NCAA Roundup: Buckeyes, Raiders Clinch Regular Season Titles; Primerano to Join Minnesota Next Season; and More

Ohio State takes the WCHA regular season title while Colgate is tops in the ECAC, and some individual players are standing out as the season winds down.

NCAA Roundup: Buckeyes, Raiders Clinch Regular Season Titles; Primerano to Join Minnesota Next Season; and More
The Ohio State Buckeyes celebrating their regular-season title clinch on Saturday, Feb. 17. (Photo featured on @OhioStateWHKY on X/formerly Twitter)

It's been a charmed season for both Ohio State and Colgate, and they were rewarded for their efforts this past weekend when they each clinched their respective league's regular season titles ahead of their final weekend of play.

The Buckeyes outscored St. Thomas by a combined total of 16-2 over two games, sweeping the Tommies in their last matchup of the regular season. Four different Buckeyes scored more than one goal, with Hannah Bilka scoring a hat trick and Jennifer Gardiner adding two goals and an assist, as OSU steamrolled St. Thomas 12-1 Friday night. One of the real unsung heroes, however, was senior forward Olivia Mobley, who tallied four assists (three of them primary helpers). Saturday was all about special teams, with Ohio State winning 4-1 and scoring both on the power play and on the penalty kill (unlike in the PWHL, we don't have a jailbreak rule in the NCAA ... yet).

As for Colgate, they clinched their title Saturday against Brown with a commanding 6-0 shutout as a handful of Raiders (including sophomore Elyssa Biederman, first-year player Avery Pickering, and newly back in the lineup Kristýna Kaltounková) had multipoint efforts. After losing to Yale on the road, 3-1, on Friday, it was a welcome bounce back for the Raiders' first regular-season title since 2021.

Kaltounková and Pickering combined for the lone goal against the Bulldogs on Friday evening as well, while Yale did a tremendous job in all three zones to keep Colgate's offensive opportunities to a bare minimum. For Kaltounková to bounce back from four games off like this especially is a good sign for the Raiders ahead of the postseason. The reason for her absence, aside from her suspension earlier in the month, remains unconfirmed.

Primerano to Join Gophers in 2024

Slightly cold tea, but still worth a mention, is the announcement last week by Minnesota that they will be adding Canadian phenom Chloe Primerano to their 2024 signing class. Primerano had initially announced her intention to commit in November 2023. This means imminent good things are on the horizon for the fourth-ranked Gophers, who have long been a stalwart contender not just within the WCHA but also nationally.

McMahon Earns "Ironman" Record, Bulldogs Clinch Home Ice

Minnesota-Duluth has been one of those teams that are difficult to play against from a defensive standpoint, and this weekend was no exception. Just one goal was scored all weekend between them and the St. Cloud State Huskies in regulation, while goaltending shined bright. The Bulldogs eked out a 1-0 win Friday on the back of Hailey MacLeod (39 saves) and Clara Van Wieren's tiebreaker early in the third period, giving them their seventh straight fourth-place finish and home ice in the WCHA quarters. MacLeod earned her fifth shutout of the year, while Van Wieren scored her fifth game winner of the season, so it looks like five is a lucky number for this team (more on that in a moment).

UMD captain and graduate forward Mannon McMahon became sole owner of the consecutive games played title when she skated in her 166th straight game on Saturday. The record had been held by Anna Klein for two seasons prior.

The game itself was a stalemate between fellow Goalie of the Year contenders Jojo Chobak and Ève Gascon, both of whom saw 30-plus shots apiece and were able to stop every single one. Gascon earned the edge over Chobak with a 39-save performance, including a penalty shot save with just over a minute left in overtime, but the Huskies won an extra point with a 3-2 shootout win.

Bonus: For Gascon, it was also her fifth shutout of the season (see what I mean?), putting her in a tie with Jennifer Harß for most shutouts earned by a rookie goalie in UMD history. Gascon is an excellent netminder, and I'm so excited to see how she develops for the Bulldogs.

Check out the updated poll here.

Full Scores: Feb. 15-17, 2024

Thursday, Feb. 15:

UNH 4, Holy Cross 2

Friday, Feb. 16:

Wisconsin 4, Minnesota 3 (OT)

Clarkson 9, Dartmouth 0

Cornell 2, Brown 1 (OT)

St. Lawrence 4, Harvard 2

Quinnipiac 4, Rensselaer 2

UConn 5, Merrimack 1

Princeton 5, Union 1

Northeastern 3, BC 2 (OT)

Penn State 5, RIT 3

BU 4, Vermont 1

LIU 7, Saint Michael's 0

RMU 7, Lindenwood 5

Stonehill 4, St. Anselm 1

Maine 2, Providence 1 (OT)

Mercyhurst 3, Syracuse 2

Franklin Pierce 2, Assumption 2 (OT)

Minnesota State 4, Bemidji State 0

Sacred Heart 2, Post 0

Saturday, Feb. 17:

Wisconsin 4, Minnesota 0

Clarkson 3, Harvard 0

Cornell 2, Yale 1

St. Lawrence 5, Dartmouth 0

Quinnipiac 6, Union 1

Vermont 3, UConn 0

Princeton 3, Rensselaer 3 (OT)

Northeastern 5, BC 1

RIT 1, Penn State 1 (OT)

LIU 3, Saint Michael's 2 (OT)

UNH 2, Holy Cross 1

Sacred Heart 4, Post 3

Stonehill 2, St. Anselm 1

Mercyhurst 4, Syracuse 1

RMU 6, Lindenwood 3

BU 4, Merrimack 0

Minnesota State 5, Bemidji State 2

Franklin Pierce 1, Assumption 0