MN Women’s NCAA Hockey Preview: October 22-24

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The women’s college hockey programs in the state of Minnesota are performing very well through the first three weeks of the season. Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth are ranked #5 and #8 respectively and are the two best teams in the state at the moment. This weekend’s slate of games features an in-state matchup between Duluth Bulldogs and the St. Thomas Tommies and Minnesota going on the road to face #3 Colgate.

Minnesota (#5 USCHO)

Minnesota once again has a talented team and are looking to win their first national championship since 2016. So far this season the Golden Gophers have played #2 Ohio State and #8 Minnesota-Duluth and are 3-3-0. Freshman Peyton Hemp is tied for the team lead in points with two goals and five assists through her first six collegiate games. Minnesota travels to New York this weekend and will face #5 Colgate (8-0-0) in a two-game series on Friday and Saturday. This will be a good road test for a younger Minnesota team, but I expect the team to come away with a sweep.

Prediction: CU 5-3, UMN 4-2

Minnesota Duluth (#8)

The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs are coming off of a Frozen Four appearance last season and have 13 seniors on the roster. Duluth was a powerhouse in the early 2000’s but haven’t won a national title since 2010. Seniors Gabbie Hughes, Elizabeth Giguere, and Anna Klein have combined for 31 points and a +18 rating through their first six games this season. Duluth plays St. Thomas this weekend and would love a sweep to get back on track this weekend. However, I believe that both teams will get a win this weekend.

Prediction: UMD 5-3, UST 3-2

Bemidji State (NR)

Bemidji State heads into this weekend 1-3-0 with all four games played in conference. The Beavers split the opening series with St. Thomas but were swept by the Ohio State Buckeyes the next weekend. Bemidji State hosts the Clarkson Golden Knights (5-0-1) this weekend at the Sanford Center. Clarkson has allowed just one goal in five of their six games, so I expect both games to be low scoring affairs.

Prediction: CU 3-1, BSU 2-1 OT

Minnesota State (NR)

The Minnesota State Mavericks are 5-3-0 this season despite a 1-3 record so far in conference play. Led by Brittyn Fleming (3-10-13) and Kelsey King (7-4-11) the Mavericks have scored six or more goals in three of their five wins this season. Minnesota State is off this weekend but resumes play next week against Wisconsin, the top team in the nation.

Prediction: N/A

St. Cloud (NR)

The Huskies were 6-12-1 last season and are still looking to make their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. St. Cloud opened the 2021-22 season with a series sweep over Lindenwood but has dropped their last four games. Junior forward Taylor Lind has two goals and four assists and is the only St. Cloud player to average a point per game this season. The Huskies don’t play this weekend and will prepare for a tough matchup against #2 Ohio State next weekend.

Prediction: N/A

St. Thomas (NR)

It will be an exciting weekend for the St. Thomas hockey program. The men’s team will play their first true home game as a Division I program while the women’s team (2-3-1) hosts Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday and Sunday. The last three games St. Thomas has played – two wins and a shootout loss – have been decided by a goal or less. That trend should continue into this weekend with two tight games against the Bulldogs.

Prediction: UMD 4-3, UST 3-2 OT