Five NCAA women's hockey teams net national tournament bids
The GIST: The men may have only just started their conference tournaments this weekend, but the women’s are already done and dusted. On Saturday, the five new champs automatically netted national tourney bids, but the remaining six at-large squads didn’t have to wait long — the committee announced the full bracket later that day.
- The road to the national championship begins Thursday with the first round, aka the regional semifinal. Here’s who iced out the competition to keep their confetti dreams alive.
WCHA: No. 3 Minnesota stunned the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes 3–1 on Saturday to bag the Golden Gophers’ first conference tournament trophy since 2018. Despite the loss, Ohio State still earned the NCAA’s No. 1 seed, but No. 2–seed Minnesota will join the Buckeyes in a first-round bye. No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 7 Minnesota Duluth also scored at-large bids.
ECAC: The ECAC saw its largest-ever title game margin of victory on Saturday. No. 4 Colgate took no prisoners on the path to their third consecutive ’ship, walloping No. 9 Clarkson 8–2. Clarkson still made the national tourney, along with No. 8 Quinnipiac and No. 2 Yale (who snagged a No. 4 seed and a first-round bye).
Hockey East: Although they burned up the ice in their semifinal upset of No. 11 Vermont, No. 14 Providence couldn’t keep up with No. 5 Northeastern, falling 4–1 in Saturday’s final. Northeastern sealed the fifth seed, but they’ll rep Hockey East alone — no team earned an at-large bid, leaving Vermont (the highest-ranked squad to not make the tourney) salty AF.
CHA: The No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions were expected to crush their way through the CHA tourney, but Mercyhurst gave them a run for their money, forcing an overtime (OT) in Saturday’s final. Thanks to senior Julie Gough’s game-winner, the Lions clinched the 2–1 victory to advance to the program’s first national tournament.
NEWHA: After defeating St. Anselm 2–0, LIU netted the conference’s first-ever auto-bid. It’ll be the Sharks’ first trip to the natty and, as the only unranked team in the bracket, they’re the lowest seed — but these Sharks have teeth and are ready to scrap.