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October 18, 2011
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Full Slate of Conference Games Set for Oct. 20-22 … MSU at UM, SCSU at BSU, UW at UMD, League-Leading OSU at UND
Buckeyes Give New Coach Handrahan First WCHA Sweep; Golden Gophers Upend Top-Ranked UW; Latest USCHO.com Div. 1 Women's Poll has UW No. 1, UM No. 2, UMD No. 6, UND No. 7; Four WCHA Teams Ranked in Latest Div. 1 Women's College Hockey Polls … UW No. 1, UM No. 2, UMD No. 5/6, UND No. 7 … OSU, BSU Receive Votes; Nine WCHA Players to Compete in Four Nations Cup Nov. 9-13 in Sweden
Laura McIntosh became OSU's leader in career WCHA points last weekend

MADISON, Wis. – Defending national champion Wisconsin and Minnesota are ranked No. 1 and No 2 in the country after splitting two early-season 3-2 decisions in Madison on Oct. 14-16, but it is unbeaten Ohio State which is the leader in the women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association race.

The Buckeyes, under new coach Nate Handrahan, took a pair of 5-1 home-ice WCHA victories over St. Cloud State in Columbus last weekend and will take a 3-0-1 record (3-0-1-1 WCHA and 11 points in league play) into No. 7-ranked North Dakota this weekend in one of the marquee series in a full round of conference games.

In other league series this week, Minnesota (5-1-0, 3-1-0-0 WCHA, 9 points) hosts Minnesota State (4-2-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) in a rare Thursday (Oct. 20)-Friday (Oct. 21) series at Ridder Arena. On Friday and Saturday, St. Cloud State (1-5-0, 0-4-0-0 WCHA) travels to Bemidji State (3-1-2, 0-1-0-0 WCHA, 1 point) for a pair of matinees and No. 5/6-ranked Minnesota Duluth (3-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) opens league play against Wisconsin (5-1-0, 3-1-0-0 WCHA, 9 points). Wisconsin plays 12 of their next 14 WCHA games on the road.

Last Friday (Oct. 14), the host Badgers got two goals in the first four minutes, including the first of two goals from Carolyn Prévost, and edged the Gophers, 3-2, in the series opener. The win allowed UW to tie the national record for longest unbeaten streak (32 games – 30-0-2.) But Wisconsin then dropped its first game of the season last Sunday (Oct. 16) afternoon as visiting Minnesota jumped out to a two-goal lead and forced a weekend split with a 3-2 victory at the Kohl Center as forward Amanda Kessel had a goal and an assist.

Ohio State senior forward Laura McIntosh had a record-breaking weekend in the sweep over St. Cloud State. The Waterloo, Ont., product had two goals and two assists in the series and became OSU's all-time leader in career WCHA points with 113, three better than Jana Harrigan. She tied the record and tallied her first goal of the season last Friday, giving Ohio State a 2-1 lead at 6:06 in the first period. The goal ended up being the game-winner in the 5-1 victory. In the series finale last Saturday, the Buckeyes jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on behind one goal and an assist by McIntosh, forwards Natalie Spooner and Ally Tarr, and defenseman Annie Svedin.

In non-conference play last weekend, Minnesota Duluth went on the road and swept Hockey East Association-member Connecticut. Forward Haley Irwin's third period goal secured a 5-4 UMD victory last Friday and freshman forward Jenna McParland's first two collegiate goals keyed a 6-1 Bulldogs' victory in the series finale.

Bemidji State, meanwhile, took a pair of wins at Hockey East-member Maine. Junior forward Emily Erickson scored the tying goal and sophomore forward Tess Dusik had the game-winner in a comeback 3-2 victory for the visiting Beavers in the series opener while goaltender Alana McElhinney, in her first start of the season, made 17 saves and recorded her third career shutout in a 7-0 BSU victory last Saturday.

North Dakota returned home to power past visiting Vermont of Hockey East twice at Ralph Engelstad Arena last weekend, winning 9-1 last Saturday (Oct. 15) and 4-1 last Sunday (Oct. 16). In the series opener, the line of left wing Monique Lamoureux-Kolls (2a), center Jocelyne Lamoureux (2g, 3a) and right wing Michelle Karvinen (2g, 1a) combined for 10 points and the Sioux outshot UV, 50-15. Then on Sunday, the trio combined for six more points, with Monique Lamoureux-Kolls notching the game-winner as UND outshot the Catamounts 37-15 and completed the sweep.

Minnesota State also went on the road last weekend, splitting two non-conference games at College Hockey America-member Robert Morris. The host Colonials scored three straight goals last Friday to take a 4-3 victory in overtime, but the Mavericks bounced back and took a 3-1 decision last Saturday as senior defenseman Jackie Otto got the game-winning goal.

Those Oct. 14-16 weekend results convinced pollsters in the USCHO.com Div. 1 Women's College Hockey Poll to rank four WCHA teams in the top seven for the third straight week. Defending national champion Wisconsin is unanimously ranked first. Minnesota jumped ahead of Cornell and up into second place while Minnesota Duluth stayed at No. 6 and North Dakota at No. 7. Ohio State and Bemidji State also collected points in the poll meaning six of the 13 teams mentioned by pollsters are from the WCHA.

In the Oct. 18 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's Div. 1 College Hockey Poll, UW is No. 1, UM is No. 2, UMD is No. 5 and UND is No. 7. Also receiving votes were Ohio State and Bemidji State.

This Week in the WCHA

Games for Thursday, October 20: Minnesota State at Minnesota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Friday, October 21: St. Cloud State at Bemidji State (WCHA), 2:07 pm CT; Minnesota State at Minnesota (WCHA), 6:07 pm CT; Ohio State at North Dakota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Wisconsin at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.

Games for Saturday, October 22: St. Cloud State at Bemidji State (WCHA), 2:07 pm CT; Ohio State at North Dakota (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT; Wisconsin at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 7:07 pm CT.

Last Week in the WCHA

Results of Friday, October 14
Bemidji State 3 at Maine 2 ot (NC)
Minnesota Duluth 5 at Connecticut 4 (NC)
Minnesota State 3 at Robert Morris 4 ot (NC)
St. Cloud State 1 at Ohio State 5 (WCHA)
Minnesota 2 at Wisconsin 3 (WCHA)

Results of Saturday, October 15
Minnesota State 3 at Robert Morris 1 (NC)
Vermont 1 at North Dakota 9 (NC)
Minnesota Duluth 6 at Connecticut 1 (NC)
St. Cloud State 1 at Ohio State 5 (WCHA)
Bemidji State 7 at Maine 0 (NC)

Results of Sunday, October 16
Minnesota 3 at Wisconsin 2 (WCHA)
Vermont 1 at North Dakota 4 (NC)

Nine WCHA Players to Compete in Four Nations Cup Tournament Nov. 9-13 in Sweden

Nine Western Collegiate Hockey Association member-team players, including six from Team USA, will take a break from their collegiate careers next month to compete in the Four Nation's tournament.

Ohio State senior forward Natalie Spooner, Wisconsin defenseman Stefanie McKeough and Minnesota Duluth forward Haley Irwin are three of 23 players selected to represent Team Canada at the 2011 Four Nations Cup, taking place Nov. 9-14 in Nyköping, Sweden.

The Four Nations Cup brings together the top four women's hockey countries in the world – Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States – for the international tournament. Former Wisconsin defenseman Bobbi Jo Slusar also is on Team Canada.

USA Hockey announced their first 20 players on Oct. 14, including Wisconsin's Hillary Knight and Brianna Decker, Minnesota's Amanda Kessel and Jen Schoullis, and North Dakota's Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Jocelyne Lamoureux for its roster for the U.S. Women's National Team. The U.S. will add two goaltenders to its final roster following its training camp in Hamden, Conn., Nov. 1-6. Former Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner Jessie Vetter, the ex-Wisconsin netminder, is one of three goalies who will compete for the job.

The USA roster includes 15 players who won the gold medal for Team USA at the IIHF Women's World Championship this past April. That group includes former Wisconsin players Meghan Duggan, Molly Engstrom and Vetter, former Minnesota Duluth forward Jenny Potter, and ex-Minnesota player Gigi Marvin plus Knight, Decker and the Lamoureux twins.

Rosters for the Swedish and Finnish teams have yet to be announced.