- Polling Place: With No. 1 Wisconsin, No. 2 Minnesota, and No. 7/6 Ohio State, the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) enters Week 11 with three teams ranked in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
- Wrapping Up 2018: Five WCHA teams will wrap up the 2018 calendar year portion of their schedule this weekend: Bemidji State (back on the ice Jan. 4 vs. Union), Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State (next in action at the Jan. 5-6 Minnesota Cup) and Wisconsin (off until Jan. 11 at Ohio State).
- Winning Hockey: Fourteen (14) NCAA Division I programs have winning percentages of .550 or better, with four of those hailing from the WCHA.
- Wisconsin, which leads the country with 17 victories (17-1-0), is tops in D-I with a .944 winning percentage. Minnesota is second at .861 (15-2-1), Ohio State is tied for eighth at .667 (12-5-0) and Minnesota State is 14th at .562 (8-6-2).
- Throw Those Hats: The WCHA had not one, not two, but three hat tricks last weekend. First, Minnesota sophomore Grace Zumwinkle netted a second-period, natural hat trick last Friday in the Gophers' 7-1 win at Yale. She was followed that evening by Bemidji State junior Haley Mack, who scored all three of the Beavers' goals (one each period) in a 3-0 victory over St. Cloud State. Then, on Sunday, Wisconsin redshirt-senior Emily Clark announced her return from injury with three goals of her own in a 9-1 triumph over Yale.
- WCHA skaters now have six hat tricks this season, more than any other league. ECAC Hockey is second with five three-goal efforts.
- WCHA on FOX Sports North and Wisconsin: The WCHA returns to the airwaves this weekend with three games on the FOX Sports North family of channels. These are the third through fifth of nine 2018-19 WCHA regular season contests televised on the region's preeminent sports networks.
- Both games of the Wisconsin at St. Cloud State series (Friday and Saturday at 3 p.m. CT) will be shown live on FOX Sports North and FOX Sports Wisconsin, produced by the award-winning SCSU Husky Productions.
- Saturday's series finale between host Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State will be aired live on FOX Sports North Plus.
By the Numbers
- 5: Shutouts this season for Minnesota State freshman goaltender Abigail Levy, tied for the program single-season record. She recently backstopped the Mavericks to three-straight shutouts of Division I opponents for the first time in program history, while Minnesota States' 8-6-2 record is its best through 16 games since 2005-06 (9-6-1).
- 8: Career shorthanded goals by Wisconsin redshirt-senior Annie Pankowski, tying for the most in program history (matching Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker and Blayre Turnbull). Pankowski is tied for ninth in WCHA annals.
- 50: Wins, in 94 games behind the bench, for third-year Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall (50-35-9). With the Buckeyes' 2-0 win last Sunday at Minnesota State, Muzerall is the fastest coach to 50 victories in OSU history.
- 706: Team saves by St. Cloud State this season, most in the WCHA and second-most nationally. Swiss Olympian Janine Alder (Jr.) is eighth in the country with 392 stops, while Emma Polusny (So.), who was with Team USA for the 2018 Four Nations Cup, is tied for 18th with 314.
The Week Ahead
- Pair of WCHA Matchups: Four league teams skate in a pair of WCHA series this weekend.
- Minnesota State at Minnesota Duluth: The Mavericks and Bulldogs, currently tied for fifth in the WCHA standings (two points out of fourth), meet at AMSOIL Arena. Both games are streamed on FloHockey.tv, while Saturday's contest is also televised on FOX Sports North Plus.
- No. 1 Wisconsin at St. Cloud State: The Badgers bring a 15-game winning streak against the Huskies into the weekend set, televised live on FOX Sports North and Wisconsin (also streamed on FloHockey.tv).
- Nonconference Tests: Two WCHA teams skate in nonconference sets, looking to improve upon the league's NCAA-best .714 winning percentage (29-11-2) in out-of-conference play.
- Bemidji State at Mercyhurst: The Beavers hit the road to face the Lakers of College Hockey America (CHA).
- Robert Morris at No. 2 Minnesota: The Gophers host the CHA-leading Colonials at Ridder Arena, with both games streamed live on FloHockey.tv and BTN Plus.
The Week in Review
at Bemidji State 3, St. Cloud State 0
at Bemidji State 2, St. Cloud State 0
(Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)
- WCHA Goaltender of the Week Lauren Bench posted back-to-back shutouts to lead the Beavers to a sweep of the Huskies.
- Bemidji State junior Haley Mack scored her first career hat trick, scoring all three Beavers goals – one in each period – for a 3-0 victory in Friday's series opener. Bench made 11 saves for her first shutout of the weekend.
- Bench made 26 saves in Saturday's series finale, backstopping the Beavers to a 2-0 win. Freshman Ellie Moser scored her first career goal just 2:15 into the game, while Mack's empty-netter sealed the deal and the BSU sweep.
at Minnesota State 3, No. 6 Ohio State 0
No. 6 Ohio State 2, at Minnesota State 0
(Dec. 1 and 2 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)
- Freshman goaltenders Abigail Levy and Andrea Braendli traded shutouts, as both the Mavericks and sixth-ranked Buckeyes earned wins in Mankato.
- Saturday was a historic night for the Mavericks, as they won their fourth game in a row for the first time since Nov. 2010 and posted a third-straight shutout against Division I opponents for the first time in school history. Freshmen ruled the day for Minnesota State, as Levy made 41 saves and Anna Wilgren scored the game-winning goal in the third period (all three Mavericks goals came in the final 20 minutes, as Megan Hinze and Brittyn Fleming also lit the lamp).
- Ohio State turned the tables Sunday, as Braendli made 27 saves in a 2-0 shutout win. OSU scored both its goals in the first period, with Tatum Skaggs and Samantha Bouley lighting the lamp.
at No. 1 Wisconsin 6, Syracuse 1
at No. 1 Wisconsin 9, Syracuse 1
(Dec. 1 and 2 at LaBahn Arena; Madison, Wis.)
- The top-ranked Badgers lit the lamp all weekend long, scoring 15 goals in a sweep of the Orange.
- Freshmen scored half of Wisconsin's goals in a 6-1 win Friday, as Britta Curl netted two goals and Sophie Shirley also scored. Syracuse tied the game 1-1 in the first period, but the Badgers scored the game's final five goals, including Alexis Mauermann's game-winner with 31 seconds left in the first period.
- Emily Clark netted her second career hat trick and Annie Pankowski tied the all-time Wisconsin record with her eighth career short-handed goal as the Badgers rolled to the 9-1 victory Sunday. Clark scored twice in the first period and once in the third, while Pankowski's shorty (UW's last goal of the game) made an appearance in SportsCenter's top-10 plays.
No. 2 Minnesota 7, at Yale 1
No. 2 Minnesota 3, at Yale 1
(Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Ingalls Rink; New Haven, Ct.)
- The second-ranked Gophers wrapped up two weeks back East with a sweep at Yale.
- WCHA Forward of the Week Grace Zumwinkle had a monster game for Minnesota on Friday with her first career hat trick and two assists for a five-point effort, leading the way to a 7-1 win. After assisting on Taylor Wente's game-winning goal in the first period, Zumwinkle scored three-straight goals in the second period for a natural hat trick.
- Minnesota scored twice in the first period on goals by Abigail Boreen and Kippin Keller, added an empty-netter late and got 17 saves from Alex Gulstene for the 3-1 win and sweep.