10. Jenna Brenneman Sets School Records for Penn State Goaltending

Brenneman would transfer over from Clarkson during the offseason and make an immediate impact for the Nittany Lions.  She finished second only to RIT’s Terra Lanteigne in save percentage in College Hockey America and led Penn State to within a goal of the CHA championship.  Brenneman would break the Penn State school record for games played with 34 and tie the record for wins in a season with 13.

9. Brown Sweeps Colgate and Cornell

For a moment it looked like the Bears might contend for an ECAC tournament spot.  They were 5-2-0 overall and while two of those wins had come against D-1 newbie Holy Cross, they looked pretty good in those games.  The last wins of that stretch came against Colgate and Cornell, both nationally ranked, and the first time Brown had swept the middle(ish) New York teams since 2004.

Both games saw the Bears overcome early deficits, 3-1 to the Raiders, and 2-1 to the Big Red.  Brown would go on to post twin 4-3 scores while surviving a flurry of shots late in each, getting outshot 16-7 by Colgate and 11-3 by Cornell in the third period.  Sadly these would be the final two wins of Brown’s season as they finished 5-20-4.  Still, with rookie head coach Carisa Wahlig heading into her second season now, perhaps the future is a little brighter.

The video embed didn’t work so you can watch highlights against Colgate here.


8. Clarkson and Northeastern play Friendship Series in Belfast, Ireland

Just after the winter break, the Golden Knights and the Huskies would play the first women’s college game outside North America at the home of the Belfast Giants.  The games were exciting end to end spectacles, played in front of over 4,000 fans combined across the two nights.

The teams would skate to a 3-3 tie in game 1 with Northeastern scoring three goals in 35 seconds at the end of the second period.  The Huskies would get the better of the Knights in game 2 on two-point nights by Kasidy Anderson and Alina Müller and a score of 3-1.

7. Holy Cross Upsets Northeastern for First WHEA Win

There weren’t a ton of positives for the Crusaders in their first full season of Division I play, but beating the conferences top team was certainly one of them.  They came into the game riding a 13 game losing streak and things looked pretty bleak early on as they spotted the Huskies a 2-0 lead and were outshot 11-4 in the first period.  They’d tie things up midway through the second though on an unassisted goal by Amanda Kewer, and then improbably go up two goals early in the third. Northeastern pulled within one goal halfway through the final period, but Holy Cross would score just 1:09 later to go up for good 5-3.

Sadly I can’t embed their video player so you’ll have to go to the Holy Cross team site.  The highlights are interspersed with player and coach comments so it’s well worth a watch.

6. Golden Knights go Smashing School Records

Clarkson’s season would end in disappointment at the hands of Wisconsin, but the team saw some all-time records fall.  Loren Gabel would go on to top Cayley Mercer’s 80 goals early in the season, and then score 35 more for a total of 116.  That, coupled with her 97 all-time assists put her in first place on the Golden Knights’ all-time scoring list.  Her 26 game-winning goals and 8 empty-net goals also lead the charts.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Giguère, Josianne Pozzebon, and Cassidy Vinkle would break records of their own.  With 5 shorthanded goals, Giguère holds both the record for shorthanded goals in a season, and is tied with Britney Selina for most all-time shorthanded goals.  Pozzebon would become just the second defender to record a shorthanded goal of her own, and the first defender to notch at least one power-play goal, shorthanded goal, game-winning goal, and empty-net goal.

The Captain, Cassidy Vinkle would break the all-time record for games played with 162.  Two other Knights, Pozzebon and Kelly Mariani broke the old record of 160, and Gabel would tie it.  Vinkle also broke the all-time record for penalty minutes with 148, topping Jamie Lee Rattray’s 145.

5. Lovisa Selander breaks All-Time Saves Record and RPI Wins First ECAC Tournament Game by an 8 Seed

Fittingly, both of these happened in the same game, RPI’s 2-0 shutout of top seed Cornell where the Big Red outshot them 49-10 and outshot-attempted them 115-16.  The Engineers would suffer a blowout in game three and exit the ECAC tournament, but they stand alone as the only bottom seed to have even won a game in the ECAC tournament.

Selander would finish the year with 4,167 saves, 73 north of Nicole Hensley’s unofficial NCAA record.

4. Northeastern Lives by the Overtime Breakaway, Dies by the Overtime Breakaway

No one can say the Huskies don’t play exciting hockey, for reasons good and bad.  Early on in the season Northeastern would score the game-tying goal against Boston College with 21 seconds left, only to allow Caitrin Lonergan a breakaway 14 seconds later that goaltender Aerin Frankel would save.  That game was a 50-33 shot-a-palooza that Northeastern would win in overtime.

Fast-forward to the WHEA Championship where this time Northeastern would allow a late goal as Boston College’s Kali Flanagan scored with just 4.9 seconds left to tie the game.  The Huskies would get the overtime win though as Kasidy Anderson would take the puck off a BC defender and skate in on net alone, putting the puck in off the backhand.

One week later Northeastern would again find themselves in overtime, this time against the Cornell Big Red.  Gillis Frechette would fly the defensive zone early and Diana Buckley would hit her with a long breakout pass.  She’d go to the backhand as well and end Northeastern’s season.

3. Syracuse Makes First Ever NCAA Tournament

The Orange slayed a few demons in this season’s CHA tournament.  Since they started CHA play in the 2008-2009 season, Syracuse had gone 0-7 against the Lakers in the postseason prior to facing off against them in this year’s semifinals.  Were the Lakers to win, they would have ended Syracuse’s season twice as many times as everyone else in the CHA combined.

Early in the second period, it looked like that might happen again as the Orange surrendered a power play goal to go down 2-1.  But Syracuse would storm back with two delayed-penalty goals and take a lead into the third period.  Mercyhurst would tie the game on the power play, but Syracuse would respond with a power-play goal of their own just 1:19 later, and the 4-3 lead would hold.  Ginormous defender Lindsay Eastwood, who is listed at 6-1, notched a hattrick.

The Orange would make things not so close the following night against Robert Morris.  After a 1-1 first frame, Syracuse would score four goals in the second period to put the game out of reach and go on to win 6-2.  It was the Orange’s first CHA Championship in their seventh try and their first NCAA tournament appearance.  Syracuse would play a scoreless first period against eventual champion Wisconsin in their NCAA quarterfinal before bowing out 4-0.

2. BU Wins First Beanpot as Varsity Program

The Terriers’ performance in the Beanpot tournament has been…not great to say the least.  In 39 tournaments (they didn’t play in 1993 or 1994), the Terriers have made the championship game just 7 times including this year, having won once, as a club team back in the 1980-1981 season.  They’ve finished in last (either fourth or tied for third) a whopping 24 times including a run of 11 straight from 1995 to 2005.

Last millennium belonged to Northeastern, with the Huskies winning 14 of 21 titles pre-2000, only failing to make the title game twice.  This millennium had belonged to both Boston College (8) and Harvard (9), who had won all but two titles post-2000, but right now it belongs to Boston University.

The Terriers had the hard road too, playing their first round game against the highest ranked team in the tournament, Northeastern, who they were 0-2-1 against rather than Boston College, who they’d beaten twice, or Harvard, the weakest team in the tournament.  In the first game they would erase three Northeastern deficits, never leading at any point until the shootout was over.  In that shootout, they would erase yet another deficit with Nara Elia facing down Aerin Frankel, needing a goal in round 3 to continue.  She would score, Corinne Schroeder would make a save, and Reagan Rust would send BU to the championship.

Harvard proved no easier, taking a 2-1 lead in the second and taking the Terriers to overtime where Sammy Davis would pot the game winner off a truly excellent pass from Jesse Compher at 13:28.

1. Kristen Campbell Shuts Out the Field in NCAA Tournament

First off, if you haven’t read this piece over at At Even Strength about the journey of Kristen Campbell, go do that now.

In leading Wisconsin to a national title, Kristen Campbell became the first goaltender ever to not allow a goal in the NCAA tournament.  If you go back to the WCHA tournament, she had five shutouts in seven postseason games and only allowed three goals, just one in two games to the second-best team in the nation, Minnesota.

It’s an accomplishment so immense in its simplicity that it’s hard to say much about it.  *Gestures to box scores*  “Holy crap, look at this!”  To do so after North Dakota shuttered their program, and after Wisconsin had just seen Ann-Renée Desbiens, holder of a million NCAA records, graduate is all the more impressive.  Enjoy this video of Wisconsin players sharing their thoughts on winning a national title.