A large portion of the Division III women’s hockey world wrapped up its first semester schedules this past weekend with numerous non-conference matchups taking place, headlined by Manhattanville hosting No. 1 Plattsburgh.
Manhattanville led 1-0 on a goal by Sonia Occhionero in the second period. That lead lasted into the second intermission, but Plattsburgh like the true No. 1 team that they are right now, battled back with three third-period goals to top the Valiants 3-1 and finish off the first semester unbeaten. While the Cardinals’ top guns of Teal Gove and Jenny Kistner were completely shut down, PSU’s depth came into play with Alyssa Parke, Morgan MacInnis and Chelsea VanGlahn each scoring a goal to lead the Cardinals to the come-from-behind win.
#3 Norwich also was in action and the Cadets had to muster everything in their power to salvage a 1-1 tie with Bowdoin. The Polar Bears led 1-0 in the second period after a goal by Stephanie Ludy that held up for nearly the rest of the game. However, junior forward Tori Charron continued her goal-scoring ways and notched her team-leading 10th goal of the season to knot the game at 1 with just 1:46 left in the game.
Middlebury took care of business against Castleton in an intrastate showdown in Rutland with the Panthers scoring a 3-0 win at Spartan Arena. The Panthers didn’t pull away until late though as they scored two goals in the final seven minutes of the game to put it away. Castleton continues to make strides under second-year coach Bill Bowes. Coming into Saturday’ game, Castleton was 4-1-1 in their last six games. The freshmen tandem of Anna Daniels and Nicoline Jensen have led the Spartans on the season with each tallying 13 points so far.
Now that finals have started for most schools, there are very few hockey games left to played in 2012. There are however a couple of key games set to take place this week with No. 2-ranked and undefeated Gustavus Adolphus playing a home and home series with long-time rival River Falls on Wednesday and Friday. UWRF has faltered a little bit this season from its previous two seasons, but the Falcons are still one of the best in the NCHA if not the best and they’ll be the chief challenger to Gustavus Adolphus and a trip to the Frozen Four.
UWRF hosts the Wednesday game and Gustavus Adolphus will host Friday. Gustavus leads the all-time series 15-4-3 heading into this week’s home and home.
Stay tuned later this week to see my picks for Mid-Season All-American selections as well as the infamous 20 Bold Predictions which will come out sometime before Jan. 1, 2013.