Welcome, everyone, to the first women's college hockey Power 10 of the season.
This women's college hockey season has gotten off to quite an entertaining start. The top three to four teams appear to be pretty solid, but the rest of the top 10 is completely up for grabs.
Let's dive into the rankings.
1. Wisconsin (13-0-1)
Yeah, this isn't surprising at all. The reigning national champs are the best team in the nation once again.
Aside from tying Bemidji State, 0-0, on Nov. 6, the Badgers have dominated. They carry the top two goal-scorers in the nation with sophomore forwards Casey O'Brien (14) and Makenna Webster (12). Fifth-year forward Daryl Watts rounds out the top five with 11 goals. Wisconsin also boasts an impressive goal differential of +56, which is top in the nation.
After getting this past weekend off, the Badgers will head to St. Paul, Minnesota for a weekend set with St. Thomas.
2. Ohio State (10-2)
This also isn't much of a surprise. The Buckeyes have consistently proven to be the No. 2 team in the nation this season, especially after they narrowly lost to Wisconsin twice.
There's almost no point in even getting a power play against the Buckeyes, as they boast the best penalty kill in the nation. And it's not just the best penalty kill — they are perfect. They are 31-for-31 on killing penalties this season.
Ohio State also has a balanced scoring attack with junior forward Jennifer Gardiner leading the team in points with 21, followed by sophomore forward Jenna Buglioni (20) and senior defenseman Sophie Jaques (19).
After having no games this past weekend, the Buckeyes face Minnesota State this upcoming weekend.
3. Minnesota (9-3)
Since starting its season by losing three of four, Minnesota has won eight in a row and just seems to keep on rolling.
That couldn't have been more evident in its dominant wins over RIT this past weekend. First was a 10-0 rout on Friday; Saturday brought a 7-1 victory. Senior forward Taylor Heise had an absurd weekend, posting seven points over the two games. The most notable of those points was a hat trick in Game 1.
That was filthy, Catie 😲 pic.twitter.com/SHWfWLOipQ— Minnesota Women's Hockey (@GopherWHockey) November 13, 2021
Offensively, Heise leads a squad with the fourth-most goals (52) in the nation. This dominance doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon.
Up next is a weekend series with St. Cloud State.
4. Northeastern (10-2-1)
Aside from losses on Oct. 8 and 9, the Huskies just haven't stopped winning this season. Their most recent victory came against Vermont this past weekend, edging out the Catamounts 3-0 in Game 1 and 3-1 in Game 2.
Northeastern ranks eighth in the nation in goals. A lot of that has to do with senior forward Maureen Murphy leading the team in lamplighters with 11. That number also ranks third in all of college hockey. At the other end, grad student Aerin Frankel has dazzled in the net, with a .967 save percentage (second in the nation) and .806 goals-against average (third in the nation).
The Huskies will continue Hockey East play this weekend when they face New Hampshire and UConn at home.
5. Colgate (13-3)
After a tough, 4-0 loss to Yale on Nov. 6, the Raiders took care of business this past weekend with a 4-3 OT win over Rensselaer and 7-1 crushing of Union. Star defenseman Tanner Gates potted the OT-winner in the game Friday night on a sweet feed off the rush from Kaitlyn O'Donohoe.
The huge parts of this offense has come from sophomore forward Kalty Kaltounkova and junior forward Danielle Serdachny. They're tied with each other, as well as Wisconsin's Makenna Webster, for first in the nation in points with 27. Sophomore forward Dara Greg has the third-most in the nation with 24.
Next up are two huge ECAC tests for the Raiders. One with No. 10 Princeton on Friday and the other with No. 6 Quinnipiac Saturday.
6. Quinnipiac (11-1-2)
Now is where things start to get really interesting.
The Bobcats suffered their first loss of the season this past weekend against Princeton, losing 1-0 after winning, 3-1, the night before.
Quinnipiac is tied for fifth in the nation in goals with 47. What's even more impressive is how good it's been on the backend. Grad student goalie Corinne Schroeder ranks second in the nation with a goals-against average of .745. Her save percentage of .965 ranks fourth.
Up next is more ECAC action. First is Cornell on Friday and then Colgate on Saturday.
7. Yale (6-2)
Despite losing to Quinnipiac and Princeton earlier in the season, the Bulldogs have been on a roll, winning their last four games. They took down Harvard, 3-1, Friday night, and then Dartmouth, 8-3, on Saturday.
Junior forward Charlotte Welch posted five points on the weekend, getting her to 14 on the season, which ranks second to junior forward Claire Dalton (18).
Senior goalie Gianna Meloni has less playing time than most of the other top goaltenders in the country, but the numbers are still outstanding. She leads the nation in goals-against average (.430) and save percentage (.981). She's been a total brick wall in the net.
Yale will head to St. Lawrence and Clarkson this upcoming weekend.
8. Princeton (5-1)
The Tigers didn't have the greatest weekend, splitting with then-No. 8 Quinnipiac, but getting outscored, 3-2, in two low-scoring, defensive battles.
Even with that, this is still a very good team. Junior forward Maggie Connors has six goals in six games, making her only one of two players in the country with an average of a goal per game. It's a very balanced offense, so depth doesn't seem to be an issue with this crew. In back, senior goalie Rachel McQuigge is one of the better goaltenders in the country.
Up next are weekend games against Colgate and Cornell.
9. Clarkson (11-1-2)
The Golden Knights have been on a tear, having won their last six games. Most recently, Clarkson earned a pair of 5-3 wins over Lindenwood this past weekend. Junior forward Brooke McQuigge registered three goals on the weekend. She, along with teammates Caitrin Lonergan and Gabrielle David all have eight goals on the season.
This is a very good offensive team and with Michelle Pasiechnyk in net, who currently ranks eighth in GAA (1.33) and twelfth in save percentage (.940), this team can be a force.
Next up is a weekend series that includes both Brown and Yale.
10. Harvard (6-3)
The Crimson haven't been so hot of late, having lost two of their last four. However, the two wins were both by a score of 5-2 and won convincingly.
Harvard has an interesting team. Its got 14 first-year players, so a lot of potential. It also has nine seniors, so it does have legitimate experience. If the Crimson can find a way to perfectly blend those together, they will go much higher in these rankings. That may not happen until midseason as the first-year players take time to find a groove, but there's a good chance it happens.
They will get this weekend off, but play New Hampshire on Nov. 23.