My Power Rankings along with updated national and pairwise rankings would normally go here, but as only a handful of teams have played non-exhibition games, we’ll forego that portion this week, but as a reminder, here is the latest USCHO.com poll:
Here’s what we learned:
Northeastern at St. Lawrence (2-2, 9-5)
St. Lawrence coach Chris Wells is undecided with regards to his netmniders, but may know more than he did a few days ago. Brooke Wolejko, Grace Harrison, and Sonjia Shelly all got a period (in that order) in both games to see who can fill the skates of the supremely talented departed Carmen MacDonald. Saturday’s game saw all three play well in a 2-2 tie with Woleko saving 13/14, Harrison 7/8, and Shelly 13/13 including overtime. Sunday’s game…was a different story. The Saints got blitzed by the opportunistic Huskies, losing a wild 9-5 game that saw Wolejko save 4/9 and Harrison 5/8. Freshman Sonjia Shelly pitched another shutout, saving 4/4, and might be the early frontrunner. With Clarkson’s Shea Tiley having a stupendous rookie season last year, Wells might see fit to copy St. Lawrence’s Route 11 rivals.
The Saints and the Huskies are both pretty good. Going by the additional teams receiving votes in USCHO.com’s poll Northeastern is ranked 11th and St. Lawrence 14th. Northeastern did spend most of the weekend looking like the better team notching a 2-2 draw and a 9-5 win, but the Saints played well and look promising, especially if they can find an answer in net.
The usual suspects came to play for the Saints. Kennedy Marchment had an excellent weekend notching 4 goals for the Saints including both in their 2-2 tie. Standouts from last season Jenna Marks, Amanda Boulier, and 2014-15 leading scorer Brooke Webster all played well, notching 5 points between the three of them. Freshman Justine Reyes had 2 goals and could be a major factor for the Saints heading forward.
Ditto for the Huskies. Kendall Coyne lead all scorers with 4 goals and 1 assist on the weekend and with 19 shots is actually ahead of last season’s absurd 8.8 per game pace. The big question will be who on the Huskies can help support Coyne and provide the depth that will allow them to compete with Boston College and Boston University. Hayley Scamura and Denisa Krizova are both solid returning players and brought 3 point efforts. So did Freshman Kasidy Anderson which is a good sign.
Robert Morris at Bemidji State (1-3, 4-4)
Lindenwood at Minnesota-Duluth (3-4 OT, 1-4)
The CHA might be catching up. You’d expect two sweeps from those matchups, and while UMD got theirs, they won the first game in overtime. The Beavers tied the Colonials 4-4 on Sunday despite a 37-17 shots advantage. It’s probably too early to read a whole lot into those results and to be fair Bemidji State didn’t start superstar goaltender Brittni Mowat in their second matchup, but it’s encouraging for the CHA who has consistently lagged behind the other conferences.
The Bulldogs were somewhat top-heavy with their scoring with Ashleigh Brykaliuk and Lara Stalder notching 8 points together, one more than the rest of the team combined. They were 2nd and 3rd on the team in scoring last season while 1st and 3rd through 6th have all departed so other players are going to have to step up.
Meanwhile Bemidji State is chock full of seniors with six of them, five of whom notched points this weekend. This is a team whose history is not exactly littered with success. They have to be aiming for the sky this season.
The Beavers and Bulldogs are early dominators in the shots-on-goal category, our best possession indicator since more advanced figures aren’t available. Bemidji State doubled up Robert Morris 72-36 (35-19, 37-17) and Minnesota-Duluth dominated Lindenwood 87-52 (47-24, 40-28).
Bemidji State’s Stephanie Anderson, who finished second on the team in scoring last season, is once again at the top, tying Alexis Joyce, Hanna Moher, and Lauren Miller for the lead with three points. Anderson led the Beavers with 11 shots on goal over the weekend, and excelled in that category last season, but went undrafted by the NWHL. Something tells me she’ll have no problem playing professional hockey if she chooses.
Union at Minnesota State (2-2, 0-3)
It was an odd weekend for the Dutchwomen, notching a 2-2 result Friday in what looked like the worse of their two performances (shots 46-19 MSU) and getting blown out in the second affair (shots 24-19 MSU). Kathryn Tomaselli, probably their best player, had both of their goals and their top line and top pair notched 17 of their 38 shots on the weekend.
The Dutchwomen will certainly miss Alex Tancrell-Fontaine who anchored their defense last season and goaltender Shenae Lundberg who signed with the NWHL’s New York Riveters but Melissa Black had a solid outing in net and defender Lizzy Otten got on the scoresheet with an assist.
Likewise the Mavericks will miss Erin Krichiver in net who was arguably their best player last season, but her backup, Brianna Quade, has so far risen to the occasion. Whether the Mavericks will try freshman Julia Carle or sophomore Katie Bidulka in net for any significant amount of time remains to be seen.
Freshman Corbin Boyd tallied a goal and an assist for MSU and the Mavericks spread their shots on goal throughout their lineup. With greater depth they could become more competitive in the WCHA.