Amanda Kessel last played in an NCAA game the day after being awarded the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Award. On Friday, she returns to collegiate competition when No. 3 Minnesota hosts No. 8 North Dakota at 6:07 p.m. CST.
Saturday, the Gophers and Fighting Hawks conclude their series with a 4:07 p.m. start that produces a statistical first. Alex Carpenter and No. 1 Boston College visit Connecticut on Saturday at 2 p.m. EST, marking the first time to my knowledge we’ll have two Kazmaier winners playing in NCAA games on the same day. It bears noting that when Jennifer Botterill played in the 2003 championship game, she herself owned two Kazmaiers.
Speaking of hardware, Carpenter will attempt to add a Beanpot to her personal resume when No. 1 Boston College and No. 5 Northeastern take the Boston University ice on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. EST in the final. The Eagles claimed their last Beanpot two years ago while Carpenter was away in Sochi at the Olympics. The Huskies won in both 2012 and 2013.
On the undercard, Boston University entertains Harvard at 4:30 p.m. for third place.
No. 4 Quinnipiac at Cornell, Friday, 7 p.m. EST; No. 4 Quinnipiac at No. 10 Colgate, Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
The Bobcats make their final road trip of the regular season. There is a chance that it could also be the last time they play away from home before a possible date in Durham at the Frozen Four, should Quinnipiac retain first place in the ECAC and a top-four spot in the PairWise Rankings.
No. 9 Princeton at No. 10 Colgate, Friday, 7 p.m. EST
The Tigers and Raiders head into the weekend tied for third place with 21 points, so a win here will go a long way to not only locking down a host spot for the quarterfinals, but staying in contention for second. The first round went to Princeton, 3-2.
Rensselaer at No. 5 Clarkson, Friday, 7 p.m. EST
Although the host is second and the visitor eighth, only three games separate these two in the ECAC’s tightly-bunched pack. The Engineers rallied over the Golden Knights with a 2-1 upset in November.
Vermont at New Hampshire, Friday, 7 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 4 p.m. EST
These games will go a long way toward lessening the confusion in the middle of Hockey East. The Wildcats gained their first win of the season in the first contest, and it started a 21-game stretch where they have played at a .500 clip.
Mercyhurst at Robert Morris, Friday, 7:05 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 4:05 p.m. EST
The Colonials present the highest remaining obstacle between Mercyhurst and its 14th consecutive CHA regular-season title. The Lakers took three of four points in the series in December.
No. 7 Bemidji State at St. Cloud State, Friday, 7:07 p.m. CST, and Saturday, 3:07 p.m. CST
Any points that the Huskies can take out of this series increase the likelihood of these two winding up as first-round opponents in three weeks. The Beavers earned twin 3-1 verdicts in October.
No. 5 Northeastern at Providence, Saturday, 2 p.m. EST
The Huskies tune up for the Beanpot; they won both of the earlier games by four goals over the Friars.