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WCHA Notebook: Ohio State, Minnesota aim to be clear cut No. 1 this weekend

The top three teams in the nation are all from the WCHA. In addition, Minnesota Duluth stands around No. 7/8 in the polls and St. Cloud State receives votes.

St. Thomas Nicole Vallario
St. Thomas' Nicole Vallario goes down to block a shot from Wisconsin's Casey O'Brien during a game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 in Mendota Heights, Minn.
Contributed / Shannon Stieg

The top three teams in the national polls are all from the WCHA, those being Ohio State, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Only a single point separates the Buckeyes and the Golden Gophers in the USCHO Women's Poll this week, which shows how close the race is to be No. 1.

MINNESOTA (#1/2), 9-1-1 Overall, 9-0-1-1 Conference:

The Golden Gophers stand at No. 1 in the USCHO poll this week , receiving 10 first-place votes. Only a single point separates them from second-ranked Ohio State. Minnesota flips down to No. 2 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, 11 points from No. 1, Ohio State.

Minnesota was idle this past weekend after falling 4-1 to St. Cloud State on Nov. 7 in the 2022 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic.

The Gophers will have a top-three matchup this weekend as they travel to No. 3, Wisconsin. The Badgers are 10-2 overall, with their only losses coming to Penn State and Minnesota Duluth.

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Game times for the road series are set for 2 p.m. on Nov. 19 and 20.

OHIO STATE (#1/2), 10-1-1 Overall, 10-1-1 Conference:

The Buckeyes move up to No. 1 this week in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll while they move down to No. 2 in the USCHO poll.

MORE FROM SYDNEY WOLF
St. Cloud State is officially ranked in the national polls this week, the first time since 2009. Minnesota State still lurks outside of the top-15 and receives votes.

Ohio State had a rest week after sweeping St. Thomas the weekend before.

The Buckeyes will look to tack on more conference points as they stay at home for a two-game series against Bemidji State, who they previously swept back in October by scores of 4-0 and 5-2.

The Beavers have a 1-9 conference record and are currently ranked seventh in the WCHA with three points.

Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. Nov. 18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19 (Central Time).

WISCONSIN (#3), 10-2 Overall, 7-1 Conference:

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Wisconsin stands tall at No. 3 in both of the national polls.

The Badgers have been idle since their last series Oct. 28-29, a split against Minnesota Duluth on the road.

Wisconsin will have a tough task coming up as they will play conference foe Minnesota (#1/2) for the first time this season.

Both games at LaBahn Arena are listed as sold-out. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. on Nov. 19 and 20.

MINNESOTA DULUTH (#7/8), 9-5 Overall, 5-5 Conference:

After being swept by Minnesota the week prior, the Bulldogs had a statement sweep this past weekend against St. Cloud State to eat up all six conference points.

Two first-period goals gave UMD the win in game one, with goals from Clara Van Wieren and Anneke Linser . The Bulldogs held SCSU to only 14 shots on goal, with Emma Soderberg posting the shutout.

Minnesota Duluth distributed its scoring more evenly over all three periods in night two, this time with a 5-1 victory. Freshman goaltender Hailey MacLeod stopped 17 of 18 shots on goal.

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After the weekend sweep, Maggie Flaherty earned WCHA Defender of the Week honors after a solid performance on the blue line which included two goals.

This weekend the Bulldogs will take on nonconference opponent Harvard for a two-game home series. The Crimson are 2-4-2, with the two victories coming against Dartmouth and Cornell. Game times are set for 6 p.m. Nov. 18 and 3 p.m. Nov. 19 at Amsoil Arena.

ST. CLOUD STATE (RV), 7-8 Overall, 4-8 Conference:

After upsetting the Golden Gophers in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic, the Huskies had a rough weekend at home against Minnesota Duluth.

The Huskies were shut out in a 2-0 loss in night one. JoJo Chobak stopped 21 of 23 shots on goal.

SCSU scored their lone goal the next night from Grace Wolfe , but were unable to get any momentum going otherwise. Sanni Ahola stopped 16 of the 20 shots she faced.

The Huskies are fift in the WCHA, now two points behind UMD.

St. Cloud State freshman Regan Bulger was named WCHA Rookie of the Week after blocking 15 shots over the weekend.

SCSU will have the weekend off to rest before heading to Missouri to play nonconference opponent Lindenwood on Nov. 25 and 26.

MINNESOTA STATE, 5-7 Overall, 3-7 Conference:

The Mavericks played only one game this week, an exhibition match against Division III University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

MSU defeated the Blugolds 7-1 in the Monday night clash.

Six different Mavericks found the back of the net while Sydney Langseth and Taylor Otremba both posted three points each.

Minnesota State stands at sixth place in the WCHA standings, only three points behind St. Cloud State.

The squad will look to improve their conference standing this weekend as they play a home-and-home series against St. Thomas. MSU swept UST earlier in the season by scores of 3-1 and 2-0. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m. Nov. 19 in Mankato and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 in Mendota Heights.

BEMIDJI STATE, 3-10-1 Overall, 1-9 Conference:

The Beavers had a rest weekend after being swept by St. Cloud State earlier in the month.

BSU currently stands at seventh in the WCHA standings with three points, which is seven points behind Minnesota State and three points ahead of St. Thomas.

Bemidji State has a tough task ahead as they will travel to No. 1/2 Ohio State. The Buckeyes currently swept the Beavers earlier in the season by scores of 4-0 and 5-2.

Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. Nov. 18 and 2 p.m. Nov. 19 Central Time.

ST. THOMAS, 3-9 Overall, 0-8 Conference:

The Tommies earned some confidence this past weekend as they swept nonconference opponent Lindenwood in a two-game road series.

UST struck twice on the power play in game one, with four different skaters finding the back of the net for a 4-1 victory. Gabby Billing had a team-high three points in the match.

The next night, the Tommies scored five times from five different players (all even strength) to take down the Lions, 5-3.

Goaltender Saskia Maurer stopped 42 of 46 shots on goal over the two-game series. This earned her WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors.

Her teammate Gabby Billing earned the WCHA Forward of the Week title along with the Howies Hockey Tape Performance of the Week after posting four points over the weekend.

The Tommies remain eighth in the WCHA standings as they hunt for their first conference point. UST will attempt to get these first points this weekend in a home-and-home series against Minnesota State.

Puck drop against the Mavericks is set for 2 p.m. Nov. 19 in Mankato and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 in Mendota Heights.

Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and was a part of the University Honors Program.
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