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Here come the Ivies
Five of the six Ivy League teams got started this weekend, with only No. 4 Harvard still warming up its engine. Their results were mixed.

Yale took care of business by winning, 6-2, at Providence and defeating the Friars, 5-2, on home ice. The Bulldogs scored the first five goals in the opener, and sophomore defenseman Taylor Marchin assisted four times. Krista Yip-Chuck and Janelle Ferrara contributed three-point games on Saturday. Yale’s Stephanie Mock and newcomer Eden Murray scored in both games, as did the Friars’ Haley Frade.

Dartmouth dropped New Hampshire in Hanover, 6-2. Laura Stacey had a goal in her four-point afternoon, and Kennedy Ottenbreit and Lindsey Allen found the net twice.

Princeton kicked off the year with a rare Sunday/Monday series at Penn State, and the Tigers came out on the short end of the first of those catfights, 2-1. Amy Peterson scored twice in period one for the Nittany Lions. Cristin Shanahan netted the first goal of the year for Princeton at 12:55 of the third period, but 29 saves from Celine Whitlinger prevented an equalizer.

Brown dropped 4-1 and 5-2 decisions on home ice to RIT, results that were not surprising for a team that lagged near the bottom offensively a year ago and graduated stalwart goaltender Aubree Moore. On the plus side of things for the Bears, seniors Kaitlyn Keon and Sarah Robson had two-point weekends, and sophomore Monica Elvin and freshman Julianne Landry have their first starts of the season behind them. Linemates Kolbee McCrea and McKenzie Stone had two points in each contest for RIT, with McCrea scoring three times.

No. 5 Cornell figured to have a challenging first weekend at No. 3 Boston College. That proved to be an understatement, as the Big Red watched the speedy Eagles skate around them to twin 6-2 shellackings that weren’t as close as the scores. For the series, BC was fueled by three goals and two assists from Kate Leary and back-to-back goal-and-two-helpers efforts from Alex Carpenter, while Emily Fulton had three points for Cornell. Having aced their first huge test, it will be left for a month and a showdown with Harvard to learn whether the Eagles are destined for the top of the class.

Hockey East leaders
Admittedly, the biggest reason that Maine sits atop the early standings in Hockey East is that there have been only four conference games played and the Black Bears were involved in three of them, but it is still surprising to see them on top coming out of a series with No. 6 Boston University. Marie-Philip Poulin scored the game-winning goal and Victoria Hanson saved all 20 shots she faced in BU’s 3-0 win on Friday, but neither was available by game’s end nor for Saturday’s 4-2 Maine victory. The Terriers scored early and late, but in between the Black Bears got a pair of goals from Audra Richards, single tallies by Kelsey MacSorley and Emilie Brigham, and a trio of assists by Morgan Sakundiak as their three-goal burst in just over six minutes of action late in the third period proved decisive. Meghann Treacy made 41 saves to earn the win.

Champs bounce back
Coming off a sweep at the hands of the Terriers, No. 10 Clarkson took out its frustrations by pounding Syracuse, 9-0 at home and 4-1 on the road. Geneviève Bannon’s hat trick highlighted her five-point performance on Friday, while Shannon MacAulay added four points and Christine Lambert, Savannah Harmon, and Olivia Howe had three apiece, as the Golden Knights scored on four of their nine first-period shots. Clarkson’s top line powered the sweep, with Cayley Mercer scoring twice and Bannon and MacAulay each earning three assists.

There’s life in Moon Township
Two of the harder to predict squads of the young season remained so when host Robert Morris took a series at the expense of Northeastern. Ashley Vesci (two goals) and Maeve Garvey helped the Colonials to a 3-0 lead before a rally by the Huskies came up a goal short, 3-2. Jessica Dodds needed every one of her 39 saves to claim her first win of the season.

Courtney Vinet took over in net on Saturday and made 43 saves to earn a 2-2 stalemate with Chloé Desjardins (30 saves). RMU jumped out to a 2-0 lead on tallies with the identical scoring line of Rikki Meilleur from Katherine Murphy and Katie Fergus. Northeastern again fought back in the third frame, gaining a draw on Kendall Coyne’s extra-attacker goal with 17 seconds left in regulation.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 8 Mercyhurst turned a series shot advantage of 75 to 27 into a sweep of Minnesota State by 5-1 and 2-1 verdicts. Sarah Robello and Megan Whiddon had a pair of goals in the opener, while Emily Janiga and Taylor Accursi lit the lamp in game two.

It wasn’t easy, but No. 2 Wisconsin came home from Bemidji State with a couple of one-goal victories. Goals by Katy Josephs and Baylee Wellhausen proved to be enough for a 2-1 edge on Friday. Brittany Ammerman was the only Badger with multiple points in the 4-3 win in game two; BSU’s Kristin Huber matched her with a goal and an assist.

No. 1 Minnesota swept No. 9 North Dakota by 5-2 and 5-0 scores. The first game was closer than the score would indicate, thanks to two empty-netters, as Dani Cameranesi and Milica McMillen scored twice for the Gophers and Andrea Dalen figured in both UND goals. Hannah Brandt was involved in the scoring of all the goals on Saturday when Minnesota dominated with a 51-7 shot discrepancy.

Four different Bobcats scored and 10 had a point as No. 7 Quinnipiac took down host New Hampshire, 4-1, allowing just its second goal of the season.

Other action
Vermont took both ends of a home-and-home series with Union by 4-0 scores. Amanda Pelkey’s goal with 19 seconds elapsed was all the Catamounts would need in game one, and Pelkey, Brittany Zuback, and Sarah Campbell had a goal and an assist to complete the sweep.

Meghan Huertas scored twice as Minnesota-Duluth won the program’s first meeting with Lindenwood, 3-1. The Lions came out looking for a different outcome on Sunday and outshot the hosts in the first period, 13-3, and took a lead on ex-Bulldog Shara Jasper’s second goal of the series. UMD stormed back with three goals in each of the next two frames, including a Zoe Hickel hat trick, in winning, 6-2. Lara Stalder had five assists on the weekend.

Rensselaer celebrated its first win of the campaign, besting Connecticut, 4-1. Alexa Gruschow scored twice and added a helper, while Kelly O’Brien turned away 26 shots. The Engineers turned it into a series win with a 2-2 tie on Sunday. The Huskies twice grabbed leads on goals by Sarah MacDonnell and Kelly Harris, only to have Shayna Tomlinson and Laura Horwood score in response.