We're almost to the end of the first semester of action in women's college hockey, and with that, it's a perfect time to revisit and revise some preseason predictions, starting with the Patty Kazmaier Award watchlist.
Here's what the list at the start of the season looked like:
- Taylor Heise, forward | Minnesota
- Sophie Jaques, defense | Ohio State
- Alina Müller, forward | Northeastern
- Sarah Fillier, forward | Princeton
- Gabbie Hughes, forward | Minnesota Duluth
- Cayla Barnes, defense | Boston College
- Maureen Murphy, forward | Northeastern
- Elle Hartje, forward | Yale
- Casey O'Brien, forward | Wisconsin
- Grace Zumwinkle, forward | Minnesota
Honorable mentions at the beginning of the year included Wisconsin forward Jesse Compher, OSU forward Emma Maltais, Wisconsin blue-liner Caroline Harvey and Vermont forward Theresa Schafzahl, among others.
Now that we're well into the season, let's take a look at what the watchlist looks like for women's college hockey's top hardware:
Sophie Jaques, defense | Ohio State
Jaques has simply been on another level for the No. 1 Buckeyes this season with 27 points on the season. The graduate leads the nation in goals (on defense!) with 16 in 18 games for OSU, which looks to have a true shot at defending its national title. A top-three finalist last year, Jaques has shown no signs of slowing down this season with four goals and three assists over her last five games.
Danielle Serdachny, forward | Colgate
From the nation's leader in goals to the overall points leader, Serdachny has been dominant (33 points) with No. 5 Colgate in an absolutely loaded ECAC. The senior is well on her way to smashing previous career-highs in scoring, leading the nation in points per game as well with 1.84. Serdachny has been critical to the Raiders' success as she's been held off the scoresheet just once in 18 games this season.
Gabrielle David, forward | Clarkson
David is right behind Serdachny with 13 goals and 19 points for 32 points in 22 games for the No. 11 Golden Knights, who are having yet another good season. The senior has been on an insane pace lately with 10 points (six goals) over her last four games. She and linemate Darcie Lappan will be crucial to Clarkson as they try to make some noise in a difficult conference.
Alina Müller, forward | Northeastern
Müller is no stranger to being in the conversation for the Patty Kaz as she's finished as a finalist in each of her previous four seasons, coming in the top-three in 2020. Her 31 points and 14 goals are the third-highest totals in the nation as No. 8 Northeastern is the juggernaut in Hockey East once again. The Huskies have won six straight games, including four over top-15 teams in Princeton, Cornell and Vermont. In those four contests, Müller has eight points (2g, 6a).
Olivia Mobley, forward | Quinnipiac
Speaking of juggernauts in the east, Quinnipiac has quickly established itself among the top of the ECAC again, thanks in part to Mobley's production. The junior forward leads the No. 3 Bobcats with 26 points (7g, 19a), which is the sixth-highest total in the country. She's averaging 1.53 points per game for a team that has lost just once this year, with ranked wins over UConn, Clarkson, Colgate, Boston College, Cornell and Harvard.
Gwyneth Phillips, goaltender | Northeastern
Aerin Frankel left massive shoes to fill for the Huskies when she graduated atop nearly every goaltending statistic in program history, but Phillips has not only finally gotten her chance to start, she's dominated. Coming into the season, Phillips had a great track record for NU, albeit in a limited sample. So far, she's posted a ludicrous 0.91 goals-against average, a .956 save percentage and five shutouts.
Casey O'Brien, forward | Wisconsin
A finalist last year, O'Brien has helped the No. 2 Badgers to the best offense in the nation, averaging 5.75 goals per game. Her 26 points (8g, 18a) lead a Wisconsin squad that has gone 5-2-1 against opponents currently in the USCHO top-15. The No. 2 Badgers are unbeaten in five straight, including wins over Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth, and O'Brien has two goals and eight assists in that span, including a six-point outing in the 13-1 win over Bemidji State.
Darcie Lappan, forward | Clarkson
Lappan, like David, has been arguably the biggest centerpiece for the Golden Knights this year. She's tied with her teammate for second in the nation in scoring with 32 points (11g, 21a). The Colgate transfer has found the right connection at Clarkson, obliterating her previous career-highs for goals (nine), assists (5) and points (13). She helped the Golden Knights surge into their winter break with three goals and eight assists over her last eight games.
Taylor Heise, forward | Minnesota
Last year's Patty Kaz winner is having another strong season with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points, tied with Grace Zumwinkle on a loaded Gophers squad. Heise has only been held off the scoresheet twice this season and has been a monster when the spotlight's been on her against some of the top WCHA teams with 12 points (6g, 6a) in nine games against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Duluth and St. Cloud State. She just had a five-point outing (2g, 3a) last time out for the No. 6 Gophers.
FROZEN FOUR: Way-too-early Frozen Four predictions
Gillis Frechette, forward| Cornell
The No. 9 Big Red may only be 12 games into their season, but Frechette is second in the nation with 1.75 points per game, along with teammate Izzy Daniel. The senior forward's 21 points (6g, 15a) are tied for the lead on her team as she has been crucial in driving offense for Cornell, setting up her teammates in particular with 10 assists (and one goal) in her last seven games. Frechette has been pivotal to her team's success throughout her career, and that looks to be the case again.
Keep an eye on: Kiara Zanon (forward, Penn State), Grace Zumwinkle (forward, Minnesota), Caroline Harvey (defense, Wisconsin), Lacey Eden (forward, Wisconsin), Theresa Schafzahl (forward, Vermont), Logan Angers (goaltender, Quinnipiac), Maureen Murphy (forward, Northeastern), Chloé Aurard (forward, Northeastern), Izzy Daniel (forward, Cornell), Katy Knoll (forward, Northeastern)
There's still a lot of hockey left to play this season, and the races in the ECAC and WCHA still feel up for grabs. We'll see how things shake out heading into the second half.