- Polling Place: The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) enters Week 2 of the 2018-19 season with four of the top-5 teams in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
- No. 2 Wisconsin (one first place vote in each) and No. 3 Minnesota hold steady after season-opening sweeps of Lindenwood and No. 10 Mercyhurst, respectively.
- No. 4 Minnesota Duluth is up five spots after sweeping then-No. 4 Boston College, while No. 5 Ohio State climbed two rungs after posting two road wins at Quinnipiac.
- The WCHA's four teams in the USCHO.com poll match ECAC Hockey for the most of any conference, while no other league has more than three in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings.
- Nonconference Success: After posting the country's top nonconference winning percentage last season at .614 (34-21-2), WCHA teams opened 2018-19 by going 10-4-0 (.714) against non-league opponents last weekend.
- Leaders and Champions: Minnesota alumna Sidney Peters (2014-18), who graduated with a degree in Kinesiology last spring, is one of nine finalists for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Award -- each of whom had college careers highlighted by outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, community service, and leadership. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will name a winner Sunday, Oct. 28.
- Time to Vote!: As we celebrate 20 Years of Excellence during the 2018-19 season, the WCHA is inviting fans to determine the 20 players (regardless of position) that will be recognized on the WCHA 20th Anniversary Team.
- Voting is open now on WCHA.com and runs through 11:59 p.m. CT on Monday, Oct. 8 (limit of one vote per day, with a valid email address required).
- Fans can choose their favorite WCHA players from a list of 41 finalists, which includes, among many accolades: Olympians, Patty Kaz Award winners, All-Americans and All-WCHA selections.
- The WCHA 20th Anniversary Team will be determined by 1/3 fan vote, 1/3 WCHA alumnae vote and 1/3 Committee vote (consisting of two WCHA Office staff, one former and two current head coaches and three alumnae).
By the Numbers
- 2: Wins for Minnesota State freshman goaltender Abigail Levy in the Mavericks' sweep of Rensselaer. The only NCAA D-I rookie goalie to post an opening-weekend victory, she became the first Maverick to win her first two decisions of a season since Alli Altmann did so in 2011-12. Levy posted a shutout in her collegiate debut, along with a 0.50 GAA and .977 save percentage on the series, earning accolades as WCHA Rookie of the Week, Powered by GoodWood Hockey.
- 21: Career game-winning goals for Wisconsin redshirt-senior forward Emily Clark, tied for fourth in school history and seventh in WCHA annals. Her 21st came in the Badgers' season-opener (and her first game back with UW after skating with Team Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics), a tie-breaking, power-play goal in the second period that lifted UW to a 3-2 win over Lindenwood.
- 923: Wins on the bench this weekend in Erie, Pa. between Mercyhurst's Michael Sisti (second in NCAA women's hockey history with 462) and Wisconsin's Mark Johnson (third with 461).
The Week Ahead
- League Opener: The first WCHA league series of 2018-19 could be an instant classic, with No. 4 Minnesota Duluth hosting No. 3 Minnesota on Friday (7:07pm CT) and Saturday (3:07pm CT), with both games live on FloHockey.tv.
- Nonconference Tests: More out-of-league series await WCHA teams, with two at home and two on the road.
- No. 5 Ohio State also has a top-10 matchup, hosting No. 8 Colgate in a matchup of 2018 NCAA Frozen Four participants (Friday at 6:07pm ET and Saturday at 3:07pm ET, with both games live on BTN Plus and FloHockey.tv). Prior to Friday's game, the Buckeyes will unveil a banner commemorating OSU's 2018 Frozen Four team -- the program's first-ever appearance in the national semifinals.
- The third top-10 series featuring a WCHA team sees No. 2 Wisconsin on the road for the first time this season, traveling to face No. 10 Mercyhurst (the Badgers’ first trip to Erie, Pa. since winning the 2011 NCAA title).
- Bemidji State also heads east to skate at Providence, while St. Cloud State welcomes RIT to the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center for the Huskies' home opener (Friday at 6:07pm CT and Saturday at 3:07pm CT, with both contests available live on FloHockey.tv).
The Week in Review
- The WCHA opened its 2018-19 campaign with a 10-4-0 mark in nonconference.
at No. 9 Minnesota Duluth 4, No. 4 Boston College 2
at No. 9 Minnesota Duluth 2, No. 4 Boston College 1
(Sept. 28 and 29 at AMSOIL Arena; Duluth, Minn.)
- The No. 9 Bulldogs opened with a huge statement, sweeping the fourth-ranked Eagles.
- UMD's Ryleigh Houston (Jr., F) had a big weekend with three goals, matching her entire output from all of last season.
- Houston's second goal of the game Friday tied the game 2-2, and Sydney Brodt (Jr., F) scored the game-winner as the Bulldogs rallied for a 4-2 win (freshman defenseman Lizi Norton scored her first career goal).
- UMD scored both its goals in the first period Saturday and rode goaltender Maddie Rooney (RS-Jr.) the rest of the way for a 2-1 win.
- In her return to the Bulldogs, Rooney, the Olympic gold medalist, made 51 saves in two games and was named WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors.
at No. 3 Minnesota 4, No. 10 Mercyhurst 2
at No. 3 Minnesota 5, No. 10 Mercyhurst 0
(Sept. 28 and 29 at Ridder Arena; Minneapolis, Minn.)
- The No. 3 Gophers also opened the season by sweeping a ranked opponent, getting two wins at home over No. 10 Mercyhurst.
- The visiting Lakers scored first Friday, but Minnesota scored the next four goals, including one by returning Olympic gold medalist Kelly Pannek (RS-Sr., F). Freshman forward Amy Potomak netted her first career goal, while WCHA Defenseman of the Week Patti Marshall (Jr.) and Emily Brown (So., D) also scored.
- Sydney Scobee, a junior who transferred from Vermont, had a 17-save shutout in her first career Gophers start Sunday, a 5-0 victory. Grace Zumwinkle (So., F) scored two goals, while preseason WCHA Rookie of the Year Taylor Heise (Fr., F) scored her first collegiate goal.
at No. 2 Wisconsin 3, Lindenwood 2
at No. 2 Wisconsin 6, Lindenwood 0
(Sept. 28 and 29 at LaBahn Arena; Madison, Wis.)
- The No. 2 Badgers improved to 19-0-1 all-time in November with a season-opening sweep of Lindenwood.
- 2018 Olympian Emily Clark (RS-Sr., F) had an impressive return to the UW lineup, earning WCHA Forward of the Week honors with four points on three goals and one assist.
- Clark's first goal snapped a 2-2 tie Friday and gave the Badgers a 3-2, comeback win. Sophie Shirley (Fr., F) scored her first collegiate goal for UW, while Delaney Drake (So., F) tied the game at 2-2.
- Clark scored twice in a 6-0 victory Saturday. Four other Badgers lit the lamp, while Kristen Campbell (Jr., G) and Breanna Blesi (So., G) combined in net for the shutout.
No. 7 Ohio State 3, at Quinnipiac 2
No. 7 Ohio State 3, at Quinnipiac 2
(Sept. 28 and 29 at Frank Perrotti Arena; Hamden, Conn.)
- The No. 7 Buckeyes had an impressive start, going on the road and earning two one-goal victories at Quinnipiac.
- 2017-18 WCHA Rookie of the Year Emma Maltais (So., F) had a goal and assist to spark Friday's 3-2 win, with Liz Schepers (So., F) and Madison Field (Sr., F) also lighting the lamp.
- Another sophomore standout on the forward line, Tatum Skaggs, scored twice – including the game-winner – in a 3-2 win on Saturday. Olivia Soares (Jr., F) opened the scoring for OSU.
- Sophomore Amanda Zeglen stepped into the starting goaltending role for the Buckeyes and made 40 saves on the weekend.
at Minnesota State 2, Rensselaer 0
at Minnesota State 3, Rensselaer 1
(Sept. 29 and 30 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)
- The Mavericks used excellent goaltending and timely scoring to open with a sweep of RPI.
- Freshman goaltender (and WCHA Rookie of the Week) Abigail Levy started both games in net, turning aside 42-of-43 shots for the two wins. She had a 22-save shutout in a 2-0 win Saturday, her first collegiate start.
- Mankato native Rebekah Kohlstad (Sr., F) opened the scoring for the Mavericks on Saturday, and sophomore forward Mariah Gardner scored her first career goal.
- After RPI scored first Sunday, the Mavericks stormed back to score the final three goals in a 3-1 win. Brittyn Fleming (So., F) tied the game 1-1 in the first period, while Anna Wilgren (first goal for the freshman defenseman) and Corbin Boyd (Sr., F) both scored in the decisive, two-goal third period.
No. 1 Clarkson 5, at Bemidji State 1
No. 1 Clarkson 5, at Bemidji State 3
(Sept. 28 and 29 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)
- The Beavers twice outshot the two-time defending national champion, but dropped two games to the Golden Knights.
- Down 4-0 on Saturday, the Beavers rallied to make it a one-goal game at 4-3, before giving up an empty-netter late.
- Lydia Passolt (So., F), Kiki Radke (Jr., F) and Emily Bergland (Sr., F) all scored in the spirited BSU rally.
at UConn 3, St. Cloud State 2 (OT)
at UConn 3, St. Cloud State 2
(Sept. 28 and 29 at Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum; Storrs, Conn.)
- SCSU dropped a pair of heartbreakers in the battle of the Huskies at UConn, losing 3-2 in overtime Friday and 3-2 on a late third-period goal Saturday.
- Sophomore forward Megan Roe opened the scoring Friday with her first career goal, while Kayla Friesen (Jr., F) gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead just 38 seconds into the third period. But, UConn won on a Camryn Wong goal 1:57 into OT.
- Wong again was the UConn hero Saturday, snapping a 2-2 tie at the 17:40 mark of the third period. Hallie Theodosopoulos (Jr., F/D) and Hannah Potrykus (Sr., F) scored for SCSU.