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The Takeaway: Mercyhurst fights for Folgs

Mercyhurst mounts a meaningful comeback; goaltending records fall

Mike Hetzel | Mercyhurst Athletics

It’s time for another edition of The Takeaway, our bi-weekly NCAA women’s hockey column. We fill you in on things you may have missed, the biggest wins and performances last week in Division I play, and upcoming games you won’t want to miss.

5 Things to Know

Fighting for Folgs: Forward Summer-Rae Dobson powered Mercyhurst to a 4-2 comeback win in dramatic fashion last Saturday, in one of the biggest games of the year for the Lakers—and not just because they were trying to avoid their second upset in as many weeks. No, this weekend was bigger than just tallying valuable CHA points for Mercyhurst. It was the team’s “Fight for Folgs” game, played in honor of longtime athletic trainer and equipment manager Mike Folga, who’s in the midst of a battle with cancer. Folga was on hand to drop the puck before both the women’s and men’s games last weekend, and funds were raised at both games to help cover his medical and travel expenses. They’ll also benefit the American Cancer Society.

Eagles rising: Boston College earned a couple of huge wins over Providence last weekend to maintain second place in the Hockey East standings. Their offense has picked up lately, scoring no less than four goals in each of the last five games. One especially bright spot from the second win over Providence, a 4-2 victory, was that the Eagles showed they can come out on the right side of a special teams battle. Providence scored two goals on four power-play chances, but BC’s Lindsay Agnew scored the game-winner shorthanded and Caitrin Lonergan added an insurance goal on the power play.

Müller’s scoring tear: For the first time since the opening game of the season, Northeastern freshman Alina Müller was held without a point last weekend against Vermont. That snaps a 22-game point streak for the Swiss Olympian, which was the longest in the NCAA this season.

Ohio State’s woes: It has not been a very good run for the Buckeyes since knocking off Wisconsin in a 1-0 shutout. Since that game, Ohio State has dropped five straight, giving up 30 goals over that span. The Buckeyes were ranked as high as No. 5 but have since dropped to No. 9, and, without winning the WCHA Final Face-Off, they’d be the last team out of the NCAA Tournament right now. Their next two series against St. Cloud State and Bemidji State are now must-win games, and they’ll also have a crack at the Badgers again in the regular-season finale.

Nods in net: A couple of goaltenders deserve some recognition for hitting milestones last week. RPI senior Lovisa Selander moved into second all-time in NCAA history in career saves, after stopping 48 shots in a 1-1 tie with Yale on Friday. Her career total is now 3,691 after wins against Brown and Union, and she needs 118 more to tie Robert Morris alumna Brianne McLaughlin for first all-time.

Colgate senior Julia Vandyk set a program record for minutes played in Friday night’s 4-2 loss to Cornell. She is now the all-time leader with 6183:25 played in her career.

Top Performers

Jessie Eldridge, Senior, Forward, Colgate: Eldridge became Colgate’s all-time leading scorer at the Division I level this past weekend, recording her 142nd career point against Cornell.

Loren Gabel, Senior, Forward, Clarkson: Gabel has been lights out the last few weeks with five straight multi-point games. She also reached the 100-goal mark for her career last weekend.

Naomi Rogge, Sophomore, Forward, Minnesota Duluth: Rogge was a huge factor in Minnesota Duluth’s sweep against Ohio State two weeks ago, scoring two goals and two assists in each game for a total of eight points on the weekend.

Lenka Serdar, Senior, Forward, Cornell: Serdar has had a nice stretch for the Big Red and helped them earn the sweep in a home-and-home with Colgate last week, scoring three goals and four points in that series.

Katelyn Rae, Senior, Forward, Merrimack: Rae became the first Merrimack player to score 100 points in her career on Friday against BU with two assists in the game.

Skylar Fontaine, Sophomore, Defender, Northeastern: Fontaine is having an outstanding breakout campaign, and she showed just what she’s capable of last weekend against UVM. Trailing 1-0, she jumped into the rush and tied it up for the Huskies with three minutes to go on Friday; they went on to win in overtime, 2-1. She recorded two more assists in Saturday’s 5-1 win.

Lovisa Selander, Senior, Goaltender, RPI: It just seems like a good time to give another shoutout to Selander, who has yielded just three goals in her last four starts and stopped more pucks than anyone in the country in that time span (139 saves total).

Don’t Miss It

Upcoming games to watch for:

2019 Beanpot, featuring Boston College vs. Harvard and Northeastern vs. Boston University (Tuesday, Feb. 5): There’s usually plenty of talent on display at the Beanpot, and there’s definitely no shortage of it this year. We’ll see the NCAA’s leading rookie scorer (Northeastern’s Alina Müller), two of the nation’s top-five leaders in save percentage (Northeastern’s Aerin Frankel and Harvard’s Lindsay Reed), the NCAA assists leader (Boston University’s Jesse Compher), last season’s Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner (Boston College’s Daryl Watts), and the highest scoring defender in the country (Boston College’s Megan Keller). The semifinals take place this coming Tuesday, and the winners will play for a chance at Boston hockey glory on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Clarkson at Princeton (Saturday, Feb. 2): The Tigers hold the top seed in the ECAC with 25 points, and Clarkson is only three points off that pace in third place. These teams have not yet played this year, and this first matchup is sure to have big implications for the ECAC regular season title, postseason seeding, and potentially home ice in the NCAA Tournament.

Minnesota Duluth at Minnesota (Saturday, Feb. 2, and Sunday, Feb. 3): The Bulldogs have been hot and cold this year (see last weekend’s split at home with Quinnipiac), but they played Minnesota really tightly in their last meeting at the inaugural Minnesota Cup, taking the Gophers to overtime in the semifinals. Offensively, Minnesota Duluth stacks up fairly well, and its top-six will give Minnesota some headaches. But the Bulldogs will need to see some poise from a young D corps to have a really good chance at an upset.