Women’s college hockey season is in full swing. A number of non-conference battles will take place this weekend as teams get ready for conference play. Among the interesting matchups, the defending Hockey East Champion Northeastern Huskies pay a visit to Syracuse to battle the Orange. It is the only matchup between teams that made the tournament a season ago.
The full schedule for this weekend can be seen here. Let’s take a look at some of the best matchups around college hockey on the second weekend of October.
#1 Wisconsin Vs. #8 Ohio State
To me, this is the matchup of the weekend. The defending National Champions get a real test against an Ohio State team looking to make their mark. The Buckeyes are the number 8 team in the conference and have serious tournament aspirations. A win at home tonight would go a long way towards earning this program even more respect.
The Badgers, meanwhile, arguably improved over the off-season with the addition of Daryl Watts from Boston College. Watts, who scored 130 points in two seasons with the Eagles and won the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award, has eleven points in just four games with the Badgers.
This two game weekend series is the first chance for Ohio State to prove their top ten ranking. Expect them to give Wisconsin everything they can handle.
#3 Northeastern Vs. Syracuse
The Orange made the NCAA tournament for the first time a season ago, bowing out to Wisconsin in the opening round. They are determined to prove that they belong among the game’s best. The Orange will get a chance to send a message this weekend as they host the Huskies for two games. Northeastern blitzed Union 5-0 a weekend ago, while the Orange nearly upset #7 Boston College, falling 4-3.
It hasn’t been an easy start for Syracuse. The Orange are 0-3, having lost twice to Clarkson in addition to last weekend’s loss to the Eagles. The program is challenging itself, trying to better prepare for CHA play. After two with the Huskies, they’ll have to deal with Colgate next weekend.
As for the Huskies, they are looking to tighten up after a sloppy game a weekend ago. Even though they won 5-0, the Huskies weren’t running on all cylinders and have things to work on. This weekend will give them a good chance to continue building in the lead up to Hockey East play. The Huskies are expected to compete for a third consecutive Hockey East Championship and spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The Huskies just might be the deepest team in the country.
Quinnipiac Vs. Maine
This is one of the more interesting matchups of the weekend to me. Maine entered last season ranked in the top ten, but failed to make the Hockey East playoffs. It was a complete disaster of a season for the program. They’ll get a chance at redemption this season. They are 2-0-0 after two wins over Sacred Heart last weekend.
These two will play a pair against in each other in a non-conference weekend.
Elsewhere Around The NCAA
#2 Minnesota pays a visit to Robert Morris in non-conference action. The sides will play a pair of games in Pennsylvania. This is a big chance for a little discussed Robert Morris program to make waves on the national level.
Minnesota State and #9 Minnesota Duluth will play a pair this weekend in Duluth. This rivalry matchup should be a ton of fun early in the WCHA season. It is one of two WCHA conference matchups this weekend, with the other being Ohio State Vs. Wisconsin.
Good test for #10 Boston University this weekend. They’ll take on Merrimack tonight and UNH tomorrow in a tough Hockey East weekend. The Terriers struggled mightily at the start of last season, and had to play catch-up the rest of the way. Much better start this season, the Terriers are 1-0 after knocking off Union last weekend.
We’ll see two exhibition games this weekend as well. McGill makes the trek to the States to take on Harvard (Friday) and Yale (Saturday). The Crimson and Bulldogs are both preparing for the ECAC season.
Enjoy the games!