Congratulations to the Union Dutchwomen on earning their first win of the season against a full-time Division I opponent by besting Syracuse on the road, 4-3 in overtime. The extra session was necessary when the Orange got another of those pesky extra-attacker goals with five seconds to go in regulation. Turnabout is fair play, as the winning goal came with just 10 ticks left in OT. Early results suggest that Union may be improved in 2011-12, as they took No. 8 Northeastern down to the wire a week ago.
Conventional wisdom would say that teams from the Ivy League would be at a disadvantage in their opening games when facing teams that already have a number of games experience. The shot chart states that was the case in Princeton, N.J., where the Tigers were badly outshot by Northeastern, 35 to 12. The scoreboard tells a different tale; Princeton won, 5-3. The Tigers may have been slow to pull the trigger, but their aim was pretty good.
In their second game of the weekend, the Tigers warmed up to the task, outshooting Niagara 28-19. Ironically, they also lost; the Purple Eagles claimed a 3-1 victory.
Not in our house
Through the season’s initial weeks, Minnesota has featured the country’s stingiest defense, yielding six goals through eight games for an average of .75 goals per game. On home ice, their performance has been downright miserly, allowing a single power-play goal to Union and nothing else in six contests. They haven’t faced offensive juggernauts, but Minnesota State hadn’t been held to less than three goals in any game before competing in Minneapolis, and they were unable to score in 120 minutes.
Obviously, having a two-time All-American in goal is a good start in limiting goals against, but Noora Räty’s backup, freshman Shyler Sletta, hasn’t allowed a goal in four periods of work. The early success may be attributable to additional factors, such as the Gophers’ blue line. Their regular rotation of six includes two seniors and two juniors, and five of the six stand 5 feet 9 inches or taller.
“They’re good,” MSU coach Eric Means said. “When you’ve got [Anne] Schleper and [Kelly] Seeler and [Megan] Bozek, I think the biggest thing is just the way they snap the puck around. Those passes are coming hard, and they always seem to make that first pass. They control the pace of the game a lot back there.”
Boston College 5, Quinnipiac 0; Bemidji State 8, St. Cloud State 1; North Dakota over Ohio State 11-1 and 7-1. Where is the supposed parity? Apparently alive and well in the North Country, where Boston University and Clarkson, New Hampsire and St. Lawrence each scored twice on Friday, and BU and the Golden Knights skated to one-goal triumphs on Saturday.