- Leading at the Polls: Topped by unanimous No. 1 Wisconsin and No. 2 Minnesota, the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) enters Week 7 with three teams in the top-five and four teams ranked overall in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. The WCHA is tied with ECAC Hockey for the most ranked teams among all conferences.
- Wisconsin (11-1-1), Minnesota (9-2-1) and No. 4 Ohio State (9-3-0) all remained in the same positions following league sweeps, while idle Minnesota Duluth (5-4-1) is ranked eighth.
- Nonconference Success: During this light week, in which only three league teams are in action, St. Cloud State will look to improve upon the NCAA-best 18-8-0 (.692) nonconference record of WCHA teams.
- Clutch Bucks: Ohio State has nine victories, with seven of its game-winning goals coming off the sticks of two players: junior Madison Field (NCAA-leading four) and senior Charly Dahlquist (three, tied for second nationally).
- Field's 11 career game-winning goals are tied for the second-most in OSU history.
- Four Nations Cup: The 2018 Four Nations Cup is taking place this week (Nov. 6-10) at the SaskTel Arena in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Thirty (30) current or former WCHA players, representing six institutions, are participating in the prestigious tournament, while another two were initially named to Canada's National Women's Team but are unable to compete due to injury (Wisconsin redshirt-senior Emily Clark and Minnesota redshirt-junior Sarah Potomak). The women with WCHA ties on preliminary rosters are (eight active student-athletes in bold):
- United States (15): Megan Bozek (Minnesota), Hannah Brandt (UMN), Sydney Brodt (Minnesota Duluth), Dani Cameranesi (UMN), Brianna Decker (Wisconsin), Mikaela Gardner (UW), Amanda Kessel (UMN), Hilary Knight (UW), Gigi Marvin (UMN), Sidney Morin (UMD), Annie Pankowski (UW), Kelly Pannek (UMN), Emma Polusny (St. Cloud State), Alex Rigsby (UW) and Maddie Rooney (UMD).
- Canada (5): Jocelyne Larocque (UMD), Halli Krzyzaniak (North Dakota), Sarah Nurse (UW), Natalie Spooner (Ohio State) and Blayre Turnbull (UW).
- Finland (7): Susanna Tapani (UND), Emma Nuutinen (UND - now Mercyhurst), Michelle Karvinen (UND), Jenniina Nylund (SCSU), Noora Räty (UMN), Eveliina Suonpää (UMD) and Minnamari Tuominen (OSU).
- Sweden (3): Johanna Fällman (UND), Emma Söderberg (UMD) and Pernilla Winberg (UMD).
- #WeAreWCHA: Three of the top-four teams nationally in attendance this season are WCHA programs.
- Wisconsin has sold out each of its eight home games at LaBahn Arena to lead for both total (18,184) and average (2,273) attendance. Minnesota is second with 10,471 fans through seven contests at Ridder Arena (1,496) and Minnesota Duluth is fourth at 6,051 in six dates at AMSOIL Arena (1,008).
By the Numbers
- 7: Goaltending wins, in seven starts, this season for Minnesota sophomore Alex Gulstene, who is one of two undefeated netminders in NCAA Division I (Maine's Loryn Porter, at 5-0-0, is the other).
- 19: WCHA-leading overall points for Ohio State sophomore Emma Maltais, tied for the second-most nationally. The 2017-18 WCHA Rookie of the Year leads the nation with 14 assists thus far.
The Week Ahead
- No. 4 Ohio State at Bemidji State: The lone WCHA league series of the weekend takes place at the Sanford Center, where the Beavers host the fourth-ranked Buckeyes. BSU is looking for its first win of the season, while OSU, currently tied for second in the WCHA, can gain ground on idle Minnesota.
- Both games (Friday and Saturday) start at 3:07 p.m. CT and are available via FloHockey.tv.
- St. Cloud State at Lindenwood: The Huskies travel to Saint Charles, Mo. for the first of two series this year against the Lions (Lindenwood will visit St. Cloud on Dec. 29-30). SCSU is 7-1-0 against Lindenwood all-time and swept LU in their last meeting, in November 2015.
The Week in Review
No. 1 Wisconsin 2, at Minnesota State 1
No. 1 Wisconsin 2, at Minnesota State 0
(Nov. 2 and 3 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)
- The upstart Mavericks hung tough with Wisconsin both games, but the top-ranked Badgers prevailed twice for a league road sweep.
- UW scored both its goals in the second period Friday for a 2-1 win, with Brette Pettet (54 seconds in) and Britta Curl (at 1:58) both lighting the lamp. Freshman Madison Oelkers scored her first collegiate goal in the third period to bring Minnesota State within one, but the Badgers held on to win.
- Abby Roque factored in both Badgers goals, scoring the first (at 7:54 of the first period) and assisting on Sophie Shirley's second-period goal in a 2-0 victory Saturday. WCHA Goaltender of the Week Kristen Campbell had a 15-save shutout for UW.
at No. 2 Minnesota 6, Bemidji State 3
at No. 2 Minnesota 2, Bemidji State 1
(Nov. 2 and 3 at Ridder Arena; Minneapolis, Minn.)
- The second-ranked Gophers rallied for a Friday victory, then held on to win Saturday and sweep the visiting Beavers.
- Bemidji State's Clair DeGeorge scored two first period-goals Friday, but the Gophers rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to win, 6-3. Alex Woken scored twice for Minnesota, including the game-winner at 11:48 of the second period. WCHA Rookie of the Week Emily Oden (who tied her career high with two points), Grace Zumwinkle, Katie Robinson and Taylor Wente also scored for the Gophers.
- Zumwinkle scored on the power-play at 5:06 of the third period, ripping a slapshot from the faceoff circle to snap a 1-1 tie and give the Gophers a 2-1 win in Saturday's series finale. Jacqueline Kassa scored the Beavers' lone goal on a nifty second-period breakaway.
at No. 4 Ohio State 3, St. Cloud State 2
at No. 4 Ohio State 3, St. Cloud State 2
(Nov. 2 and 3 at OSU Ice Rink; Columbus, Ohio)
- The fourth-ranked Buckeyes rallied Friday, then held off a late Huskies charge Saturday for a sweep by identical 3-2 scores.
- St. Cloud State took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission Friday behind goals 14 seconds apart (by Julia Tylke and Jenniina Nylund), but OSU scored the game's final three goals for a 3-2, comeback win. WCHA Forward of the Week Emma Maltais scored the first Buckeyes goal, Madison Field tied the contest at 18:42 of the second period and then gave OSU a 3-2 victory with the game-winner at 10:20 of the third period.
- Saturday was another close game, and another 3-2 OSU win. Tylke (SCSU) and Field (OSU) both scored again, while the Buckeyes' Charly Dahlquist netted a short-handed goal at 14:29 of the second period that gave OSU a 3-1 lead and stood as the game-winner.
Minnesota Whitecaps 5, at No. 7 Minnesota Duluth 1 (EXHIBITION)
(Nov. 3 at AMSOIL Arena)
- The NWHL-leading Whitecaps showed why they are a perfect 6-0 in their inaugural professional season, defeating a shorthanded Bulldogs team, 5-1, in an exhibition contest.