Best NCAA Women's Hockey Performances of October 2012

Mark StaffieriContributor IINovember 7, 2012

Best NCAA Women's Hockey Performances of October 2012

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    With the third National Hockey League lockout in 18 seasons, there is no better time to follow NCAA women’s hockey. The month of October 2012 has already provided some remarkable moments. Over the last few years, the collegiate game has seen young women from national teams throughout North America and Europe make their mark.

    Emerance Maschmeyer and Erin Ambrose helped Canada claim the gold medal at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championships. This season, they are rivals instead of teammates. Maschmeyer is the top goaltending prospect in the NCAA and stands between the pipes for Katey Stone (the NCAA’s all-time winningest coach) at Harvard University. Ambrose joins fellow Under-18 teammate Shannon MacAulay at Clarkson University. With both schools being part of the highly competitive ECAC conference, the next four years will provide many great memories for fans.

    Alex Carpenter, a former member of the United States Under-18 team is a big part of USA Hockey’s future. The premier player for the Boston College Eagles, she carries on the legacy of current US National Team member Kelli Stack. With the Boston area boasting some of the finest hockey in the NCAA, Alex Carpenter may emerge as the best player of the area.

    The many memorable contests from October 2012 promise that there will be much more exciting contests to come in the months ahead.

5: Minnesota Makes Big Statement in Sweep of North Dakota

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    As the Lamoureux sisters enter their final season at North Dakota, expectations for the program were high. Instead, North Dakota suffered a setback at the hands of the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers. The weekend sweep saw the Gophers extend their unbeaten streak to 17 (dating back to last season), and are 3 wins away from tying the program record.

    The October 27 win saw both teams play a stout defensive match for the first two periods. The first stanza was scoreless despite North Dakota outshooting Minnesota by a 10-5 mark. In the second period, Tori Williams would give the Fighting Sioux a 1-0 lead at the 18 second mark. Minnesota would score 39 seconds later as Megan Bozek continued her remarkable season.

    Despite the home ice advantage, the Fighting Sioux were overwhelmed in the third period. Although the first 12 minutes of the final stanza did not see any team score, Rachel Bona provided Minnesota with its first lead of the contest at the 12:30 mark. From there, Milica McMillen buried the puck past Jorid Daginfrud as the score increased to 3-1.

    At the 17:30 mark, Brooke Garzone logged the first goal of her NCAA career as North Dakota faced an insurmountable 4-1 lead. With only one second left in the contest, Hannah Brandt logged an empty net goal as North Dakota was on the losing end of a 5-1 score.

    Of note, Garzone was not the only Golden Gophers player to reach a milestone in the contest. Noora Raty earned career win 84 to become the Golden Gophers all-time leader for wins.

    In the following game, Amanda Kessel recorded the first shot of the game for Minnesota, which resulted in a goal. The assist went to Hannah Brandt as the Golden Gophers enjoyed a quick 1-0 lead.  Although North Dakota outshot Minnesota by a 7-4 mark, Noora Raty was impenetrable.

    Meghan Dufault, the freshman from Winnipeg would log the first goal of her NCAA career as she tied the score at 1 apiece. Assists went to Becca Kohler and Josefine Jakobsen as Dufault scored a backhand goal from a rebound past Noora Raty. The 12:52 mark of the second would see Amanda Kessel score her second of the contest as the Golden Gophers regained the lead.

    During the 17th minute of the second, Kelly Terry would score the third goal for Minnesota, as the sweep now seemed inevitable. Before the end of the second, Dufault would score her second goal of the game, as she took a pass from Josefine Jakobsen. Monique Lamoureux-Kolls also earned an assist on the goal as Minnesota’s lead was now reduced to a 3-2 count.

    Heading into the final period, the first 15 minutes were scoreless. Despite stout defensive play on the part of North Dakota, Milica McMillen grabbed the puck during a scramble and gave Minnesota its fourth and final goal of the game. The Golden Gophers outshot North Dakota by a 33-18 mark in the 4-2 final.

    This season, the Gophers have a 10-0 start for the first time since the 2004-05 campaign, when the Gophers featured Natalie Darwitz on a national championship squad.

4: Four Point Night by Erin Ambrose Sees Clarkson Improve to 7-1

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    One of the highest touted prospects in NCAA women’s hockey, Erin Ambrose continues to establish herself as an elite hockey player. A 6-2 win over the Rensselaer Engineers was a showcase of Ambrose’s remarkable skills.

    In the convincing 6-2 triumph, Ambrose logged 1 goal and 3 assists, as 11 different skaters logged at least one point for the Clarkson Golden Knights. The first goal of the win was scored by another remarkable freshman, Olivia Howe. She picked up her own rebound off of Rensselaer backstop Kelly O’Brien.

    Although the first period ended in a 1-0 lead for Clarkson, the squad exploded for four scores in the second stanza. The 5:23 mark of the second saw senior Danielle Skirrow score the squad’s first power play goal of the evening. Ambrose and Jamie Lee Rattray assisted on the play. For Rattray, she extended her point scoring streak to eight games.

    Ambrose would assist on the next goal as Danielle Mateucci redirected her shot. Freshman Shannon MacAulay would log the second goal of the season, as she provided Clarkson with a 4-0 lead at the 10:13 mark. MacAulay played with Ambrose on the 2012 Under-18 National Team that claimed the gold at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Worlds. Sixty seconds after MacAulay extended the Golden Knights lead, team captain Carly Mercer got involved in the scoring as Rensselaer now faced a five goal deficit.

    Despite lagging behind by a 5-0 mark, Rensselaer replied with two unanswered markers. Jordan Smelker scored on Erica Howe at the 17:14 mark of the second. Alexa Gruschow would score the only power play goal of the night for Rensselaer 42 seconds later as the score was now 5-2.

    Rattray and Mercer would assist on the final goal of the night, scored by Ambrose at the 00:00 mark to give Clarkson a 6-2 lead. The Golden Knights out shot the overwhelmed Engineers by an astounding 30-14 mark. A key aspect of the victory was capitalizing on the power play. The Golden Knights were three for seven on the power play. Junior goaltender Erica Howe only needed to make 12 saves in the win.

3: Emerance Maschmeyer Wins in Her NCAA Debut for Storied Harvard

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    As one of the top goaltending prospects in NCAA women’s hockey, Emerance Maschmeyer did not disappoint in her debut. A convincing 9-1 win over the Princeton Tigers on October 27 saw Maschmeyer stop 16 of 17 shots in her debut.

    The first period saw the Harvard Crimson give Maschmeyer a 2-0 lead. After a tripping penalty to Cristin Shanahan at the 1:39 mark of the first, Mary Parker scored a backhand goal on the Crimson’s first power play opportunity of the night. The 9:48 mark of the period would see Lyndsey Fry score the first of three goals, as Jillian Dempsey and Hilary Hayssen picked up the assists.

    With a penalty to Harvard’s Kaitlin Spurling at the 10:11 mark, Princeton fired four shots on Maschmeyer during the power play. Despite the Tigers best efforts, Maschmeyer nullified the power play to preserve Harvard’s 2-0 lead. Later in the first, a hooking penalty to Jillian Dempsey placed Princeton back on the power play. Once again, Maschmeyer neutralized the Tigers.

    As the game progressed in the second period, Dempsey scored two unanswered goals as she picked up a natural hat trick (a player scoring three consecutive goals). Her second goal of the game was scored on the power play as the Tigers’ Rose Alleya was called for checking. Less than six minutes later, Dempsey would score on Kimberly Newell to provide Harvard with a 4-0 lead.

    Princeton responded with a goal by Kelly Cooke at the 13:03 mark to spoil Maschmeyer’s bid for a shutout. It would be the only goal Princeton would score in the contest. Before the period ended, Harvard would add two more goals to extend their lead to a 6-2 mark. Sarah Edney assisted on a goal by Kaitlin Spurling with 3:53 left in the second stanza. One minute and forty-two seconds after Spurling’s marker, Miye D’Oench would find herself on the score sheet with her first ever point for Harvard.

    In the first three minutes eleven seconds of the third frame, Jillian Dempsey would score twice on a beleaguered Kimberly Newell. In 43:11 of playing time, Newell stopped 34 of 42 shots. She was replaced by Ashley Holt, who would stop 6 of 7 shots for the Tigers.

    Sarah Edney would log the goal against Holt, with assists going to Samantha Reber and Miye D’Oench. Maschmeyer became the first Harvard freshman netminder since Christina Kessler to win in her NCAA debut. Kessler achieved the feat in a contest versus the Brown Bears in November 2006. In the win, six different Harvard skaters scored as part of a true team effort. Lyndsey Fry logged a hat trick and all three goals were assisted by Jillian Dempsey.

2: Senior Kelsey Thomas Logs First Career Hat Trick in Win for Colonials

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    An October 26 meeting at Mathews Arena between the Robert Morris Colonials and the nationally ranked Northeastern Huskies marked the sixth time the programs played each other. In a 3-3 tie, all three Colonials goals came from senior Kelsey Thomas (background). In addition, the hat trick marked the first three goals of the season for Thomas.

    Thomas scored a goal in each period, to become the fifth Colonials player to log a hat trick. In addition, she was the first Colonials player to do so against a nationally ranked opponent.

    The first 7 minutes of the contest found Northeastern taking a commanding 2-0 lead. Kendall Coyne logged both goals while Rachel Llanes earned assists on each score. Coyne’s first goal was scored in the first 49 seconds of the contest, for the fastest goal this season to start a game for Northeastern. With less than four minutes in the opening period, assistant captain Cobina Delaney and Rebecca Vint assisted on the first goal of the contest scored by Thomas. After the first period, the Colonials held a 10-8 advantage in shots on goal.

    With Northeastern trying to hold on to their lead in the second period, Chloe Desjardins faced 12 shots. Kendall Coyne attempted to get her third goal of the contest but her five shots on net were all denied. Vint and Thomas would connect on a Northeastern turnover for the second goal by Thomas. Once again, the goal was scored with less than four minutes in the period as she evened the score. Colonials goaltender Kristen DiCiocco was also a factor in the second stanza as she made 15 saves.

    Rachel Llanes would score on DiCiocco in the third to give Northeastern the lead again. Said goal came at the 4:55 mark of the third period. As the Colonials tried to tie the game, Northeastern played very stout defense throughout the period. With 29 seconds left, Thomas tied the game as she buried the puck past Chloe Desjardins. Delaney and former Niagara player Kristen Richards would assist on the game tying goal.

    In the tie, Rebecca Vint won 21 of 28 faceoffs for the Colonials, while Northeastern’s Rachel Llanes won the most faceoffs for her team with 11. Llanes also tied a personal season high for most points in one contest with 3. Of note, Kristen Richards has logged a point in every game played this season with the Colonials.

1: Halloween Matchup Between Boston Rivals Sees Alex Carpenter Log 5 Points

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    Heading into a Halloween night contest between rivals Boston University and Boston College, it seemed unlikely that B.C. had a losing record. While BU boasted a 7-1 record, which featured Kerrin Sperry breaking the BU record for most wins by a goaltender, No. 8-ranked B.C. sported a disappointing 2-3-0 mark.

    Despite the home ice advantage, BU fell behind in the first period. Senior captain Blake Bolden assisted on a goal by Taylor Wasylk at the 4:47 mark.
    Heading into the second, BC continued to add to their lead. With Lexi Bender serving her second penalty of the game, Alex Carpenter scored a shorthanded goal at the 3:52 mark. Carpenter would continue by assisting on the third B.C. score of the night. Emily Field would bury the puck past Sperry at 8:15 for a 3-0 lead.

    Two minutes and twenty-eight seconds later, Carpenter logged her fourth score of the season with freshman Haley Skarupa earning the assist.

    After the 4-0 lead, B.C. made some mistakes and were penalized twice. Less than 30 seconds after Carpenter’s goal, Blake Bolden was called for hitting after the whistle. The 13:22 mark saw Louise Warren called for tripping.

    The power play for BU was ineffective as they were unable to score on Megan Miller. With less than three minutes in the second stanza, freshman Sarah Lefort assisted on BU’s first score of the evening. Canadian national team member Marie-Philip Poulin extended her point scoring streak to nine games as the period ended 4-1 in favor of B.C.

    The 1:06 mark of the third saw BU’s Jenelle Kohanchuk called for hooking. Alex Carpenter capitalized on the power play to put B.C. ahead by a 5-1 mark with only three seconds remaining on said power play.

    Three minutes and thirty-four seconds later, Carpenter contributed her fifth point as she (along with Blake Bolden) assisted on Meghan Grieves' second marker of the season. At the 12:33 mark, B.C. extended its already insurmountable lead to a 7-1 tally as Kristina Brown scored on an overwhelmed Sperry. With the goal, Alissa Fromkin relieved Sperry between the pipes for BU.

    Alex Carpenter was named first star of the game, while the second star was Bolden. Megan Miller, who earned her first win of the season, was named the third. Miller stopped 32 shots as B.C. went 2-for-5 on the power play. Marie-Philip Poulin of BU would finish the month of October leading all Hockey East skaters in assists with 12, and points with 16.