UND, Dartmouth stay on track
Notes: UWRF season-long undefeated streak still alive
Two of the programs battling it out for possible at-large bids to the 2011 NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Championship tournament had to work overtime this weekend to keep their postseason dreams alive, as unheralded Bemidji State and Clarkson were thinking “upset” when they hit the road for their conference quarterfinals.
In the end, however, both No. 8 North Dakota and No. 9 Dartmouth did what they needed to do, advanced to their respective conference semifinals, and stayed on track for NCAA tournament berths.
The Fighting Sioux got off to a strong start on Friday, when Stephanie Roy scored two third-period goals to lead North Dakota to a 3-2 win over Bemidji, but the Beavers struck back on Saturday when Zuzana Tomcikova stopped all 22 shots she faced in a 3-0 Bemidji win. On Sunday, Jocelyne Lamoureux scored near the midpoint of the second period to make it 2-1 North Dakota, but Bemidji’s Sadie Lundquist tied the game just over five minutes later, and a scoreless third period sent the game to overtime. The Fighting Sioux had a scary moment in the third period when Monique Lamoureux-Kolls was sent to the box for cross-checking, but North Dakota killed off the penalty, and Lamoureux-Kolls herself scored 16 minutes into the extra session to send the Sioux on to the WCHA Final Face-Off.
Dartmouth, meanwhile, suffered an early setback on Friday, when Clarkson got a goal and two assists from Brittant Styner en route to a 4-1 win at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H., but battled back on Saturday, when Sasha Nanji’s goal 2:13 into the third period proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 Big Green win. On Sunday, the Big Green’s season was in jeopardy when Clarkson took a 3-2 lead into the third period, and Moira Scanlon took a five-minute major for elbowing with 3:47 left. Dartmouth pulled goaltender Lindsay Holdcroft for the extra skater with 1:12 remaining, and the move yielded dividends almost instantly, as Reagan Fischer scored with 54 seconds on the clock to make it 3-3. Then, in overtime, Camille Dumais - who scored to make it 2-1 Dartmouth in the second period and later assisted on Fischer’s game-tying goal – beat goaltender Erica Howe (38 saves) for her 16th goal of the season and the deciding tally in the series.
Projected postseason scenarios have Dartmouth and North Dakota fighting it out for the last at-large tournament berth, but there’s little doubt that both the Big Green and the Fighting Sioux would rather leave no doubt by winning ECAC Hockey or the WCHA. For Dartmouth, that will start on Thursday, with a conference semifinal game at Harvard. North Dakota, meanwhile, will face No. 1 Wisconsin on Friday at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
Need to Know
• The top team in the USCHO.com Division III Women’s Poll, Wisconsin-River Falls, saw its season-long undefeated streak put in jeopardy over the weekend, but the Falcons continue to battle on with a goose egg in their loss column. Visiting St. Norbert got a late goal from Zoe Kurth at 18:13 to secure a 2-2 tie in the opening game of an NCHA quarterfinal series. In the deciding second game on Saturday, however, the Falcons got a pair of first-period goals by freshman Kait Mason and a natural hat trick from Katie Flanagan to lead the way in a 7-1 victory over the Green Knights. With the series won, UWRF hosts Concordia (Wis.) in Friday’s NCHA semifinals, with Wisconsin-Superior and Adrian meeting in the other semifinal.
• After breaking the NCAA women’s hockey career points record earlier this month, Mercyhurst senior forward Meghan Agosta has now added the career goals record to her collection of honors, and she did it with a game-winning goal. Agosta’s power-play tally at 15:18 of the second-period was the 151st of her career, breaking the NCAA record of 150 set by Harvard’s Nicole Corriero from 2001-2005. The native of Ruthven, Ontario, added her 152nd goal in the third period, leading the Lakers to a 6-2 victory over Robert Morris to complete an undefeated CHA season. Next up for the Lakers is the CHA Tournament, set to take place this weekend at Tennity Ice Arena in Syracuse, N.Y.
• Holy Cross won the 2011 ECAC Open Championship on Sunday, getting shootout goals from senior Jocelyn Kratchmer and junior Nicola Garat to secure a championship victory over St. Anselm after the teams tied 4-4 through 65 minutes of play. Either Kratchmer or Garat figured in the scoring for each of the Crusaders’ four goals, with Garat scoring the first goal on a shorthanded tally at 9:51 on the first period, and Kratchmer scoring the second and fourth goals while assisting on the third. Kratchmer’s performance earned her tournament MVP honors, and Holy Cross captured its third straight win in the annual competition between the Crusaders, the Hawks, St. Michael’s and Sacred Heart, all Division I or Division II schools that play as independents or as members of the ECAC D-III East.
• With a pair of goals in Wisconsin’s 5-1 win over St. Cloud on Saturday, Badgers junior forward Hilary Knight extended her point streak to 20 games, tying the second-longest streak in program history. The second goal was her 46th of the season, breaking the Badgers’ single-season goal record that Knight herself set in the 2008-09 season.
Norwich senior forward Sophie Leclerc assisted on two of the Cadets’ goals in an 8-0 win over Nichols on Saturday in the ECAC East Semifinal to run her national-best point total to 4(24g, 22a) in 25 games. Leclerc was held off the scoresheet herself, but remains third in the nation in goals per game behind Bowdoin sophomore Kayte Holtz and Elmira freshman Tori Charron.