A battle between two of the top ECAC foes tops this weekend's women's college hockey schedule.
Here's what you need to know and how to watch:
ECAC battle: No. 3 Yale vs. No. 6 Colgate
- When: 3 p.m. ET Saturday
- Where: Ingalls Rink, New Haven, Conn.
- How to watch: ESPN+ (subscription required)
There's certainly history between these two squads in recent years as each have risen to the top of the ECAC.
Last season saw the Bulldogs and Raiders meet in several high-stakes matchups. Yale swept the regular season series, shutting Colgate out in both matchups before the Raiders took the ECAC championship in overtime. The Bulldogs got the last laugh, though, upsetting Colgate in the national tournament en route to the Frozen Four.
This season, Yale (8-0-0, 4-0-0 ECAC) picked up where they left off, mowing down their opponents so far, including a 4-3 win over then-No. 3 Minnesota last time out. The offense may not have hit its stride just yet, averaging 2.9 goals per game and working at 14.8 percent on the power play, but the defense has been strong so far, giving up one goal per game with the penalty kill at 90.5 percent.
Individually, first year forward Jordan Ray has had the hot hand with 10 points (5g, 5a) in eight games. Behind her, forwards Anna Bargman (4g, 4a) and Elle Hartje (1g, 7a) are each at a point-per-game pace. In goal, sophomore Pia Dukaric has been lights out, boasting a .963 save percentage, a 0.99 goals-against average and three shutouts.
FROZEN FOUR: Way-too-early Frozen Four predictions
Meanwhile, Colgate (13-2-1, 4-1-0 ECAC) flew out of the gates to a 10-0-0 start. Since, they're 3-2-1 with losses to No. 7 Quinnipiac and, most recently, No. 1 Ohio State before Thanksgiving. They went 0-1-1 in the series with the Buckeyes, but the Game 2 loss saw struggles both defensively and with staying out of the penalty box.
The Raiders have been solid on both sides of the puck, owing to their strong start, with 3.6 goals per game and 1.7 against. The power play is working at 20 percent, and the penalty kill has denied 87.7 percent of opposing opportunities.
Senior captain Danielle Serdachny (12-18--30) has been on a torrid pace through 16 games with junior forward Kristyna Kaltounková not far off (12-13--25). Between the pipes, junior Kayle Osborne has taken most of the workload, posting a .926 save percentage, 1.73 GAA and three blank sheets.
They'll face Brown on Friday, which should give them a good opportunity to build momentum heading into Saturday's tilt with the Bulldogs.
National championship rematch – Part 2: No. 1 Ohio State at No. 8 Minnesota Duluth
- When: 4 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday
- Where: Amsoil Arena, Duluth, Minn.
- How to watch: Big Ten Network on Friday; B1G+ on Saturday (subscription required)
We've seen this movie before. After the Buckeyes claimed their first national title with a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs, OSU followed it up with a sweep of UMD in their first rematch earlier this season. Coincidentally, both games were decided 3-2.
Ohio State (13-1-2, 12-1-1 WCHA) have certainly looked primed to repeat as champions again this season. The Buckeyes' only slip-up has been against another favorite in Minnesota. Since that loss, they've been on a 5-0-2 run.
ROAD TO A CHAMPIONSHIP: How Ohio State won their first national title in 2022
OSU has simply been dominant in every area of the game, scoring 4.44 goals per game and allowing 1.88. The power play is scoring at a 34.9 percent clip, and the penalty kill has been solid at 85.4 percent.
Graduate defender Sophie Jaques is firmly making an early case for the Patty Kaz with 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points in 16 games (on defense!). Jennifer Gardiner has been just as good for OSU with 7-16--23 on the season. In goal, Amanda Thiele has been solid, even if her individual numbers have suffered (.886 SV%, 2.08 GAA, 2 SO) from the Bucks allowing only 19 shots per game.
Make that two ✌️ WCHA Defender of the Month awards for @_sophiejaques this season‼️👏— Ohio State Women's Hockey (@OhioStateWHKY) November 29, 2022
She led conference defensemen in points and helped the Buckeyes to a 5-0-1 record in November#GoBucks pic.twitter.com/uc9LhNF0bT
Looking at Duluth (11-5-0, 5-5-0 WCHA), the earlier sweep at the hands of OSU sent them on a bit of a slide as they struggled to a 1-5-0 record against some of the best in Division I in the Buckeyes, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Since that skid, the Bulldogs have bounced back nicely with four straight wins coming into this week.
The team's numbers are still all right despite the ups and downs over the last month or so, scoring 3.4 goals per game on the season and giving up 1.5. On special teams, the power play has been good at 26.5 percent, while the penalty kill has a 85.3 success rate.
Graduate captain Gabbie Hughes has been the heartbeat of the Bulldogs' offense, putting up 22 points (4g, 18a) in 15 games. Fifth-year defender Ashton Bell (7g, 8a) leads the team in goals, tied with Anneke Linser (7g, 5a) and Maggie Flaherty (7g, 1a). In net, Emma Soderberg has been good as well with a .919 save percentage, 1.72 GAA and four shutouts.
This weekend's rematch marks UMD's toughest test since that 1-5-0 stretch. Ohio State hopes to keep rolling, while the Bulldogs hope to buck the trend against them.
Hockey East clash: No. 7 Northeastern vs. No. 13 Vermont
- When: 6:30 p.m. ET Friday | 4 p.m. ET Saturday
- Where: Matthews Arena, Boston, Mass.
- How to watch: NESN on Friday and NESN+ Saturday; both on ESPN+ (subscription required)
Northeastern was picked to win Hockey East as the going away favorite once again, but right behind them in the preseason poll was UVM, who made a run in the conference last year.
The Huskies (16-2-1, 12-2-1 HEA) have been dominant this season, as has become typical. They enter this weekend's series on a four-game winning streak, including wins over No. 15 Princeton and No. 9 Cornell last week in the Smashville Showcase, where NU picked up some midseason hardware. Against other ranked opponents in Providence and UConn, Northeastern is 3-1-1.
Dave Flint's squad has controlled the game on both sides of the puck, putting up four goals per game and giving up just one on average, while the power play (23.2 percent) and penalty kill (89.3) have cruised right along.
In terms of production, it's the usual suspects at the top for NU with Alina Müller (14-12--26) and Chloé Aurard (9-16--25) leading the way through 19 games. Perhaps most impressive has been Maureen Murphy's 24 points (10g, 14a) in just 14 games after she missed some time as she suited up with Team USA in the Rivalry Series. In net, Gwyneth Phillips has assumed the starting role perfectly, putting up a .956 save percentage, a 0.90 GAA and five shutouts.
✨Turn up the lights…✨— Hockey East (@hockey_east) December 2, 2022
Tomorrow the top two teams in #HockeyEast meet for the Game of the Week! @UVMwhockey x @GoNUwhockey
📍 Matthews Arena | Boston, MA
⏰ 6:30 PM#WhereChampionsPlay pic.twitter.com/eVCpFcMi6W
As for the Catamounts (11-5-1, 8-3-1 HEA), they enter the weekend on a three-game winning streak, bouncing back from an upset loss at home to Boston University. In their stiffest matchups against UConn and Colgate, UVM is 1-2-1, suffering a sweep to the Raiders.
Like their counterparts up in the rankings, Vermont is giving up 1.8 goals per game, but offsetting it with 3.5 of their own on average. The power play has been strong at 29.4 percent, but the PK has had its struggles, working at 76.9.
On the scoresheet, junior forward Natálie Mlynková had a breakout season last year with 7-10--17 in 22 games, a scoring total she has already surpassed this year with 25 points (11g, 14a) in 17 games. Behind her, graduate forward Therese Schafzahl is having another strong season for UVM with 14 goals and nine assists for 23 points.
It'll be a battle of cats and dogs as the Huskies look to strengthen their hold on the conference, while the Catamounts aim to prove they're a true threat to the crown.