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WCHA notebook: St. Thomas earns its first conference points

Five WCHA teams remain in the top 15 of the national polls this week, while Minnesota State receives votes and St. Thomas earns their first conference points of 2022-23.

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 five WCHA teams ranked nationally in the top-15 stay put in similar positions after the weekend. St. Thomas earns its very first conference points of the 2022-23 season in an attempt to pass Bemidji State in the WCHA standings.

OHIO STATE (#1), 14-2-2 Overall, 13-2-1 Conference:

The Buckeyes had a rest week after their split against Minnesota Duluth on the road.

Ohio State remains at the top of the polls with only two losses so far in the 2022-23 season.

OSU will head out to Ithaca, New York, this weekend for their second-to-last series of 2022. The Buckeyes will play a two-game series against No. 10 Cornell (7-3-2). Cornell is currently undefeated at home with its only losses coming on the road to Quinnipiac, Harvard and Northeastern.


Puck drop is set for Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. and Dec 18 at 3 p.m.

WISCONSIN (#2), 15-2-1 Overall, 12-1-1 Conference:

The Badgers had a dominant weekend, trouncing conference foe Minnesota State on the road by scores of 5-2 and 5-1.

Five different Wisconsin players found the back of the net in night one, while Cami Kronish stopped 17 of 19 shots on goal.

Britta Curl tacked on two goals in game two and the Badgers as a whole kept the Mavericks to only 13 total shots on net.

Freshman Laila Edwards earned WCHA Rookie of the Week honors and the Howies Hockey Tape Performance of the Week title after posting a goal and three assists over the weekend sweep.

The Badgers are now off until New Year's Eve and New Year's Day when they'll play a road series at No. 3/4 Quinnipiac.

MINNESOTA (#5), 14-3-2 Overall, 13-1-2-2 Conference:


The Golden Gophers got their revenge this weekend over St. Cloud State after previously losing to the Huskies in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Women's Face-Off Classic.

Minnesota shutout St. Cloud both nights in the home-and-home series, winning the games by dominant scores of 6-0 and 9-0.

Grace Zumwinkle netted a hat trick in game one, scoring once at even-strength, once short-handed, and once on the power play.

Taylor Heise posted a hat trick the next night while teammate Abigail Boreen netted two goals.

Skylar Vetter earned WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors after earning a shutout in both games over the weekend.

The Golden Gophers are now off until early January when they'll participate in the East/West Showcase at home with games against Merrimack and New Hampshire.

MINNESOTA DULUTH (#8), 13-6-1 Overall, 7-6-1 Conference:

The Bulldogs had an up-and-down weekend to finish up 2022 at home.


Minnesota Duluth posted a huge 8-1 victory in game one against St. Thomas. Ashton Bell netted two goals and two assists while netminder Emma Soderberg stopped 13 of 14 shots on goal.

The next night was completely different. Mannon McMahon lit the lamp for UMD, but the Tommies would tie things up at 1-1 to force overtime. Neither team could score in the extra frame so the game ended in a tie, with UST earning an extra conference point in the shootout.

St. Thomas previously had no conference points. Freshman Hailey MacLeod was in net for night two and made 14 saves on 15 shots.

The Bulldogs are currently sitting at fourth place in the WCHA standings, which is three points ahead of St. Cloud State and 15 behind Wisconsin.

UMD is off now until early January when they'll play No. 2 Wisconsin on the road.

ST. CLOUD STATE (#15), 11-10 Overall, 6-10 Conference:

The Huskies had arguably their toughest week of the year, being outscored by a 15-0 margin over two games against No. 5 Minnesota.

St. Cloud State only posted 14 shots on goal in game number one. Sanni Ahola and JoJo Chobak split time in net.


In game two, SCSU had 15 shots on goal but the team still couldn't get one past the Minnesota goaltender. Chobak played in goal for the Huskies in night two.

St. Cloud drops one spot in the polls to No. 15 and fall to fifth place in the WCHA standings - three points behind Minnesota Duluth and three points ahead of Minnesota State.

The Huskies are off now until early January when they'll participate in the East/West Showcase in Minneapolis to compete against Merrimack and New Hampshire.

MINNESOTA STATE (RV), 7-11 Overall, 5-11 Conference:

The Mavericks had a tough weekend against Wisconsin at home, being swept by scores of 5-2 and 5-1.

Alexis Paddington and Taylor Otremba each scored a goal in night one, while Lauren Barbro stopped 37 shots on goal. The two tallies wouldn't be enough to come out with the win though.

Madison Mashuga had the lone goal of the second game. Alexa Berg stood tall in net for night two, doing her best to stop 34 of 39 shots on net.

The Mavericks unfortunately fall in both games on home ice. MSU stands at sixth place in the WCHA standings, only three points behind St. Cloud State but 13 ahead of Bemidji State. The squad is still receiving votes in the national polls.


Minnesota State will travel to East Meadow, New York, this weekend for a pair of non-conference games against Long Island University. Puck drop is set for 6:45 p.m. CT on Dec. 16 and 1 p.m. CT on Dec. 17.

BEMIDJI STATE, 4-15-1 Overall, 1-13 Conference:

The Beavers had the week off after previously being swept by Wisconsin.

Bemidji State still stands at seventh place in the WCHA standings but St. Thomas now is only one point behind, so this weekend's matchup will be critical.

BSU will travel to Mendota Heights for their last series of 2022 to take on conference foe St. Thomas. The two teams have not yet met this season.

Game times are set for 2:01 p.m. on both Dec. 16 and 17.

ST. THOMAS, 3-14-1 Overall, 0-14-1 Conference:

The Tommies had an up-and-down weekend, losing to Minnesota Duluth by seven points in night one but earning a tie and their very first conference points of the season in night two.


Game one was tough for UST, as Brieja Parent was the only skater to record a tally for the Tommies. Goaltenders Alexa Dobchuk and Maggie Malecha combined in net to stop 48 shots on goal in the 8-1 loss.

The next night was a completely different game. Haley Maxwell scored in the third to tie the game up and 1-1 and to send things to overtime. The point from Maxwell also happened to be her first collegiate goal. No one was able to score in the extra frame but St. Thomas ultimately won the shootout to give them two conference points out of the 1-1 tie.

This gave UST their very first WCHA points of the 2022-23 season. They still sit in eighth place but now are only a single point behind Bemidji State.

This makes the next matchup even a bigger deal for the Tommies, as they'll play two home games against the Beavers. Game times are set for 2 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 17.

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