Highlighting some notable performances that caught my attention in Week 4 of the women’s college hockey season:
Once a regular fixture in the NCAA Tournament, it has now been three full seasons since Harvard last played in the national tournament, marking the longest drought since the late-’90s. The Crimson are also coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since the early stages of head coach Katey Stone’s tenure over 20 years ago.
But there were reasons for optimism for Harvard this season thanks to an impressive recruiting class, and that optimism only grew after those young recruits shined in Harvard’s 3-1 win over Dartmouth to open their season last weekend.
Freshman Dominique Petrie is the second-youngest player in all of college hockey this year after accelerating her schooling to enroll at Harvard early, but didn’t look out of place at all, scoring her first two goals of her career in the game. Petrie is already a two-time gold medalist with the US women’s U18 team, and with a year of eligibility remaining, will likely captain the US team this winter.
The other Harvard goal came from freshman Anne Bloomer, another US U18 team alum, off her vaunted backhand shot, and was assisted by a pair of freshmen.
In net, this year’s top goalie recruit in the nation, Lindsay Reed, lived up to the hype stopping 25 of 26 shots. Reed is also a back-to-back gold medalist with the US women’s U18 team, serving as the starting goalie on last year’s squad.
Adding all that talent to a team that was led in scoring by three underclassmen last year means Harvard could be due for a big turnaround this year, and should be a team that has to be accounted for in the coming years.
2. Penn State
I noted Penn State three weeks ago when they started a season with a split against Colgate despite having multiple players suspended for that game. This past weekend, they handed previously undefeated Providence their first loss of the season in a tough weekend split that saw the Friars take the first game in overtime, and Penn State win 5-3 the next night.
The Nittany Lions might not draw much attention with a 4-3-1 record on the season, and their tough weekend against Merrimack two weeks ago suggests they’re probably not a legit national tournament contender at this point. But the still-probably-too-early computer rankings really like Penn State. They at 12th nationally at this point, and with the schedule easing up considerably as they move into conference play, they could stick around there if they keep winning games.
3. St. Lawrence
It’s been a somewhat disappointing start to the season for St. Lawrence. The Saints had an incredible six consecutive games go to overtime. Over that stretch, they suffered a loss to Robert Morris, a tie against a so-so New Hampshire team, and a pair of heart-breaking losses to Boston College.
But last Friday, they handed rival Clarkson their first loss of the season with a 4-3 overtime victory. Any time somebody beats Clarkson, that’s worthy of special mention.
We already mentioned Ohio State taking a penalty to start their game on Saturday due to their illegal and infuriating jerseys.
But points to Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall for being completely 100% unapologetic about the whole thing. I hope they start wearing those jerseys every game and just take the penalty.
Does anyone want to tell her that Darth Vader dies at the end of Star Wars? Because I sure don’t.