Bulldogs Host Mavericks Again Sunday; Six Points Separate Six Teams in League Race; Ohio State Splits with SLU; North Dakota Whips Manitoba
MADISON, Wis. – Minnesota State, Mankato – on the road – and St. Cloud State – at home – both came up big in registering impressive Western Collegiate Hockey Association victories on Saturday (Nov. 21), with the Mavericks claiming a 3-2 victory at Minnesota Duluth and the Huskies knocking off defending national champion Wisconsin, 4-2. As a result, both clubs improved their lots in the league standings, with MSU and SCSU now just three points out of fourth.
The Mavericks, who have played the fewest number of league games to date (9), have a chance to move up another notch on Sunday (Nov. 22), when they face-off against host UMD at 3:07 pm CT at the DECC.
In the one other WCHA series being contested this weekend, league-leading and defending conference champion Minnesota completed a sweep of visiting Bemidji State on Saturday with a 3-1 win, to go along with a 4-2 triumph on Friday.
In non-conference action, host Ohio State fell to by a 3-2 count to St. Lawrence of ECAC Hockey on Saturday evening, after opening their series with a 4-3 victory on Friday. Through games of Nov. 22, the WCHA’s collective mark against outside Div. 1 competition stands at 11-10-3 (.521) so far this season.
Through games of Nov. 21, Minnesota (11-2-1, 9-2-1-1 WCHA) continues to reign in first place with 20 points, followed by Minnesota Duluth (9-6-0, 7-4-0 WCHA) in the second spot with 14, Wisconsin (8-5-1, 6-4-0 WCHA) in third place with 12 points and Ohio State (6-7-3, 5-6-1 WCHA) in fourth with 11 points. Bemidji State (4-10-2, 3-5-2-2 WCHA) is currently fifth with 10 points, Minnesota State (4-4-3, 2-4-3-1 WCHA) and St. Cloud State (5-9-0, 4-8-0 WCHA) are tied for sixth with eight points apiece, and North Dakota (3-6-1, 3-6-1 WCHA) is eighth with seven points.
Looking ahead to the Thanksgiving weekend of Nov. 27-28, there will be no conference play. Outside the WCHA, five member teams will engage in non-conference action while Bemidji State, Minnesota State and Ohio State will all be idle. Next Friday and Saturday, Minnesota Duluth will play at Boston College of the Hockey East Association, St. Cloud State will play at ECAC Hockey-member Brown, Wisconsin heads to Hockey East-member Providence College, Minnesota hosts Clarkson of the ECAC, and North Dakota entertains Hockey East-member Maine.
At the DECC in Duluth on Saturday (Nov. 21), visiting Minnesota State rallied from a 2-0 second period deficit to defeat host Minnesota Duluth, 3-2, in WCHA play before 897 as center Ashley Young (1g, 1a) cashed in with the game-winning goal at 19:26 of the third period. The host Bulldogs took a two-goal advantage after wingers Vanessa Thibault scored at 16:04 of the first and Jessica Wong tallied at 4:20 of period two before the Mavericks launched their comeback. Center Ida Clark got MSU on the board at 12:48 of the second followed by left winger Kala Buganski’s (1g, 1a) lamp-lighter at 15:34 that tied the score at 2-2. Also for the Mavericks, right winger Lauren Smith had two assists. In nets, Alli Altmann had 34 saves for the win while Jennifer Harss had 35 stops for UMD.
At the National Hockey Center on Saturday afternoon, host St. Cloud State gained a 4-2 WCHA win over Wisconsin, despite being outshot, 56-32. The Huskies received a stellar 54-save effort from goaltender Ashley Nixon, including 21 stops in the second period and 22 in the third, and a three-point night from left winger Meaghan Pezon (2g, 1a), which included the game-winning goal at 16:37 of the third period. Also for SCSU, wingers Felicia Nelson (1g, 1a) and Holly Roberts (2a) each had two points. For the Badgers, center Brooke Ammerman and winger Carolyne Prevost scored first period goals, with Prevost’s coming shorthanded to give the UW a 2-1 lead.
At Ridder Arena in Minneapolis on Nov. 21, a crowd of 1,202 saw defenseman Megan Bozek come up with a three-point game on a goal and two assists and left winger Emily West score the eventual game-winner on a power-play at 5:23 of the second period as Minnesota completed a two-game WCHA sweep of Bemidji State. For the Beavers, winger Emily Erickson gave her team a 1-0 lead with a first period goal while Zuzana Tomcikova had 34 saves. For UM, Noora Räty had 20 stops.
In Columbus on Saturday, host Ohio State fell 4-2 to St. Lawrence at the OSU Ice Rink before 218. Defenseman Rachel Davis and winger Melissa Feste scored for the Buckeyes.
And in exhibition play on Nov. 21 in Grand Forks, host North Dakota powered past the Manitoba Maple Leafs by a 9-0 count before 325 behind center Holly Perkins (2g, 2a), winger Allison Parizek (1g, 2a), winger Alyssa Wiebe (2g, 1a), center Ashley Furia (2a) and winger Jessica Harrin (2a).
This Week in the WCHA
Results of Friday, November 20: Wisconsin 2 at St. Cloud State 1 (WCHA); Bemidji State 2 at Minnesota 4 (WCHA); St. Lawrence 3 at Ohio State 4 (nc).
Results of Saturday, November 21: St. Lawrence 3 at Ohio State 2 (nc); Wisconsin 2 at St. Cloud State 4 (WCHA); Bemidji State 1 at Minnesota 3 (WCHA); Minnesota State 3 at Minnesota Duluth 2 (WCHA); Manitoba Maple Leafs 0 at North Dakota 9 (x).
Games for Sunday, November 22: Minnesota State at Minnesota Duluth (WCHA), 3:07 pm CT.
Upcoming in the WCHA
Games for Friday, November 27: Minnesota Duluth at Boston College (nc), 1:00 pm ET; St. Cloud State at Brown (nc), 1:00 pm ET; Maine at North Dakota (nc), 1:07 pm CT; Wisconsin at Providence (nc), 7:00 pm ET; Clarkson at Minnesota (nc), 7:07 pm CT.
Games for Saturday, November 28: St. Cloud State at Brown (nc), 12:00 pm ET; Maine at North Dakota (nc), 1:07 pm CT; Minnesota Duluth at Boston College (nc), 2:00 pm ET; Clarkson at Minnesota (nc), 3:07 pm CT; Wisconsin at Providence (nc), 7:00 pm ET.