Part of a semi-regular series on local women's college hockey
Last week, there were (faint) hopes of putting three local teams in the Women's Frozen Four, set for this weekend on the campus of Quinnipiac. Unfortunately, those hopes are all gone, as BC, BU and Harvard all crashed out of the tournament in the NCAA quarterfinals. A brief recap:
Clarkson 3, Boston College 1
I took the 6-hour trek to Cheel Ice Arena to watch Boston College women's hockey try to pull an upset last Saturday on Clarkson in the NCAA women's hockey quarterfinals. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. The Eagles ran into a Clarkson team that was just as advertised - strong, stifling defensively, and skilled and opportunistic on offense.
Clarkson struck first on a Vanessa Gagnon goal at 16:02 of the first period after a back-and-forth, wide open frame. The Knights added another in the second, followed by a back-breaking goal from Gagnon again just 0:23 into the third period to put the game out of reach.
A late BC surge, including a goal by Dana Trivigno, was not enough to put the game in doubt, and the Golden Knights went on to punch their ticket to the Frozen Four for the first time ever.
Minnesota 5, Boston University 1
This was a game for a lot longer than most people would have predicted. The Gophers scored at 12:56 of the first period to take the lead, but BU skated down on the ensuing faceoff and tied it up on a goal by their leading scorer, Sarah Lefort.
The game remained deadlocked until 8:01 in the second period, when Minnesota finally broke through for the anticipated go-ahead goal. Minnesota then broke down BU in the third period to the tune of three more goals, including Kelly Terry finishing off her hat trick. Minnesota outshot BU 46-29 for the game.
The Gophers will go for the three-peat of national championships this weekend, starting with a semifinal clash of the titans against Wisconsin.
Wisconsin 2, Harvard 1
On the scoreboard, this was a tight game, but Wisconsin had it pretty well under control for the most part. Wisconsin scored a goal in the first and in the second, and carried a 35-16 shot advantage into the second intermission, along with their 2-0 lead on the scoreboard.
Dylanne Crugnale pulled Harvard back into it with a goal with just under four minutes to play, giving Harvard the opportunity to pull their goaltender and try for a late tying goal. Wisconsin's brilliant goaltender Alex Rigsby closed the door, sending Bucky Badger back to the Frozen Four yet again.
Frozen Four matchups:
The Frozen Four begins tomorrow night in Hamden, CT.
The early game, at 5 PM, features Minnesota against Wisconsin in one of the women's game's great rivalries. That will be followed by the eastern tilt between Clarkson and Mercyhurst.
These pairings guarantee that Sunday's national championship game will feature a battle between a team that has dominated women's hockey (Minnesota or Wisconsin) against a team looking to break through for its first title, and the first title for any non-WCHA team (Mercyhurst or Clarkson).
If you're looking for tickets, act today. The only thing available as of yesterday was standing room only tickets, but they are expected to release additional tickets today when the four participating schools return tickets from their allotment. The link for tickets is here. See you in Hamden, and go Clarkson. Who you rooting for? (Other than Cornelius, i know who you're rooting for, boo.)