St. Cloud State Hosts Wisconsin in Other WCHA Series Nov. 20-21; OSU Entertains St. Lawrence in Non-Conference Play; Latest Div. 1 National Poll Has UM No. 2, UMD No. 5, UW No. 6 ... OSU Receives Votes
MADISON, Wis. – Defending regular season conference champion Minnesota and Minnesota Duluth, comfortably in the top two spots in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association race after respective four-point series last weekend, return home to face in-state foes in the final games before Thanksgiving break.
No. 2 ranked Minnesota, which beat host Minnesota State, Mankato 4-1 last Friday and then took a shootout victory after a 1-1 overtime tie in the series final last Saturday, will host league rival Bemidji State at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis this Friday, Nov. 20 at 6:07 pm CT and Saturday, Nov. 21, at 4:07 pm CT. The Gophers have gone 41-2-3 against the Beavers in the all-time series and have held the Beavers to one goal or less in the last 12 meetings.
No. 5-ranked Minnesota Duluth, meanwhile, returns home for the first time since Oct. 24 to entertain WCHA rival Minnesota State at the DECC this Saturday at 6:07 pm CT and Sunday at 3:07 pm CT. The Bulldogs will also celebrate 10 seasons of hockey at the series opener Saturday night. Last weekend in Columbus, UMD earned a 3-2 overtime victory over Ohio State last Friday and then used two goals each from Laura Fridfinnson and Vanessa Thibault to take a 5-3 victory over the Buckeyes to close within two points of first place.
In the one other WCHA series being contested this weekend, St. Cloud State will try to benefit from a conference road split at Bemidji State on Nov. 13-14 when it hosts No. 6-ranked and defending national champion Wisconsin in matinees Friday and Saturday at the National Hockey Center, with both games set for 2:07 pm CT. Last weekend at John Glas Fieldhouse in Bemidji, the Huskies rebounded from a 1-0 loss in the series opener to Bemidji State and goalie Zuzana Tomcikova and scored a 5-2 victory. Winger Holly Roberts had a three-goal hat trick and defenseman Danielle Hirsch had three assists.
In addition to the three league series Nov. 20-22, Ohio State will host St. Lawrence of ECAC Hockey in a pair of non-conference matchups at 7:07 pm ET Friday night and 2:07 pm ET on Saturday afternoon, while North Dakota will host the Manitoba Maple Leafs in exhibition play at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday at 7:07 pm CT.
In non-conference action last week, Wisconsin recorded a 2-2 overtime tie against visiting Wayne State last Thursday night before using four goals from Brooke Ammerman and taking a 6-2 victory last Friday in the final game of an eight-game UW homestand.
With the season one-third over for most teams, six points separate the top five clubs in the WCHA standings. Defending conference champion Minnesota (9-2-1, 7-2-1-1 WCHA) is in first place with 16 points, Minnesota Duluth (9-5-0, 7-3-0 WCHA) is second with 14 points, Ohio State (5-6-3, 5-6-1 WCHA) is third with 11 points, and Bemidji State (4-8-2, 3-3-2-2 WCHA) and Wisconsin (7-4-1, 5-3-0 WCHA) are tied for fourth with 10 points each. North Dakota (3-6-1, 3-6-1 WCHA), idle from competition last week, is sixth with seven points. Minnesota State (3-4-3, 1-4-3-1 WCHA) and St. Cloud State (4-8-0, 3-7-0 WCHA) are tied for seventh with six points apiece.
In this week’s (Nov. 16) USCHO.com Div. 1 Women’s Poll, Minnesota is No. 2, Minnesota Duluth is No. 5, and Wisconsin is No. 6. Also receiving votes from the WCHA was Ohio State.
Looking ahead to Thanksgiving week, five WCHA-member teams will be engaged in non-conference competition while Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Ohio State will all be idle. On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27-28, Minnesota will host Clarkson of ECAC Hockey, Minnesota Duluth will venture east to take on Boston College of the Hockey East Association, North Dakota will entertain Maine of the Hockey East Association, St. Cloud State will travel east to take on Brown University of ECAC Hockey, and Wisconsin will play at Hockey East Association-member Providence College.
WCHA play will then resume the opening weekend of December (4-6) when Minnesota Duluth visits Wisconsin (Friday/Sunday), Minnesota State and St. Cloud State play a home-and-home set (@ MSU Friday, @ SCSU Saturday), and North Dakota and Bemidji State play a home-and-home set (@ UND Saturday, @ BSU Sunday). Outside the league, Minnesota will play at Harvard on Dec. 4-5.
This Week in the WCHA
Games for Friday, November 20: Wisconsin at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 2:07 pm CT; Bemidji State at Minnesota (WCHA), 6:07 pm CT; St. Lawrence at Ohio State (nc), 7:07 pm ET.
Games for Saturday, November 21: St. Lawrence at Ohio State (nc), 2:07 pm ET; Wisconsin at St. Cloud State (WCHA), 2:07 pm CT; Bemidji State at Minnesota (WCHA), 4:07 pm CT; Minnesota State at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 6:07 pm CT; Manitoba Maple Leafs at North Dakota (x), 7:07 pm CT.
Games for Sunday, November 22: Minnesota State at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 3:07 pm CT.
Last Week in the WCHA
Results of Thursday, November 12: Wayne State 2 at Wisconsin 2 ot (nc).
Results of Friday, November 13: Wayne State 2 at Wisconsin 6 (nc); Minnesota 4 at Minnesota State 1 (WCHA); Minnesota Duluth 3 at Ohio State 2 ot (WCHA); St. Cloud State 0 at Bemidji State 1 (WCHA).
Results of Saturday, November 14: St. Cloud State 5 at Bemidji State 2 (WCHA); Minnesota 1 at Minnesota State 1 ot (WCHA) (UM won shootout); Minnesota Duluth 5 at Ohio State 3 (WCHA).