The women’s college hockey season is officially underway and the first weekend of the season is in the books. Here’s a look at some notable performances in week one.
- Penn State players that didn’t get suspended
Prior to their season-opening series against last year’s national runner-up Colgate, Penn State suspended nine players for a “violation of the team’s core values”(Judging by what Penn State’s “core values” are, I’m going to guess they didn’t win a football game)
Already considered underdogs against the Raiders in the best of circumstances, Penn State fielded a line-up with more blank spots than a beer league team scheduled to play during Monday Night Football. But with just eight forwards and four defensemen, Penn State managed to outshoot Colgate on Friday night, before giving up a late-third period goal and an empty-netter to lose 3-1.
On Saturday, they played Colgate even once again, but this time, got the decisive goal late in the second period to take a 3-2 lead, and added an empty-netter for a 4-2 victory.
Colgate is a good team that returned a lot from last year, and added a couple really good players to the mix. If Penn State can continue to play at that level once they have a full roster, they could be a really surprising team this year.
2. Abigail Levy, Minnesota State
There might not have been a more important recruit in the WCHA this year than Minnesota State freshman goalie Abbey Levy. After starting from almost complete ground zero in 2015, Minnesota State head coach John Harrington and staff have slowly rebuilt the talent level at Minnesota State to a point where, last year, the Mavericks were more or less competitive on most nights in the WCHA. But the one thing they lacked was a true number one starting goalie that could be the difference-maker in a tight game to make sure they came away with a point or two.
Levy came to Minnesota State with an impressive resume, winning a pair of national titles at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Standing at 6’1” with outstanding athleticism, there was certainly potential for Levy to be a standout goalie at the collegiate level. And in her first collegiate test this past weekend, she certainly looked the part, stopping 42 of 43 shots in a 2-0 and 3-1 win over RPI last weekend. She was named WCHA Rookie of the Week for her play.
Doing that at home against RPI, which probably isn’t going to have a great team this year, is one thing. They’ll certainly face much tougher tests in WCHA league play. But it’s a good start to the season and a big reason for optimism that Minnesota State might not finish in last place in the WCHA for the first time since 2013-2014.
3. Morgan Wabick, UConn
This could just as easily go to her twin sister Taylor, or fellow sophomore Natalie Snodgrass, but Morgan Wabick is currently tied for the national lead in scoring with four points, so she gets the nod. Those three helped make up a tremendous freshman class for UConn last year that came alive in the second half and finished the season on a 9-3-2 run that included an unprecedented run to the Hockey East championship game.
Early into this season, that positive trend continued with an opening weekend sweep of St. Cloud State in two tight games. Freshman defenseman Camryn Wong had the winning goal in both 3-2 victories. The young core leading UConn certainly makes it seem like they could be a threat in Hockey East this year.