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2021-22 NCAA Preview: Hockey East, part 1

The Massachusetts schools of Hockey East

2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Championship Photo by Justin Berl/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Northeastern

Key Losses

  • Alina Muller, F, kind of - Will depart for the Olympics in early 2022, led the team and nation in points (38) and assists (26)

Key Returners

  • Alina Muller, F - See above
  • Aerin Frankel, G - USA Hockey’s loss is Northeastern’s gain, reigning Patty Kazmaier Award winner, .810 goals against average
  • Skylar Fountain, D - Led all defenders in the nation in points (30) and goals (14)
  • Chloe Aurard, F - Team leader in goals (16)
  • Brooke Hobson, D - 15 assists last season, returning as captain
  • Maureen Murphy, F - Averages a point per game in NCAA careers so far, including a shortened 19-20 season after transfer issues

Season Outlook

Northeastern fell just short of winning it all last season, and the rest of college hockey better watch out because they are out for revenge. Nearly every key part of their team from last season will be back making them extremely lethal again. They will be without Müller for a portion of time, which shouldn’t hurt the team as much as her chances at winning the Patty Kazmaier Award, but is definitely something the team will be planning for. Another National Championship run is in the future for sure.

Boston College

Key Losses

  • Savannah Norcross, F - Led the team in goals in 20-21 with 12, tied for most points with 21
  • Hadley Hartmetz, D - 13 assists, far outpacing any other defender last season
  • Cayla Barnes, D - 10 points last season, 29 blocked shots, leadership on an increasingly young blue line

Key Returners

  • Abbey Levy, G - Play the majority of the games in goal for the Eagles with a 1.77 goals against average
  • Kelly Brown, F - Tied for most points on the team and averaged point per game
  • Jillian Fey, F - Tied for second in goals (6)
  • Alexie Guay, D - Career high of five goals last season, one of two juniors on defense
  • Gaby Roy, F - Eight points in 10 games as a freshman including 4 in her college debut

Season Outlook

The Eagles lost two key players to transfers this off season in Norcross and Hartmetz which will definitely sting no matter how you put it. Add in Barnes off at USA’s Olympic Residency and the defense took a hit. They have a pretty young blue line, with two juniors, two sophomores, and two freshman. Coming off the COVID shortened season, it’s a good thing all three of their goaltenders are seniors on that half of the ice. Their forward corps is in markedly better shape, even with Norcross’s departure. Plus, they’ll gain transfer forward Michaela Boyle for the second semester after the forward finishes her degree at RMU.

Boston University

Key Losses

  • Jesse Compher, F - Led the team in points and goals
  • Corinne Schroeder, G - Played about 60% of the times last season, .925 save percentage

Key Returners

  • Courtney Correia, F - Led the team in assists and second in points
  • Mackenna Parker, F - Second in goals
  • Julia Nearis, F - Back after being injured last season, scored 12 goals in 18-19 season
  • Kate Stuart, G - Expected to be this season’s main starter, .941 save percentage in 20 games in career

Season Outlook

Last year was a tough one for BU, and not just because of COVID. The Terriers had high hopes for their season that were never quite realized. It might be another uphill battle for them as they lost their biggest scorer in Compher and their main goaltender. They’ll need their upperclassmen to step up and into goal scoring roles this season if they hope to finish better than season’s Hockey East quarterfinals finish.

Holy Cross

Key Losses

  • Allison Attea, D - Blocked 43 shots

Key Returners

  • Jada Brenon, G - .901 save percentage last season
  • Bryn Saarela, F - Tied for most goals, assists, and points on the team
  • Millie Rose Sirum, F - Also tied for most goals, assists, and points on the team
  • Emma Lange, D - Blocked 31 shots, netted 5 points last season
  • Carlie Magier, F - Returning captain, 23 career points
  • Bailey Bennett, F - Captain, blocked 32 shots last season

Season Outlook

This will be their fourth season at the Division I level. While they’ve been at the bottom of the table, a lot of returning players can only help move the needle more and establish the program. They lost a big defender in Attea to graduation so they’ll be looking to fill that hole in their blue line.

Merrimack

Key Losses

  • Megan Fergusson, F - Tied for the lead on the team in goals, assists, and points last season
  • Dominika Laskova, F, sort of, maybe - The Czech Republic National Team has Olympic qualification tournament in early November, and possibly the Olympics in early February 2022.

Key Returners

  • Dominika Lásková, F - See above, averages a point every two games, had 4 goals in the 2021 World Championships
  • Keisha-Shanelle Dicaire, F - Did not play last season, had 13 points in 25 games during the 19-20 season
  • Courtney Maud - Tied for the lead on the team in goals, assists, and points last season

Season Outlook

It’s been a rough two seasons for Merrimack, there’s no way around that. They’ve only won three games across the two season. On the plus side, they have 15 upperclassman on their team this season, the most in the past two seasons. That experience can only help them improve this season. They’ll most likely lose Laskova for a portion of the season if the Czech forward reports to the national team for qualifications and possibly their first Olympic appearance. It would definitely hurt them as she’s an offensive presence, something they badly need.