WCHA Week 8: Two League Series And Return To Nonconference Play On Tap
No. 5/6 Ohio State hosts Minnesota State and St. Cloud State welcomes Bemidji State; No. 1 Wisconsin travels to No. 7 Cornell and No. 6/5 Minnesota visits Mercyhurst
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Ohio State hosts Minnesota State for a pair of games this weekend

Opening Faceoff

- Prominent in the Polls: The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) continues to have a strong presence in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, with three of the top-6 teams.

  • 14-0-0 Wisconsin remains the unanimous No. 1 in both polls. The Badgers' last two opponents are flip-flopped, depending on the poll. Ohio State is fifth in the USCHO.com poll and sixth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine rankings, while Minnesota is sixth in the former and fifth in the latter.

- Bucky is Rolling: Wisconsin (14-0-0) and Boston College (8-0-1) are the only two remaining undefeated NCAA Division I programs in the country. The Badgers' start is the second-best in program history, behind only an 18-0-0 run to open the 2015-16 campaign.

  • UW's last four wins have come against ranked WCHA opponents. The Badgers won a pair of one-goal contests Oct. 28-29 at No. 6 Minnesota for their first sweep of the Gophers in Minneapolis since Jan. 5-6, 2007. Wisconsin then took care of No. 4 Ohio State last weekend at LaBahn Arena.
  • Sophomore goaltender Kristen Campbell, a transfer from North Dakota, has started all 14 of UW's games so far. She leads all Division I goaltenders in wins and goals-against average (0.93), while she is second with four shutouts and third with a .949 save percentage.
  • Among DI teams, UW is tops in scoring defense (0.93 goals allowed per game) and fourth in scoring offense (3.79 gpg).

- WCHA Flavor to the Four Nations Cup: Preparation for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games kicks into high gear this week with the 2017 Four Nations Cup, and 39 current, former or incoming players from the WCHA are on the Florida ice representing the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden.

  • The 39 women with WCHA ties include 11 from the University of Minnesota, 10 from the University of Wisconsin, seven from the University of Minnesota Duluth, two from Ohio State University, one from Minnesota State University – and eight from the University of North Dakota.
  • Six have collegiate eligibility remaining and are expected to compete in the WCHA during the 2018-19 season: Team USA goaltender Maddie Rooney (Minnesota Duluth), and forwards Annie Pankowski (Wisconsin) and Kelly Pannek (Minnesota); and, Team Canada forwards Emily Clark (UW), Amy Potomak (UMN) and Sarah Potomak (UMN).

By the Numbers

- 3: NCAA-leading game-winning goals this season by Ohio State's Maddy Field and Minnesota's Cara Piazza.

- 4: WCHA freshmen among Division I's top-11 rookie scorers. Ohio State's Emma Maltais is third at 1.30 points per game (5g-8a=13pts), OSU's Tatum Skaggs (6-4=10) and Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle (6-6=12) are tied for 10th at 1.00, and Minnesota Duluth's Naomi Rogge (6-6=12) is 11th at 0.92.

- 43: Cities that the Wisconsin Badgers will have traveled to since the program began in 1999, once UW plays Cornell this weekend in Ithaca, N.Y.

- 49: Career points for St. Cloud State junior forward Julia Tylke (26g-23a), one shy of becoming the 24th player in program history to reach the 50-point mark -- and just the fourth to do so since the 2012-13 season. Tylke ranks 13th among DI skaters this season for goals per game at 0.62.


The Week Ahead

- No. 1 Wisconsin at No. 7 Cornell: The top-ranked Badgers play their third-straight series against a ranked opponent, and second on the road, as they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. for a nonconference set against the seventh-ranked Big Red. In the only previous meeting between the schools, UW swept Cornell at LaBahn Arena in November 2016.

- No. 6/5 Minnesota at Mercyhurst: The No. 6 Gophers head to Erie, Pa. for a nonconference series with the Lakers. Minnesota is 6-1-0 all-time in the series, with the lone loss coming in the last meeting -- a 5-4 setback in the 2009 Frozen Four semifinals.

- Minnesota State at No. 5/6 Ohio State: Alumni weekend in Columbus, as the No. 5/6 Buckeyes look to rebound from their first losses of the season when they host the Mavericks. Minnesota State is on the road for the first time since a season-opening series at Lindenwood on Sept. 29-30.

- Bemidji State at St. Cloud State: Two of the WCHA's youngest teams face-off in St. Cloud, when the Huskies host the Beavers. Both SCSU and BSU have nine freshmen on their rosters -- most in the WCHA and third nationally. The in-state rivals split their 2016-17 season series, 2-2, while the Beavers own the all-time advantage at 37-34-9.


The Week in Review

- A matchup of top-five teams turned into two more victories for Wisconsin, as the top-ranked Badgers remained perfect with a sweep of visiting No. 4 Ohio State.

- Minnesota Duluth rallied for an overtime win in the series opener, then picked up its first WCHA series sweep of the year with a Saturday win against visiting St. Cloud State.

- Sixth-ranked Minnesota used its biggest weekend offensive output of the season to remain perfect on the road, sweeping host Minnesota State.

- Watch all the top goals, plays and saves from last weekend on the "WCHA Highlight Reel," found here.

- Full recaps and box scores are available at wcha.com.


at No. 1 Wisconsin 7, No. 4 Ohio State 0
at No. 1 Wisconsin 3, No. 4 Ohio State 1
(Nov. 4 and 5 at LaBahn Arena; Madison, Wis.)

A matchup of top-five teams turned into two more victories for Wisconsin, as the top-ranked Badgers remained perfect with a sweep of visiting No. 4 Ohio State.

Six different Badgers found the back of the net en route to a 7-0 rout in Saturday's series opener. Alexis Mauermann scored twice, while Abby Roque and Sam Cogan each had a goal and an assist apiece. Baylee Wellhausen's game-opening goal 3:27 into the contest was all the offensive support goaltender Kristen Campbell needed, as she made 14 saves in her fourth shutout of the season.

Claudia Kepler, Mikaela Gardner and Mauermann all scored Sunday in a 3-1 UW win that finished the sweep. After a scoreless first 29 minutes, Gardner and Mauermann scored in a span of 4:37 to give the Badgers a 2-0 lead in the second period, before Kepler scored 9:35 into the third. OSU's Tatum Skaggs scored the lone Buckeyes goal of the weekend at the 11:21 mark of the final stanza. Although her team lost, OSU goaltender Kassidy Sauvé turned in an impressive, 47-save performance (the Buckeyes were outshot for the game, 50-22).


at Minnesota Duluth 3, St. Cloud State 2 - OT
at Minnesota Duluth 4, St. Cloud State 2
(Nov. 3 and 4 at AMSOIL Arena; Duluth, Minn.)

Minnesota Duluth rallied for an overtime win in the series opener, then picked up its first WCHA series sweep of the year with a Saturday win against visiting St. Cloud State.

Katerina Mrázová lifted the Bulldogs to a 3-2 win in Friday's game, scoring 2:40 into overtime to cap a UMD comeback. After the teams traded first-period goals, SCSU's Alyssa Erickson gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead 12:10 into the second period. But, Michelle Löwenhielm netted the equalizer just over two minutes later, setting the stage for Mrázová's heroics. UMD's Jessica Convery made six of her 21 saves in the third period and overtime.

Minnesota Duluth jumped out to a 3-0 lead and withstood a late Huskies rally to win, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon. Emma Yanko's first Bulldog goal gave UMD a 1-0, first-period lead, before Ashton Bell and Jessica Healey scored in the second. Third-period scores from SCSU's Abby Thiessen and Julia Tylke narrowed the margin, but an empty-netter from Naomi Rogge in the final minute sealed the outcome.


No. 6 Minnesota 6, at Minnesota State 1
No. 6 Minnesota 5, at Minnesota State 2
(Nov. 3 and 4 at Verizon Center; Mankato, Minn.)

Sixth-ranked Minnesota used its biggest weekend offensive output of the season to remain perfect on the road, sweeping host Minnesota State.

The line of Grace Zumwinkle (1g-3a), Cara Piazza (1g-2a) and Kippin Keller (1g-2a) combined for 10 points to lead the Gophers to a 6-1 win in Friday's series opener. Junior Sierra Smith scored her first collegiate goal, while Sidney Peters made 23 saves for Minnesota. After a scoreless first period, the Gophers tallied four goals in the second period.

Minnesota held off a late Mavericks rally in Saturday's series finale, as goals by Nicole Schammel and Sophie Skarzynski within a two-minute span of the third period lifted the Gophers to a 5-2 win. Minnesota State trailed, 3-1, entering the final stanza, before a Hannah Davidson goal near the midway point cut the deficit to one. Lindsey Coleman also scored for the Mavericks, while Lindsay Agnew's second-period goal stood as the game-winner for Minnesota. Freshman Alex Gulstene made 19 saves for the win.