While a number of teams got started with weekend exhibitions, a lesser number imitated Dixville Notch, N.H., and posted early results in NCAA nonconference contests. No championships were won, nor lost, but every journey starts with a first step, though it’s too early to say what direction those eight teams are headed.
St. Lawrence hosted Northeastern in a series pairing two teams that both received votes in the preseason poll after graduating senior goaltenders who had been fixtures in net.
Saints coach Chris Wells opted for the unconventional strategy of giving each of his three goaltenders a period in each contest. How did it work? Definitely better in the first game than the second.
SLU earned a 2-2 tie in the opener when Kennedy Marchment scored her second goal at 13:09 of the middle period, equaling tallies by Kendall Coyne and Shelby Herrington for the Huskies. Sunday’s rematch got away from the Saints early, as they fell behind, 5-2, after 20 minutes and fell by a 9-5 verdict. Marchment potted two more goals, freshman Justine Reyes netted the first two tallies of her career, and rookie goalie Sonjia Shelly kept her ledger perfect while recording 17 saves in more than 41 minutes of action on the weekend.
The remainder of the news was mostly to Northeastern’s liking. Coyne bagged the season’s first hat trick, Hayley Scamurra scored twice, and Kasidy Anderson and Denisa Krížová contributed a goal plus two assists.
Freshman Brittany Bugalski saw all the minutes in the Huskies’ net, and although she yielded the seven goals on the weekend, it didn’t cost her in the loss column.
More series wins
Two WCHA hosts earned a win along with a tie.
No. 9 Bemidji State took down Robert Morris, 3-1, on Friday. The Beavers got goals from Alexis Joyce, Stephanie Anderson, and an empty-net tally from Lauren Miller, along with 18 saves by Brittni Mowat. Rikki Meilleur’s goal was the only tally the Colonials could muster. RMU gained a 4-4 tie on Saturday thanks to freshman Amber Rennie’s second goal of the game with 18 seconds left in regulation. Lauren Bailey made her collegiate debut in a relief role and saved all 16 shots she faced, helping the Colonials kill five penalties in the third period and overtime, including over a minute of a five-on-three BSU power play. Bemidji’s Hanna Moher led all point getters in the game with a goal and two assists. Joyce and Anderson scored for the second straight day.
Minnesota State came back to tie Union, 2-2, in its opener behind Corbin Boyd’s first MSU goal at 18:12 of the third period. Kathryn Tomaselli had both goals for the Dutchwomen, and freshman Melissa Black was kept busy in their net with 44 saves. Anna-Maria Fiegert had the other Mavericks goal. MSU got goals from Katie Johnson, Anna Keys, and Amanda Conway in support of Brianna Quade’s 3-0 win on Saturday, as the junior saved all 19 shots. Last season, the Mavericks had to wait until January 7 to celebrate their first victory.
The season’s first sweep
The Maura Crowell era got off to a good start at Minnesota-Duluth. The Bulldogs came home from Lindenwood with 4-3 and 4-1 wins. They needed an overtime winner from Ashleigh Brykaliuk in the opener. The Lions had rallied from a 3-1 third-period deficit, including Sarah Bobrowski’s tying goal in the final 17 seconds. Lindenwood also got tallies from Shannon Morris-Reade and Shara Jasper. Linnea Hedin, Lara Stalder, and Reagan Haley scored the other UMD markers.
On Sunday, Stalder scored twice, Brykaliuk added another goal with her three points, and Michela Cava garnered the winning goal in the second period. Kayla Black made 23 saves, yielding only a power-play goal by Britannia Gillanders.