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Patrick Donnelly | | November 3, 2022

Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth headline the top women's college hockey games this week

U.S. Olympic women's hockey team's top college highlights

A top-five matchup in the State of Hockey and a handful of top-10 ECAC matchups headline this weekend's slate across women's college hockey. 

Here's what you need to know, including how to keep up with the action:

No. 1 Minnesota hosts No. 5 Minnesota Duluth

Fresh off a 1-0-1 weekend against the defending champions in now-No. 2 Ohio State, the Gophers look to back up their top ranking against an upstate foe as the Bulldogs come to town. 

Minnesota (7-0-1, 7-0-1 WCHA) has been able to overpower their opponents offensively, scoring at least four goals in all but one game this season, and that blueprint worked against the Buckeyes last time out as the Gophers found the back of the net four times in each game of the series. 

DOWN GOES NO. 1: How Minnesota took four of six points from Ohio State

The usual suspects for the Gophers were key at OSU last weekend, between Abbey Murphy (2g, 1a), Taylor Heise (2g, 1a), Abigail Boreen (1g, 1a) and Grace Zumwinkle (2a). Netminder Skylar Vetter was solid in net again, particularly on Friday when she made 43 saves. 

Meanwhile, after hanging with Ohio State (albeit in a sweep) two weekends ago, Duluth skated to a hard-fought split with No. 3 Wisconsin last week. UMD (7-3-0, 3-3-0 WCHA) dragged the Badgers into their type of game last Friday with a 2-1 overtime win before falling 4-3 the next day. 

Gabbie Hughes and Nina Jobst-Smith were the Bulldogs' top producers last week with a goal and an assist each. Hughes has been getting it done all season for UMD with 14 points (3g, 11a) in 10 games as has defender Ashton Bell (6g, 4a). In goal, like Vetter, Emma Soderberg was good, per usual, for the Bulldogs with 28 then 22 saves in the series. 

While Minnesota has been lighting the lamp with ease, the Bulldogs are scoring 2.9 goals per game. At the same time, Duluth is only giving up 1.5 per game.

We'll see which style wins out this weekend. 

Another big weekend in the ECAC

No. 4 Quinnipiac visits No. 8 Yale

Quinnipiac is rolling, having just stymied a high-flying Colgate squad last Saturday. The Bobcats are the new team to beat in the ECAC. With four shutouts this season, they've given up more than one goal twice, allowing two in each of those games. 

QU (9-0-0, 2-0-0 ECAC) outscored their opponents in Cornell and the Raiders last weekend, 7-1, thanks in large part to Olivia Mobley (1g, 2a), Shay Maloney (2g, 1a) and Maya Labad (2g, 1a). Mobley (3g, 10a) and Maloney (6g, 7a) have been the leaders for the Bobcats this year with 13 points apiece in nine games. Logan Anders continued to be a rock in goal for Quinnipiac, combining for 49 saves in last week's games. 

WHAT WE LEARNED: Recapping last week's stacked schedule

The Bobcats are absolutely stifling opponents with 4.2 goals per game to 0.8 against, and averaging 43 shots on goal per game while allowing just 18.3. 

Although undefeated themselves, Yale is just two games into their season with a 2-1 win over Harvard and a 4-1 victory at Dartmouth last weekend. 

Elle Hartje continued to be an assist machine, going back to last season, with an assist in each win this weekend, while Anna Bargman (1g, 3), Carina DiAntonio (2g, 1a) and Jordan Ray (2g) each had multi-point weekends as well. Pia Dukaric was strong in goal too, with 37 saves against the Crimson before stopping 25 shots at Dartmouth. 

Quinnipiac will look to keep laying waste to the East Coast, while Yale will aim continue their strong start, facing their stiffest competition yet. 

No. 6 Colgate battles No. 10 Clarkson

Quinnipiac stunned Colgate last Saturday, handing them their first loss of the year. This week, the Raiders (10-1-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) face more tough competition with Clarkson on Friday before Harvard on Saturday. 

Not only did Colgate lose, but they were shut out for the first time in 26 games, going back to a 3-0 loss at Yale on Jan. 21 last season. Typically, the Raiders are on the other side of that with five shutouts of their own this season. Nevertheless, Colgate still averages 3.7 goals per game, allowing just 0.9. The sky is definitely not falling in Hamilton. 

FROZEN FOUR: Way-too-early Frozen Four predictions

Danielle Serdachny (8g, 13a) and Kristyna Katounková (8g, 9a) have been lighting teams up this season, while both goaltenders in Kayle Osborne (.964 save percentage, 0.72 GAA, three shutouts) and Hannah Murphy (.949, 0.75, two shutouts) have also been other-worldly.

Clarkson also been dominant, as is customary, this season. The Golden Knights (10-1-1, 2-0-0 ECAC) are coming off a weekend sweep of Union and RPI that saw them outscore the opposition 10-1 in the two games. They already have some hardware under their belts this season after winning the Adirondack Icebreaker in Lake Placid two weeks ago, beating conference foe St. Lawrence 3-1 in the final.

Gabrielle David and Sena Catterall each had two goals and an assist in last weekend's outings, while neither Michelle Pasiechnyk (12 saves vs. Union) nor Julia Minotti (14 saves vs. RPI) were tested very much. 

Similar to Colgate's high-flying duo, David (6g, 12a) and Darcie Lappan (8g, 13a) have been forces for the Golden Knights this season. Pasiechnyk has had most of the work in goal and has been dominant, too, with four shutouts to go along with a .961 save percentage and 0.75 GAA. 

Colgate will be fine, but they might not get back on track right away when Clarkson comes to town on Friday in what could be the game of the week.

No. 9 Cornell welcomes No. 10 Clarkson

Clarkson's tough road swing continues when they head to Ithaca to face a Cornell team fresh off a meeting with (RV) St. Lawrence. 

WHAT TO KNOW: Click or tap here for 5 women's hockey storylines to watch this season

The Big Red (3-1-0, 1-1-0 ECAC) took care of then-No. 10 Princeton last Saturday after struggling at Quinnipiac. Gillis Frechette (4-4--8) and Danielle Izzy (3-3--6) have picked up where they left off from last season as both are well over a point per game this year. Deanna Fraser has been sturdy in goal as well with a .936 save percentage and a 1.52 GAA in four starts. 

Both teams will be battle-tested coming out of Friday's games, but Cornell will not have to deal with travel, unlike the Golden Knights. 

No. 8 Yale takes on No. 14 Princeton

Yale gets another tough test when the Tigers visit New Haven on Saturday. Princeton is hoping to bounce back from an 0-2-0 start to their year when they travel to Brown on Friday.

RANKINGS: Check out the latest USCHO poll

Sarah Fillier had a goal in the opening weekend for the Tigers as they fell 5-1 to Colgate and 3-1 to Cornell, and she'll try to help them put up more than just one goal in each of their contests this weekend.

Also on the radar

Friday's slate also features No. 9 Cornell hosting (RV) St. Lawrence (6 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN+); while this weekend's Hockey East schedule gives us an intriguing series between No. 14 Vermont at (RV) Maine (6 p.m. ET Friday, 2 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN+). 

We'll see if SLU and Maine can keep gaining votes, or even work their way into the rankings. 

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