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Patrick Donnelly | | November 18, 2022

No. 1 Minnesota and No. 3 Wisconsin is this week's top women's college hockey series

The top college hockey storylines for 2022-23

This week's women's college hockey schedule is headlined by a crucial top-five matchup in the WCHA.

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

Top-three bout: No. 1 Minnesota visits No. 3 Wisconsin

This series pits the top two offenses in the country right up against each other. The Badgers average 5.67 goals per game and the Gophers 4.82. 

Wisconsin has been on bye for two straight weekends, splitting with Minnesota Duluth last time out. Meanwhile, Minnesota rolls in after a weekend off of their own.

The Golden Gophers (9-1-1, 9-0-1 WCHA) were upset by St. Cloud State 4-2 in their last game action. Prior to that they opened the season on a 10-game unbeaten streak that included a win and a tie against former-No. 1 and reigning national champion Ohio State. 

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A number of veterans have led the way for Minnesota with Grace Zumwinkle (7-10--17), Taylor Heise (6-10--10) and Abbey Murphy (9-6--15) each well over a point per game. Skylar Vetter has been solid in net with a .917 save percentage, a 2.04 goals-against average and one shutout.

The Badgers (10-2-0, 7-1-0 WCHA) boast one of the most loaded rosters in the nation, and have torn up their schedule to this point in the season, rattling off a nine-game winning streak between their season-opening loss at ranked Penn State and the loss to Duluth.

Several skaters are well over a point per game with redshirt sophomore Lacey Eden (10-9--19) and freshman defender Caroline Harvey (6-13--19) leading the team in production. Both goaltenders have split the net evenly as redshirt senior Cami Kronish has four shutouts, a .938 save percentage and 0.83 GAA in six starts, while redshirt sophomore Jane Gervais has a shutout, a .935 save percentage and a 1.33 GAA in six starts.

Each goaltender will be put to the test this weekend as there is no shortage of offensive talent on each of these WCHA powerhouses. 

ECAC clash: No. 5 Quinnipiac hosts No. 10 Clarkson

We go from two of the top contenders in the WCHA to two of the best in the ECAC. 

Quinnipiac (10-1-0, 4-1-0 ECAC) has been flat-out dominant this season, scoring four goals per game (fifth) and surrendering just 1.09 against (third). QU has also snuffed out opposing power plays, killing off 92 percent of their chances. The Bobcats suffered their first loss of the season in a 4-2 loss at Yale last Friday, but bounced back with a 4-1 showing at Brown the next day. Olivia Mobley (2g, 2a) and Shea Maloney (1g, 2a) had strong outings against the Bears.

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Mobley (5-13--18) and Maloney (7-9--16) have driven the offense for Quinnipiac this season, while Sadie Peart (6-4--10), who had both goals in the loss to the Bulldogs, has chipped in nicely as well. Between the pipes, graduate student Logan Angers has had the bulk of the workload with two shutouts, a .932 save percentage and a 1.28 GAA in seven starts. To her credit, junior Katie Boudiette has been great for QU in her four starts as well, posting a .971 save percentage, a 0.50 GAA and two shutouts.

On the flip side, Clarkson (12-3-1, 2-2-0 ECAC) boasts another solid team, as has been the norm around Potsdam, N.Y. The Golden Knights are scoring the tenth-most goals per game (3.0), and rank in the top-10 in goals-allowed as well (1.62). Clarkson swept St. Lawrence last weekend, snapping a two-game losing streak after dropping games to ranked conference opponents in Colgate and Cornell. 

Senior forwards Gabrielle David (8-14--22) and Darcie Lappan (10-16--26) have put up gaudy numbers for the Golden Knights this season. Lappan is tied for the most points in the nation, while David has the third-highest total. Junior forward Anne Cherkowski (10-6--16) is tied with Lappan for the team lead in goals. Junior netminder Michelle Pasiechnyk has a whopping five shutouts already this season to go along with a .933 save percentage and 1.47 GAA. 

The Golden Knights enter this tough test with the Bobcats without one of their top skaters in defender Hailey Winn, who is with Team USA at the Rivalry Series against Canada

Non-conference battle: No. 6 Yale takes on No. 11 Penn State

Keeping it among top teams in their conferences, we have one of the more dangerous teams in the ECAC hosting the best team in the CHA.

Yale (4-0-0, 4-0-0 ECAC) has opened the season with four straight wins, most recently shutting out Princeton on Nov. 5. after upsetting then-No. 4 QU the day before. The Bulldogs are scoring an average of three goals per game, tied for the tenth-highest total in Division I, while giving up just one per game, the second-best in the nation. Although the power play is struggling at just 7.7 percent, the penalty kill remains perfect on nine tries.

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Sophomore forward Anna Bargman (3-4--7) and first-year forward Jordan Ray (3-3--6) pace the Bulldogs through their first four games, while first-year Carina DiAntonio also has three goals. Sophomore netminder Pia Dukaric has started all four contests, recording one shutout and a .963 save percentage.

Penn State (10-5-1, 3-1-0 CHA) is fresh off a sweep of Brown, and has won seven of its last eight after starting the season 3-4-1. The Nittany Lions rank among the top-10 in goals per game (3.19). The power play (20.4 percent) and penalty kill (90.9) have both been solid for PSU. 

A pair of forwards in junior Kiara Zanon (7-11--18) and freshman Tesse Janecke (11-7--18) have been key for Penn State's production, while graduate forward Courtney Correia (13 points) also has seven goals on the year. Junior netminder Josie Bothun has been good for the Nittany Lions, posting a .922 save percentage, 2.00 GAA and two shutouts. 

This weekend should serve as a good measuring stick for Penn State against a strong Yale team looking to continue its strong start and return to the Frozen Four.

Also on the radar: No. 15 Princeton hosts No. 10 Clarkson (3 p.m. ET Saturday; ESPN+ – subscription required)

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