Dynamic goaltending and electric goals were the theme of NC women’s hockey this week as teams are finally getting into the groove of a new season. Don’t miss out on some of the biggest stories in the week:[divider]
OFFENSE OF THE WEEK: Penn State
Craig Houtz/Penn State Athletics
Just 29 seconds into the matchup between Penn State and Union College, the Nittany Lions notched goal number one, setting the tone for what became an 8-1 rout of the home team.
Two hat tricks were tallied by Penn State’s high-octane veteran offense. Senior forward Amy Petersen was on fire in the first period, during which she scored all three of her goals, two on the power-play.
Captain Laura Bowman followed suit with three goals of her own, the first of which she scored just 21 seconds into the second period as the Lions continued to pour it on, overwhelming the outmatched Dutchwomen.
Despite outshooting the visitors 41-20, Union finished the game with just one goal to Penn State’s 8. This was Penn State’s first win of the year after dropping their first two games against Clarkson.[divider]
UPSET OF THE WEEK: Union College
Courtesy of Union College Athletics
One day after the painful 8-1 loss to Penn State, Union College pulled out a 4-2 victory over the Nittany Lions and earned its first win since the 2014-15 season.
Union capitalized on a series of mistakes by Penn State, notching three of their four goals on power-play opportunities. 19 total penalties were dished out between the two teams, offering the Dutchwomen ample time on the ice with the Lions short-handed.
Forward Emily Erickson put Union on the board first, halfway through the opening period. The Lions managed to tie it up just before the first intermission, but the Dutchwomen battled back with two second period goals by freshman forward Haley Shugart. Penn State followed up with another tally, but to no avail as Union managed to hold them off with another goal by Erickson.
As a senior, Erickson is one of the team veterans who knows all too well how losing feels. Prior to this improbable victory, the Dutchwomen had gone 0-43-12, with their last win coming against the University of Maine in Dec. 2014.
“It was an unbelievable effort from everyone on our team,” Erickson told The Daily Gazette. “A win never felt so good.”[divider]
DEFENSE OF THE WEEK: Ohio State
Ohio State Athletics
Unranked Ohio State managed to hold off first-ranked Wisconsin in a 1-1 tie this weekend thanks in large part to redshirt sophomore goaltender Kassidy Sauve, whose impressive performance saved her team from adding a tally to the loss column.
Against a high-powered offense, Sauve stood on her head, turning away 37 of the 38 shots she faced. It wasn’t until the final two minutes of the final period that Wisconsin managed to tuck home a goal with Ohio State short-handed.
Sauve returns to the ice this season after losing her sophomore season to injury, and she hasn’t missed a step. Her save-percentage (.967) is third among goaltenders in the NCAA so far this season, and she earned honors last week as the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. She’ll be a goaltender to watch this year.
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK: Minnesota
The second-ranked University of Minnesota fought a hard battle against WCHA rival Bemdiji State. Through the first two periods of play, both teams went scoreless as the two goaltenders stood strong, turning aside everything that came their way.
Beavers netminder Brittni Mowat made 22 stops in the first two periods, back-stopping her team to a 1-0 lead after a five-on-three advantage allowed the Beavers to get the puck past Gophers goaltender Sidney Peters early in the third.
Fortune favors the bold, however, and just two minutes later, the Gophers managed to rally back with a goal by Dani Cameranesi. Despite Mowat’s best efforts, Minnesota went on to notch two more unanswered points, eventually finishing Bemdiji State off, 3-1.[divider]
GAME OF THE WEEK: North Dakota at St. Cloud
Maddie Macfarlane/St. Cloud State Athletics
It was a defensive battle for the ages at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on Friday as North Dakota visited St. Cloud for the first of a two-game series.
The game proved frustrating for both teams’ offenses as the Huskies struggled to capitalize on plenty of power-play opportunities. St. Cloud recorded 25 shots without notching a goal while North Dakota, despite unleashing a staggering 32 shots, only managed a short-handed tally in the midst of the second period.
Despite the inability of either offense to really get going, the goaltenders in both nets were more than solid, turning the matchup into a nail-biter with every improbable save. Huskies freshman netminder Janine Alder was near-perfect in her second career start, making 31 saves and allowing just a single goal while the Fighting Hawks’ senior goalie Lexi Shaw turned aside every shot she faced.
The Fighting Hawks won, 1-0.
“We haven’t started games with the vigor that you need at this level,” said St. Cloud head coach Eric Rud about his team. “We get better as the game goes on, which is a good trait, but you need to start out with that same passion right off the hop.”