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The unstoppable force meets the immovable object
The country’s top offense and best defense collided on Saturday when No. 1 Boston College hosted No. 3 Quinnipiac. That defense held the Eagles nearly four goals below their scoring average but couldn’t prevent them from winning their 21st straight, 2-1. Haley Skarupa assisted Alex Carpenter’s goal that put BC ahead to stay with 16:21 elapsed, and then scored a goal of her own nine minutes later. Katie Burt made 18 saves and kept the Bobcats off the scoreboard until Nicole Connery broke through with just 2:40 to play.

The Bobcats showed a few more cracks than normal earlier in the week when they journeyed to No. 7 Boston University and fell by a 4-1 score. Victoria Bach put BU ahead five minutes in, and Kayla Tutino and Sarah Lefort expanded that lead to three before Nicole Kosta got Quinnipiac on the scoreboard at the 1:03 mark of the third period. Marie-Philip Poulin’s goal produced the final score; she and Tutino had two helpers along with their goals. Victoria Hanson stopped 21 shots. The Bobcats lost more games during the week than they had the rest of the season.

After a wait, 350
No. 4 Wisconsin hosted No. 7 Clarkson with Mark Johnson looking for the 350th win for the Badgers program under his direction. The Golden Knights made him wait an extra day, battling to a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Cayley Mercer gave the Knights the series’ first lead almost seven minutes into the second period, but it would prove to be her team’s only goal of the weekend. Karley Sylvester squared matters on a power play before three minutes had elapsed, and it was all goalies thereafter. Shea Tiley was kept far busier, making 34 saves for Clarkson.

Johnson’s charges earned him that milestone victory the next day, 4-0, on the strength of Annie Pankowski’s hat trick and 24 stops by Ann-Renée Desbiens.

A program attendance record
No. 5 Harvard drew a crowd of 2,028 fans to the team’s game on Saturday against No. 10 Cornell, and the Crimson came away with a 3-0 win. Mary Parker scored the winner in the first four minutes and added the exclamation point into an empty net. Michelle Picard tallied in the meantime, and Emerance Maschmeyer foiled all 22 shots from the Big Red. Paula Voorheis made 38 saves to minimize the damage for Cornell.

The Crimson won their Friday match as well, with Brianna Laing recording 20 saves to blank Colgate, 4-0. Kalley Armstrong’s two goals 11 minutes apart in the middle stanza were all the offensive support she really needed.

A little thin
Cornell managed to edge by Dartmouth, 2-1, despite only having 13 skaters available. Jess Brown and Sydney Smith contributed goals, while Paula Voorheis turned away 28 shots. Emily Fulton returned to the Big Red line-up the next day at Harvard, but Jillian Saulnier and Hanna Bunton were still out.

Another reaches 200 career points
Hannah Brandt’s three assists in No. 2 Minnesota’s 4-0 shutout of St. Cloud State on Friday pushed her over the 200 mark in points for her career. Brandt became the fourth Gopher to reach that plateau as a junior. Maryanne Menefee scored twice, and senior Shyler Sletta recorded her second career shutout and her first since her freshman season. Sletta has yet to yield a goal in her 10 collegiate appearances.

Seven Gophers found the net on Saturday, with only Alyssa Erickson doing so for the Huskies, as Minnesota completed the sweep, 7-1. Menefee, Brandt, Meghan Lorence, and Nina Rodgers scored in both games.

No chance to reply
Three times RIT took one-goal leads over Syracuse; three times the Orange responded. Their final goal came from Melissa Piacentini on a power-play deflection with an extra attacker on the ice and 11 seconds to go in regulation.

However, RIT senior defenseman Emilee Bulleid scored her second goal of both the season and the game 2:18 into overtime to lift her team to a 4-3 decision. Bulleid took a pass from Caitlin Wallace in transition and sent a wrist shot upstairs. Marissa Maugeri had the other two tallies for the Tigers, as well as a helper.

Positive steps
Vermont, a team that has struggled more than expected in Hockey East play, got a big win on Saturday at Boston University, the league’s second-place team. Madison Litchfield stopped all 39 shots that the Terriers sent her way in posting a 2-0 shutout. Gina Repaci scored the winning goal late in the first period and assisted on Dayna Colang’s insurance tally 3:10 into the final frame. BU, however, did not view it as a positive, and showed up on Sunday in a far different mood. Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga gave her team a lead in the opening minute, and the Terriers made it 5-0 after one period, 8-0 after two, and coasted to a 9-2 win. Freshmen Bach and Rebecca Leslie led the blitz with two goals and an assist.

How the rest of the top 10 fared
No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth had things all its way in sweeping Minnesota State. The Bulldogs pummeled the Mavericks in the opener, 12-0. Brigette Lacquette poured in a hat trick, and her four-point game was equaled by Lara Stalder and Katerina Mrázová. UMD completed the sweep with a more sedate 4-0 win on Saturday. Kayla Black made 25 saves, and Zoe Hickel and Ashleigh Brykaliuk had both a goal and an assist.

It was a lost weekend on the road at St. Lawrence for No. 9 Mercyhurst. The Lakers fell twice to the Saints, 6-1 and 4-1. Six Saints had two-point games on Friday, including two goals by Alex Moore. Kailee Heidersbach figured in all three third-period goals on Saturday to help SLU break a 1-1 tie. Carmen MacDonald made 47 saves on the weekend.

Other action
North Dakota got its offense untracked and swept Bemidji State, 4-1 and 5-1. Stephanie Anderson drew first blood for the Beavers, but Amy Menke struck twice a period later, the first coming short-handed. Shelby Amsley-Benzie made 23 saves the first day and 21 the next, when Menke had another two-point game, including a goal.

Robert Morris defeated Lindenwood twice. The first game was far more dramatic, 2-1 in overtime. Mackenzie Johnston scored for the Colonials to force OT where Amanda Pantaleo’s first goal won it with 21 seconds left. Jessica Dodds made 32 saves. The Lions scored first on Saturday as well before RMU rattled off seven straight goals. Defenseman Mikaela Lowater had five assists. Johnston, Rikki Meilleur, and Rebecca Vint netted two goals.

Yale and Brown split a home-and-home series. The Bears surprised with a 3-2 win on Friday. Yanice Yang scored in the opening minute of overtime in a game that only got that far thanks to 47 saves by Monica Elvin and a tying goal from Maddie Woo. The Bulldogs bounced back with a 6-3 triumph in which Phoebe Staenz had three points and Taylor Marchin scored twice.

Rensselaer took three of four points in a home-and-home set with Union. Laura Horwood netted the tying goal for the Engineers in a 2-2 deadlock and had two points in a 4-2 victory.

Ashlynne Rando made 27 saves in Colgate’s 2-0 win at Dartmouth. Miriam Drubel potted the winner, and Kayla Haus added her first goal of the year.

Northeastern split a series at Maine. The Huskies scored the final five goals to overcome a two-goal deficit in a 5-2 win on Saturday. Hayley Masters and Denisa Krížová scored a pair, and Kendall Coyne had three helpers. A three-goal hole on Sunday proved too great as the Black Bears won, 4-2. Jennifer More had two goals and an assist.

Providence and Connecticut split a home-and-home with the hosts claiming 4-1 wins in each location. Allison Micheletti scored twice and was one of four Friars with two points as PC took the opener. Providence outshot the Huskies 16-1 in the opening 20 minutes in Storrs, but Emily Snodgrass made UConn’s one shot count. Margaret Zimmer scored the deciding goal in the second period. Annie Belanger saved 36 of 37 shots to garner the win.

New Hampshire and Penn State split in Durham. Vilma Vaattovaara stopped all 20 shots and Nicole Jensen netted the winner in a 2-0 win for the Wildcats. Sarah Nielsen and Hannah Bramm had a goal and an assist as the Nittany Lions retaliated with a 3-1 win backed by Celine Whitlinger’s 32 saves.