The games of the week will be on the USCHO’s schedule rotation which is Thursday to Wednesday. I will be showcasing one game of the week that can be streamed for free (when possible) and one game that requires a paid subscription.
The future of the ECAC is at stake with the two top teams meeting for the final time this season and the first of three matchups between Harvard, Quinnipiac, and Clarksonbefore the ECAC Tournament.
Harvard is not only the only ECAC team to have beaten Quinnipiac, they’re also the only ECAC team to have outshot them as the Bobcats often dominate offensive play. Harvard’s scoring depth has been difficult for opponents to handle with 16 skaters tallying 2 or more goals (12 for Quinnipiac) while the Bobcats primarily rely on Taylar Cianfarano (14g) and Erica Udén Johansson (9g) for their scoring, though Nicole Kosta (21 pts), Emma Woods, and Shiann Darkangelo (9g) are all heavy contributors.
Coming off two losses to Boston University and Boston College, Quinnipiac can make a statement that they didn’t just take advantage of an easy early ECAC schedule. Meanwhile Harvard can justify leapfrogging Quinnipiac in the rankings.
Speaking of teams that have potentially inflated their records against easy opponents, enter Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs start their Month of Hell with home dates against UND and Ohio State sandwiching road matchups against #2 Minnesota and #3 Wisconsin. All of those teams were ranked at one point this season. UMD is 2-4-2 against those teams (counting shootout wins as ties) with their lone regulation wins against UND and Ohio State. North Dakota is 4-4-2 against those opponents, swapping out themselves for UMD.
North Dakota is on a bit of a hot streak too with four straight wins against the likes of Ohio State and Bemidji State, blowing out the latter 4-1 and 5-1. It’s entirely possible that opposite UMD, North Dakota is flying under the radar thanks to their brutal early season schedule. Their 1-6-1 stretch against UMD, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Bemidji State sunk them pretty far.
If North Dakota sweeps this series that puts them 1 point back of UMD in the WCHA standings with Minnesota, St Cloud State, and Minnesota State all twice to finish the season. If they can manage four or five wins in those games and capture the WCHA’s three seed they’ll be in the conversation for the NCAA tournament.
Video links on Minnesota-Duluth Schedule Page