A jam-packed weekend in Division I women’s ice hockey will see several top 10 teams go head to head. Competition heats up in Central New York, where a quartet of ECAC rivals will face off. And in the Midwest, two WCHA conference heavyweights will take the ice in an epic Border Battle double-header. Here are the matchups you won’t want to miss this weekend.
No. 9 Cornell (0-0-0) at No. 2 Clarkson (7-0-1)
Saturday at 3 p.m. E.T.Cornell opens its season on the road with two ECAC conference matchups. The Big Red will first face No. 7 St. Lawrence on Friday before taking on the No. 2 Clarkson Golden Knights, the reigning national champions, on Saturday. The Big Red will attempt to hand Clarkson its first loss of the season. In fact, the Golden Knights are unbeaten in their last 24 games, dating back to Jan. 20 of last season. Clarkson has also received a youthful boost this season. Freshman forward Elizabeth Giguere, recently named ECAC Player and Rookie of the Week, has gotten off to a fast start for the Golden Knights, notching seven goals and seven assists in the first eight games of her college career. Giguere’s 14 points put her in a four-way tie for the most among Division I players.
No. 5 Colgate (6-0-0) at No. 7 St. Lawrence (2-2-2)
Saturday at 3 p.m. E.T.
Another ECAC showdown pits the Colgate Raiders against the St. Lawrence Saints. The Saints are coming off a lackluster showing after they dropped two games against Clarkson. They’ll look to improve defensively after giving up 10 goals to the Golden Knights last weekend. But St. Lawrence will face a multifaceted Colgate offense that has already had nine different players net goals this season. Junior forward Jessie Eldridge leads the Raiders in goals with six, including the buzzer-beating overtime game-winner against Mercyhurst last weekend.
BY THE NUMBERS: Record-breaking performances, regional rivalries loom
No. 1 Wisconsin (10-0-0) at No. 6 Minnesota (5-2-1)
Saturday at 5 p.m. E.T. and Sunday at 6 p.m. E.T.
The top-ranked Wisconsin Badgers travel to Minneapolis to take on WCHA conference rival Minnesota in a two-game series. The double-header, dubbed the Border Battle, features two of the most storied programs in women’s hockey. One or both of these teams have played in the last seven straight NCAA Championship games and have won a combined 10 national titles. Wisconsin will be led by senior co-captain Claudia Kepler, whose team-leading eight goals rank second in the country. It’s Kepler’s first season with the Badgers after the Wisconsin native transferred from Ohio State and redshirted last season. Meanwhile, Minnesota will be looking to tarnish Wisconsin’s perfect record. And the Gophers will be boosted by crowd support, playing at home in Riddler Arena, where the team is 111-8-11 all-time.