- Polling Place: With top-ranked Wisconsin, No. 2 Minnesota, and No. 6 Ohio State, the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) enters Week 10 with three of the top-six teams in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
- Winning Hockey: Fourteen (14) NCAA Division I programs have winning percentages of .570 or better, with four of those hailing from the WCHA.
- Wisconsin, which leads the country with 15 victories, is tops in D-I with a .938 winning percentage (15-1-0). Minnesota is fifth at .844 (13-2-1), Ohio State is ninth at .688 (11-5-0) and Minnesota State is tied for 13th at .571 (7-5-2, the same record as 2018 Frozen Four participant Colgate).
- Horns Up: Speaking of Minnesota State, the Mavericks (7-5-2) have already surpassed their entire 2017-18 victory output (5-28-1) and are off to their best 14-game start in 13 years, since the 2005-06 team opened 9-4-1.
- The Mavericks are undefeated in their last four contests (3-0-1), all on the road, and just blanked Lindenwood over the entire weekend, marking Minnesota State's first back-to-back shutout victories since October 2006 and first road sweep since February 2014.
- Backstopped by freshman goaltender Abigail Levy (four shutouts, tied for the second-highest single-season total in school history), Minnesota State is second in the WCHA and third among NCAA D-I programs by allowing just 1.43 goals per game.
- Success in Vermont: Minnesota became the second-straight WCHA team to win the Windjammer Classic, as the Gophers followed Minnesota Duluth's 2017 title with victories last week over then-No. 8 St. Lawrence and host Vermont. Redshirt-senior Kelly Pannek was the tournament MVP and the NCAA's #1 Star of the Week.
- SC and OT: Wisconsin redshirt-senior Annie Pankowski had a rare double-double last weekend. First, the Badgers' co-captain became the first player in UW history to score the winning goal in consecutive overtime games. Secondly, Pankowski made back-to-back appearances in the nightly Top-10 Plays segment of ESPN's SportsCenter, appearing at No. 3 for a shorthanded goal Friday and No. 9 for her Saturday OT winner.
By the Numbers
- 11: Wins this season, without a loss or tie, by Minnesota sophomore goaltender Alex Gulstene, the only undefeated netminder in NCAA Division I women's hockey.
- 26: Future (one), current (14) or former (11) WCHA players, of 44 total, invited to USA Hockey Women's Winter Training Camp, which will take place Dec. 17-21 in Plymouth, Mich. The group includes representatives from Bemidji State, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Ohio State, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin.
- 49: Wins, in 92 games behind the bench, for third-year Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall (49-34-9). A Buckeyes win this weekend would make Muzerall the fastest to 50 victories in OSU history.
The Week Ahead
- Pair of WCHA Matchups: After last weekend's full slate of nonconference games, a pair of WCHA league series on the docket this weekend, with all four games streaming live on FloHockey.tv.
- St. Cloud State at Bemidji State: The Huskies and Beavers, who met last Tuesday (Nov. 20) in a nonconference game at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic (won 3-0 by SCSU), skate again in a Friday-Saturday WCHA series at the Sanford Center.
- No. 6 Ohio State at Minnesota State: Idle last week, the sixth-ranked Buckeyes return to the ice to face the red-hot Mavericks. The teams meet Saturday evening before a Sunday afternoon contest.
- Nonconference Tests: Two WCHA teams will look to improve upon the league's NCAA-best .684 nonconference winning percentage (25-11-2).
- No. 2 Minnesota at Yale: After playing last weekend at the Windjammer Classic in Vermont, the second-ranked Gophers head farther east to face Yale from ECAC Hockey.
- Syracuse at No. 1 Wisconsin: The top-ranked Badgers will host their second-straight non-league opponent, welcoming Syracuse from College Hockey America. The Saturday-Sunday series will be streamed live on both BTN Plus and FloHockey.tv.
The Week in Review
2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic
St. Cloud State 3, vs. Bemidji State 0
(Nov. 20 at Essentia Health Sports Center; Brainerd, Minn.)
- The Huskies and Beavers brought world-class NCAA Division I women's college hockey to Brainerd, Minn., meeting at the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic.
- St. Cloud State received a 36-save shutout from 2018 Swiss Olympian Janine Alder to earn an impressive 3-0 win. Alder lifted the Huskies despite being outshot, 36-24, while SCSU scored once in every period. Hallie Theodosopoulos (first-period game-winner), Julia Tylke (second period) and Ivy Dynek (third) all lit the lamp for the victorious Huskies.
2018 Windjammer Classic
No. 2 Minnesota 8, No. 8 St. Lawrence 2
No. 2 Minnesota 6, at Vermont 2
(Nov. 23 and 24 at Gutterson Fieldhouse; Burlington, Vt.)
- The second-ranked Gophers became the second-straight WCHA team to win the Windjammer Classic, capturing the title behind the superlative performance of Kelly Pannek, who was named tournament MVP, WCHA Co-Forward of the Week and NCAA #1 Star of the Week after her six-point weekend (4g-2a).
- Pannek scored her third career hat trick Friday, including a shorthanded goal, and added an assist, while WCHA Defenseman of the Week Sophie Skarzynski added two goals of her own as the Minnesota rolled to an 8-2 win over No. 8 St. Lawrence in the tournament opener.
- The Gophers defeated host Vermont, 6-2, Saturday to claim the Windjammer Classic championship. Pannek scored again, Amy Potomak's second-period goal was the game-winner and WCHA Rookie of the Week Taylor Heise matched her career high with three points (1g-2a).
at No. 1 Wisconsin 3, Harvard 2 - OT
at No. 1 Wisconsin 2, Harvard 1 - OT
(Nov. 23 and 24 at LaBahn Arena; Madison, Wis.)
- A matchup between winningest coach in NCAA National Collegiate women's hockey history, Wisconsin's Mark Johnson, and the third-winningest, Harvard's Katey Stone, was upstaged by Badgers' co-captain, Annie Pankowski, who became the first player in UW history to score the overtime game-winning goal in back-to-back games.
- Pankowski scored a pair of highlight-reel goals Friday to lift top-ranked Wisconsin to a 3-2 victory. Her first goal, a shorthanded score in the first period, was the #3 play on that night's SportsCenter Top-10. The WCHA Co-Forward of the Week then lit the lamp 3:06 into OT for her first night of heroics.
- Just 24 seconds away from settling for a 1-1 tie in overtime, Pankowski struck again, scoring to give the host Badgers a 2-1 win Saturday and the dramatic sweep.
Minnesota State 1, at Lindenwood 0
Minnesota State 2, at Lindenwood 0
(Nov. 23 and 24 at Lindenwood Ice Arena; Wentzville, Mo.)
- The Mavericks ran their winning streak to three-straight games and their unbeaten streak to four-straight contests, blanking Lindenwood for their first back-to-back shutout wins since October 2006 and their first road sweep since February 2014.
- Tristen Truax scored the game's only goal during the first period Friday and Abigail Levy made 18 saves as Minnesota State opened the series with a 1-0 win.
- The Mavericks completed the sweep behind Levy's second-straight shutout, as the WCHA Goaltender of the Week posted a 17-save effort in the 2-0 win. Both Minnesota State goals came in the second period, scored by Jordan McLaughlin and Brooke Bryant.
at No. 3 Clarkson 4, Minnesota Duluth 1
at No. 3 Clarkson 4, Minnesota Duluth 2
(Nov. 23 and 24 at Cheel Arena; Potsdam, N.Y.)
- Continuing to play one of the nation's toughest schedules, the Bulldogs dropped a pair of games on the road at No. 3 Clarkson.
- The NCAA's leading scorer, Clarkson's Loren Gabel, was the difference Friday in a 4-1 win, scoring all four Golden Knights goals. Gabel netted three-straight after UMD freshman Gabbie Hughes tied the game 1-1 at 8:43 of the second period.
- Hughes had a two-point game (1g-1a) for the Bulldogs in Saturday's series finale, while fellow rookie Anneke Linser also scored, but it was not enough in a 4-2 loss.