- NCAA-Best Four in the Top-10: Topped by unanimous No. 1 Wisconsin and No. 2 Minnesota, the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) enters Week 8 with an NCAA conference-best four teams ranked in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
- Wisconsin (11-1-1) and Minnesota (9-2-1), both idle last week, remained in the same positions. Seventh-ranked Ohio State (9-5-0) is tied with Minnesota Duluth (5-4-1) in the USCHO.com poll, while the Bulldogs are No. 8 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine ledger.
- Bemidji State Breaks Through: Coming off an appearance in the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff, Bemidji State has opened this season with the nation's fourth-toughest schedule to date, playing 10 of its first 12 games against teams that are currently ranked. Despite playing well, including being within a goal late in the third period against defending national champion Clarkson, and on the road at current No. 10 Providence and No. 2 Minnesota, the Beavers were winless until this past weekend. BSU finally broke through, sweeping then-No. 4 Ohio State.
- BSU sophomore goaltender Kerigan Dowhy was named the NCAA's 1st Star of the Week after compiling 70 saves against OSU while leading the WCHA with a 1.50 goals-against average and .959 save percentage.
- Every Rink, Every Night: Now a third of the way through the 2018-19 regular season, WCHA teams have played six of the nation's top-10 toughest schedules to date.
- Minnesota Duluth, which is on the road at Ohio State and Clarkson the next two weeks, has already faced the NCAA's toughest slate. Minnesota has played the second-toughest, followed by Wisconsin (No. 3), Bemidji State (No. 4), Minnesota State (No. 7) and Ohio State (No. 10) in the top-10.
- International Impact: The WCHA was represented by 30 current or former players last week at the 2018 Four Nations Cup, including 27 that brought home medals for the champion United States of America (15), second-place Canada (five) and third-place Finland (seven).
- Four of the tournament's top-five scorers hailed from the WCHA. Wisconsin alumnae Hilary Knight (3-4--7) and Brianna Decker (3-3--6) were one-two, former Minnesota star Dani Cameranesi (2-4--6) was also tied for second, while current Minnesota Duluth sophomore Sydney Brodt (3-2--5) was tied for fourth.
- St. Cloud State sophomore Emma Polusny made her senior national team debut and was second among goaltenders with a 1.00 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in her lone start. Minnesota Duluth junior Maddie Rooney also had a 1.00 GAA, while Wisconsin alumna Alex Rigsby, who was between the pipes for the championship game, posted a 1.50 GAA and .939 save mark (third-best in the tourney). Former Gopher Noora Räty was fifth with a .930 GAA, while backstopping Finland to bronze.
- Playing for a Cause: Week 9 in the WCHA will get an early start next Tuesday (Nov. 20), when Bemidji State and St. Cloud State meet at Brainerd's Essentia Health Sports Center for the 2018 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic. Along with bringing women's NCAA Division I hockey to a local community and raising funds for the local Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen, the game creates awareness for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Week Ahead
- Full Slate of Games: After a light schedule last week, all seven WCHA teams will be in action this coming weekend (Nov. 16-18). Three league series are on tap, along with a WCHA-College Hockey America (CHA) nonconference set.
- No. 7/8 Minnesota Duluth at No. 7 Ohio State: A top-10 clash with key WCHA and national implications takes place in Columbus between the Bulldogs and Buckeyes, who are tied in this week's USCHO.com poll.
- Friday's game (6:07 p.m. ET) and Saturday's tilt (1:07 p.m. ET) are both on BTN Plus and FloHockey.tv.
- No. 2 Minnesota at St. Cloud State: The second home-and-home set between the Gophers and Huskies, with Saturday's contest in St. Cloud (puck drops at 2:07 p.m. CT on FloHockey.tv) and Sunday's in Minneapolis (another 2:07 p.m. CT start, on BTN Plus and FloHockey.tv).
- Minnesota is unbeaten in the last 43 games (42-0-1) between the two teams.
- Bemidji State at No. 1 Wisconsin: The Beavers will look for another upset when they face the top-ranked Badgers.
- The Friday (7:07 p.m. CT) and Saturday (2:07 p.m. CT) series is streamed on BTN Plus and FloHockey.tv.
- Minnesota State at Robert Morris: The Mavericks open a two-week road stretch against CHA opponents with a stop in Pennsylvania to face the Colonials, who are currently in second-place in their league.
The Week in Review
at Bemidji State 2, No. 4 Ohio State 1
at Bemidji State 4, No. 4 Ohio State 2
(Nov. 9 and 10 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)
- After several near-misses, the previously winless Beavers broke through in a big way with an impressive sweep of the fourth-ranked Buckeyes -- BSU's first sweep of a ranked opponent since Nov. 2014 against No. 10 North Dakota.
- BSU sophomore Kerigan Dowhy, the WCHA Goaltender of the Week, began a sensational weekend with a career-high 38 saves in the Beavers' 2-1 victory Friday. Lindsey Featherstone (8:35 of the first period) and Clair DeGeorge (19:12 of the second) scored BSU's goals, while Dowhy made 14 stops in the third period.
- The Beavers scored twice in the third period Saturday to snap a 2-2 tie and complete the sweep with a 4-2 victory. BSU senior Haley Mack scored a power-play goal 2:20 into the final stanza to give the Beavers a 3-2 lead, before Jacqueline Kaasa put the game away with an empty-netter. Dowhy made 32 more saves (for 70 on the weekend), while WCHA Forward of the Week Abby Halluska had a one-goal, one-assist effort and Paige Beebe also scored. OSU's Madison Field scored in the second period, becoming just the sixth Buckeye ever with 50 career goals.
St. Cloud State 2, at Lindenwood 2 - OT
at Lindenwood 2, St. Cloud State 1 - OT
(Nov. 9 and 10 at Lindenwood Ice Arena; Wentzville, Mo.)
- The Huskies and host Lions played 127:45 of hockey this weekend in a tightly-contested nonconference series that saw Lindenwood go 1-0-1 despite a WCHA-best 72 saves from SCSU goaltender Janine Alder (the third-most nationally).
- SCSU received a first-period goal from Julia Tylke to take a 1-0 lead Friday, then a tying marker from Emma Bigham at 4:44 of the third period en route to a 2-2 draw.
- The Huskies again forced overtime Saturday with a third-period marker, this coming from Hannah Potrykus with just 2:07 remaining in regulation. However, Lindenwood scored at 2:45 of the extra session to win, 2-1.