Inching closer towards the NCAA women's hockey national tournament
The GIST: Like the women’s hoops squads, the five Division I women’s hockey conferences are hustling for their respective trophies tomorrow. A win means an automatic bid to the national tournament, which begins when the puck drops on next Thursday’s regional rounds and ends with a trophy hoist on March 19th.
- These conference tourneys are also crucial last-chance showcases for the teams who don’t take the crowns. Only six squads are selected to join the five conference winners at the natty, which means tomorrow is a big day.
WCHA: The WCHA is keeping things cutthroat. Today’s 2 p.m. ET semifinal between top-ranked natty fave Ohio State and No. 7 Minnesota Duluth will be tough, but not as ruthless as the 6 p.m. ET semi between bitter rivals No. 3 Minnesota and No. 6 Wisconsin. Winners take tomorrow’s ice at 3 p.m. ET for all the marbles.
ECAC: The largest conference is also one of the most competitive. Today, No. 2 Yale will play No. 9 Clarkson at 3 p.m. ET and No. 4 Colgate will take on No. 8 Quinnipiac at 6:30 p.m. ET in the semifinals to advance to tomorrow’s 4 p.m ET championship. No rest for the
Hockey East: The No. 5 Northeastern Huskies may feel confident about their 12 p.m. ET matchup against unranked Providence, but watch out — the Friars beat No. 11 Vermont 1–0 in their Wednesday semifinal to earn their shot at Northeastern, so another upset could light the Hockey East lamp.
CHA: No. 10 Penn State is the CHA’s only ranked team, so it’s no surprise that they’re taking on Mercyhurst for the ’ship at 2 p.m. ET tomorrow. Penn State junior and CHA Player of the Year Kiara Zanon leads the conference in points and goals, so expect her to be mercy-less.
NEWHA: This new conference received its first-ever automatic NCAA tournament berth last year, but its six squads are not expected to make a deep run. The victor of tomorrow’s 7 p.m. ET game between LIU and Anselm will earn both the conference title and a steep hill to climb in the natty.