Ohio State Up to No. 7, UW, UM Hold Down Top Two Spots Nationally: Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 7 while Wisconsin and Minnesota remain No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the latest USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. Minnesota Duluth also received votes in both polls this week.
- Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio State are also among the top-five in the most-recent PairWise Rankings. The Badgers are No. 1, the Gophers are No. 3 and the Buckeyes are No. 5.
Two From the WCHA Finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award: A pair of Western Collegiate Hockey Association women's league players are nominees for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award.
- Wisconsin's Annie Pankowski and Ohio State's Jacyn Reeves are among the 17 NCAA men's and women's players in contention for the honor, which recognizes the male or female hockey student-athlete who makes significant contributions to his or her team and community through leadership in volunteerism.
WCHA Play Resumes: This weekend marks the restart of WCHA league play following the Christmas break and the beginning of the sprint to the finish of the regular season that sees the league standings currently broken into a pair of three-team groups.
- The circuit's top three teams - Minnesota (28 points), Wisconsin (27) and Ohio State (24) are separated by just four points in the race for the regular season title while Minnesota Duluth (16), Bemidji State (13) and Minnesota State (12) are also only four points apart in the quest to secure the final first round home playoff slot.
Winning Hockey: Eighteen NCAA Division I programs have winning percentages of .500 or better, with four of those hailing from the WCHA.
- Wisconsin leads the country with 19 victories and tops D-I with a .950 winning percentage (19-1-0). Minnesota is second at .886 (19-2-1), Ohio State is eighth (.700, 14-6-0) while Minnesota State checks in with a .500 winning percentage (8-8-4).
- The Gophers (12-straight victories) and Badgers (11-straight) have the nation's longest active winning streaks, and the second- and third-longest unbeaten runs, respectively (Princeton is 12-0-4 in its last 16 games).
By the Numbers
38: NCAA-best non-conference wins for the WCHA this season, which also has the country's best out-of-conference winning percentage at .750 (38-12-2).
35: First-period goals scored by Wisconsin this season. The Badgers hold a 35-8 goals scored advantage in the opening frame in 2018-19.
12: Games in a row won by Minnesota. The Gophers enter the weekend having outscored their opponents, 63-20, over that span and are averaging 5.25 gpg and allowing just 1.67 gpg during the current run.
11: Consecutive games won by Wisconsin entering the weekend. UW has outscored its 12 opponents, 47-10, and recorded three shutouts in that span.
6: Home wins in a row for Bemidji State, a new school record. The Beavers are 6-0-1 in their last seven home contests dating to Oct. 27.
The Week Ahead
Top-10 Matchup: No. 1 Wisconsin will visit No. 7 Ohio State for a two-game WCHA set at the OSU Ice Rink, Jan. 11-12. Friday's contest will get underway at 6:07 p.m. ET with Saturday's game slated for a 3:07 p.m. ET start.
- Wisconsin leads the all-time series with the Buckeyes, 65-12-7 and holds a 29-6-3 advantage in Columbus.
- Ohio State swept last year's series at the OSU Ice Rink by scores of 1-0 and 3-1 on Feb. 2-3, 2018.
No. 2 Minnesota visits Minnesota State: The second-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers travel to Mankato to meet Minnesota State. Friday's game will get underway at 7:07 p.m. CT with Saturday's contest set for 3:07 p.m. CT.
- This weekend's games will be the 91st and 92nd between the two programs. Minnesota leads the all-time series, 84-3-3 and has won the last 39 meetings between the schools.
Bemidji State hosts Minnesota Duluth: Fresh off their two-game non-conference sweep of ECAC foe Union College, Bemidji State welcomes Minnesota Duluth to the Sanford Center this weekend for a pair of afternoon contests at 3:07 p.m. CT on Friday and 1:07 p.m. CT on Saturday.
- The Bulldogs won the two most-recent meetings between the two schools earlier this season, sweeping a two-game set in Duluth on Oct. 19-20 by scores of 6-1 and 2-0.
The Week in Review
at Bemidji State 3, Union 0
at Bemidji State 6, Union 2
(Jan.4-5 at Sanford Center; Bemidji, Minn.)
Bemidji State swept a home non-conference series from Union College of the ECAC to the 2019 portion of its schedule.
The Beavers scored even strength, short-handed and on an empty net in a 3-0 blanking of the Dutchwomen in the series opener. Lauren Bench stopped all 22 shots she faced in the victory.
Bemidji State erased an early 1-0 deficit with four-straight first period goals en route to a 6-2 win in game two of the series.
Eleven Beavers recorded a point in the game with Clair DeGeorge finding the back of the net twice.
Kerigan Dowhy stopped 18-of-22 Union shots to pick up her fourth win of the season.
2019 Minnesota Cup
(Jan. 5-6 at Ridder Arena; Minneapolis, Minn.)
Game 1: St. Cloud State 2, Minnesota State 2 (SCSU wins shootout, 1-0)
The St. Cloud State Huskies and Minnesota State Mavericks skated to a 2-2 tie in the opening game of the inaugural Minnesota Cup with the Huskies advancing to the championship game with a win in the shootout.
Jenniina Nylund opened the scoring for the Huskies at 17:10 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. But Minnesota State rallied in the second period, getting goals from Rebekah Kolstd at 7:42 and Corbin Boyd at 19:59 for a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
Abby Thiessen knotted the contest late in the third period with a score at 18:52.
After a scoreless overtime period, Husky goalie Emma Polusny turned away all three Maverick shooters Nylund potted the lone goal for St. Cloud to clinch a berth in the championship game.
Game 2: No. 2 Minnesota 4, Minnesota Duluth 3 (OT)
Olivia Knowles scored the game-winner in overtime and Taylor Williamson scored twice in regulation to lead No. 2 Minnesota to a 4-3 win over Minnesota Duluth in Game 2 of the Minnesota Cup.
The Bulldogs got on the board just 53 seconds into the game on a goal by Anna Klein before Williamson scored back-to-back goals for the Gophers at 11:44 of the first and 6:15 of the second.
UMD opened the third period with another quick goal, this one coming from Gabbie Hughes on a power play 25 seconds into the frame.
Grace Zumwinkle broke the tie for Minnesota with a score at 8:50 but Duluth equalized again at 14:55 on a shot by Sydney Brodt to send the game into overtime where Knowles ended the contest by tallying at 3:05 of the period.
Alex Gulstene stopped 33-of-36 shots in net for the Gophers.
Consolation Game: Minnesota Duluth 5, Minnesota State 3
Gabbie Hughes scored twice and Minnesota Duluth erased a 3-1 third period deficit with four unanswered goals to down Minnesota S
tate, 5-3, in the Minnesota Cup consolation game.
The Mavericks jumped out to a 2-0 lead on scores by Brittyn Fleming at 12:35 of the first period and Anna Wilgren on the power play at 5:55 of the second. Hughes tallied a little over a minute later to cut the lead to 2-1, but McKenzie Sederberg found the back of the net for the Mavericks at 14:38 to up State's lead to 3-1 after two periods.
Hughes cut the lead to 3-2 50 seconds into the third period with her second goal of the night. McKenzie Hewett tied the score a 3-3 with a goal at 10:07 and Kailee Skinner got the game-winner at 17:01. Anna Klein added an empty net goal at 19:58 for the final margin.
Championship Game: No. 2 Minnesota 5, St. Cloud State 1
The second-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers got a pair of goals each from Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Heise and 22 saves from goalie Sydney Scobee to secure a 5-1 win over St. Cloud State in the championship game of the inaugural Minnesota Cup at Ridder Arena on Jan. 6.
Taylor Wente also picked up a goal for the Gophers, who outshot the Huskies, 50-23 in the contest. Wente started the scoring Minnesota with a goal at 4:16 of the opening period. Heise added her first of the day at 5:51 and Zumwinkle potted her initial goal on the power play at 8:36 in the second period.
Abby Thiessen found the back of the net for St. Cloud's lone goal at 9:32 in the second but that was as close as the Huskies would get. Zumwinkle (48 seconds) and Heise (18:21) rounded out the scoring for Minnesota in the third period.
Minnesota Whitecaps 3, at No. 8 Ohio State 2 (OT)
Minnesota Whitecaps 3, at No. 8 Ohio State 1
(Jan.5-6 at OSU Ice Rink; Columbus, Ohio.)
Ohio State goalie Andrea Braendli stopped 50 shots but the Buckeyes could not get past the Minnesota Whitecaps, falling 3-2 in overtime in their exhibition series opener.
Emma Maltais tallied twice for Ohio State in the loss.
Andrea Braendli and Lynsey Wallace combined to stop 42 shots but it was not enough as Ohio State fell to the Minnesota Whitecaps, 3-1, in the finale of their two-game exhibition series in Columbus.
Madison Field had the lone goal for the Buckeyes, scoring on a power play 14:39 into the second period.