dangerous player.

Northeastern @ No. 6 Boston College, Friday, Feb. 10

  • Northeastern is looking to bounce back after losing to BC in the Beanpot finals on Tuesday.
  • Over the weekend, the Huskies managed to defeat the Providence Friars in overtime. Just over a minute into the overtime period, junior Lauren Kelly (Watertown, Mass.) found the back of the net, winning the game for Northeastern.
  • After taking a 1-0 lead early in the third with a goal from Kasidy Anderson (Shaker Heights, Ohio), Northeastern could not hold off the Eagles and fell short of their 17th Beanpot title.
  • Boston College is hoping to defeat Northeastern again after a come-from-behind victory in the Beanpot.
  • Last weekend, the Eagles got off to a rough start. After falling behind 3-0 and 4-1, BC rallied to a tie with the UConn Huskies. This secured the regular season title for the Eagles.
  • Down a goal in the Beanpot final on Tuesday, Kristy Capizzano (Oakville, Ont.) and Erin Connolly (South Boston, Mass.) each scored, leading the Eagles to back-to-back Beanpot titles.

No. 7 Quinnipiac @ No. 5 Clarkson, Saturday, Feb. 11

  • With two crucial ECAC wins, Quinnipiac is hoping to pick up more league points when they face Clarkson.
  • With her first career hat trick, Meghan Turner (Bedford, N.H.) led the Bobcats to a decisive 9-0 victory against Brown.
  • After falling behind 1-0 to Yale on Saturday, four different Quinnipiac players scored, leading to a 4-1 win.
  • With three points on the weekend, Clarkson is still sitting at the top of the ECAC.
  • Assistant captain Genevieve Bannon (Candiac, Que.) scored two goals, leading the Golden Knights to a 3-0 shutout of Dartmouth.
  • Down 2-1 late in the third and on the power play, Clarkson pulled their goalie giving them a 6-on-4 advantage. During this time, Rhyen McGill (Whitby, Ont.) found the back of the net, tying the game for the Golden Knights and giving them the much-needed point.

Princeton @ No. 4 St. Lawrence, Saturday, Feb. 11

  • Princeton came away with a loss and a win last weekend, after playing Ivy League rivals Yale and Brown.
  • Cassidy Tucker (Plymouth, Mich.) scored the lone goal for the Tigers in the 3-1 loss to the Yale Bulldogs.
  • The Tigers got back on track the next day, defeating Brown 6-1. Netminder Alysia DaSilva (Oakville, Ont.) made 32 saves en route to the victory.
  • With two more wins, St. Lawrence will look to continue its five-game winning streak and take over first place in the ECAC.
  • With goals from Kalie Grant (Potsdam, N.Y.) and Kennedy Marchment (Courtice, Ont.) St. Lawrence skated past Harvard 2-1.
  • Against Dartmouth, the Saints needed a late goal to lift them over the Big Green. At 1:06 left in the game, Brooke Webster (Aurora, Ont.) did just that, giving St. Lawrence a 2-1 victory.

New Hampshire @ Boston University, Saturday, Feb. 11

  • With a three-way tie for fourth, UNH will look to move past BU to secure home ice for the Hockey East tournament.
  • Last Friday, Jonna Curtis (Elk River, Minn.) notched her 50th career goal. With this goal, the Wildcats tied the Catamounts for a much-needed point.
  • Despite a 38-12 shot advantage, only Jenna Rheault (Deering, N.H.) found the back of the net, and UNH fell 3-1 to Vermont.
  • Also tied for third, the Terriers need all the points they can get to secure home ice before the Hockey East finals.
  • Playing in the Beanpot consolation game, BU skated to a 6-6 tie with Harvard. Senior Maddie Elia (Lewiston, N.Y.) tallied her 100th point in the contest, becoming the 12th Terrier to reach this milestone.

Note: All rankings listed are from Week 20’s SB Nation’s Women’s College Hockey Division 1 Poll.