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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: From medals to playoffs

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Olympians are making their way back to their home teams.

FEBRUARY 21: Venla Hovi #9 of Finland celebrates with Annina Rajahuhta #11 after defeating Olympic Athletes from Russia 3-2 during the Women’s Ice Hockey Bronze Medal game on day twelve of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Kwandong Hockey Centr
Venla Hovi #9 of Finland celebrates with Annina Rajahuhta #11 after winning an Olympic bronze medal
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It’s been a week (okay, 6 days and several hours) since USA won Olympic gold and truth be told we haven’t quite recovered from covering a hockey tournament that took place at the other end of the day. So no story of the week but some highlights (apart from the obvious):

It’s U Sports playoffs time! Nationals approach (March 15-18 at the University of Western Ontario, in London Ontario) and as nationals approach so does some actual coverage that’s not mixed in with a dozen other local sports updates, so we have some links for you. Definitely check out the Bisons wins against the Pandas — Olympic bronze medalist Venla Hovi (pictured above) rejoined the Bisons on Saturday to help them beat the 2017 national champions. Plus, if you’re looking for names to scout for the 2018 CWHL draft, these would be the links to check for background reading.

The NCAA is also in the middle of their own playoffs. Last weekend, the WCHA, ECAC, and Hockey East had their quarterfinals, while the CHA wrapped up their regular season. (The CHA is much more efficient about its playoffs than the other three conferences—their tournament only takes one weekend.) In Hockey East—the conference that matters—seventh-seed UConn upsetting second-seeded Providence in the Hockey East quarterfinals was the biggest surprise of the weekend, the first time a seventh seed has beaten a second seed in the tournament’s history. We’ve got recaps of that and more in the NCAA section, as well as some of what to expect from this coming weekend. Annie’s planning on being at Matthews Arena to watch Maine take on Northeastern—which should be a fun game!—on Saturday.

Both the CWHL and the NWHL started back up this past weekend, so there are some recaps. The NWHL signing deadline has been extended til March 6, so you’ll see some NCAA players whose season is already done have been added to some teams. Could some Olympians be next? The only Olympian we have 100% confirmation is rejoining her CWHL team as of this writing is Thunder captain Jocelyne Larocque. And for CWHL fans who are not local, there are 4 games (two in China, two in the GTA) being streamed this weekend.

The only SDHL news we have (people should hit us up with SDHL links, we know they’re out there, we just don’t read Swedish) is from Elite Prospects. We already knew Meaghan Mikkelson was heading over for the playoffs as part of the extra imports allowed to each team. According to EP, Jennifer Wakefield is joining her on Luleå HF. Halli Krzyzaniak, (who was cut from Canada’s centralization roster) will be joining fellow UND alums Amy Menke and Gracen Hirschy on Djurgårdens IF. Former Thunder defender Courtney Birchard will lace up for Linköping HC and, possibly most surprising, it seems that Jenni Asserholt will return to HV71.

As per usual the AWIHL news is short and sweet so we’re going to make you read the link instead of this summary.

U Sports

Huskies women’s hockey sweeps UBC to reach Canada West final | 650 CKOM
The University of Saskatchewan Huskies women's hockey team has booked their ticket to the U Sports nationals i...

Bisons take out defending national champs Pandas in three games | The Manitoban
The University of Manitoba women’s hockey team came back to beat the reigning national champions, the University of Alberta Pandas, in three games in the Canada West semifinals.

Stingers Women’s Hockey Team Punches its Ticket to Nationals | Sports – The Link
Going into Sunday afternoon’s do-or-die game three of their playoff series against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, Stingers women’s hockey head coach Julie Chu emphasized that this was a “one game season.”

Powerhouses X, SMU meet for AUS women’s hockey title | The Chronicle Herald
They were the cream of the crop in Atlantic university women’s hockey this season. So it’s only fitting that the Saint Mary’s Huskies and the St. Francis Xavier X-Women will face each other in the conference championship. With both teams qualifying for the U Sports national championship, the AUS final will be a best-of-three series.

X-Women’s Oddy named most valuable player at AUS women’s hockey awards | The Chronicle Herald
St. Francis Xavier X-Women forward Daley Oddy was named the AUS women’s hockey most valuable player on Tuesday. Oddy, a human kinetics student from Cranbrook, B.C., led U Sports in both points (31) and goals scored (16). The senior also guided the X-Women to a first-place finish in the regular season, with a 20-2-2 record.

Olympics

2018 Olympic women’s hockey: USA wins shootout gold over Canada 3-2 - Pension Plan Puppets
Canada settles for silver in the first gold medal shootout in Olympic women’s hockey history.

Women's Hockey in Pyeongchang: Team USA Wins First Gold in 20 Years
Even the most optimistic observer of the US Women’s National Team in the gold medal game last night against Canada was probably realizing by the end of the second period that the Americans were not going to win this game 5-on-5...

USA beats Canada for first Olympic gold in 20 years - The Ice Garden
It went all the way to a shootout but oh my god they finally won

Boston College’s Megan Keller Led All US Skaters In Ice Time in Women’s Hockey Gold Medal Game - BC Interruption
The soon-to-be-senior played a huge role in the Americans’ thrilling win, as did her fellow BC blueliners

2018 Olympic women’s hockey: Finland wins bronze medal over Russia 3-2 - Pension Plan Puppets
Noora Räty ties Florence Schelling with 10 Olympic wins.

Daoust named MVP - Olympic - International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF
Two Canadians, two Finns on all-star team

PyeongChang Women's Tournament Award Winners Recap
THW recaps the tournament All-Star selections, the MVP winner, and the recipients of Best Goaltender, Defender, and Forward for the women's hockey tournament at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

Summary on Ice - Olympic - IIHF
The Olympic hockey tournament is over for the women, and there were many highlights among the 22 games played. Herewith a synopsis.

Shokhina suspended - Olympic - IIHF
Will miss 2 games at Women’s Worlds

Emma Terho elected - Olympic - IIHF
Former Finnish ice hockey player Emma Terho (nee Laaksonen) and Kikkan Randall (USA, cross-country skiing) have been elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Allen living out dream in Pyeongchang | Local Sports | lockportjournal.com
Sometimes we wish for something so badly that when it arrives, it somehow falls short of our expectations.

There’s a Record Number of SDHL Players at the Olympics and it’s Awesome - The Ice Garden
SDHL players made their Olympic debut in 2010, three years after the league’s inception as Riksserien in 2007.

CWHL

CWHL Recap: Markham Thunder flatten Toronto Furies 5-2 - Pension Plan Puppets
Two goals by Nicole Brown and an injury to Hayley Williams.

CWHL recap & highlights: Les Canadiennes drop China opener to Vanke Rays - Eyes On The Prize
A third period lead wasn’t enough.

Les Canadiennes bounce back, split series with Vanke Rays - Eyes On The Prize
Emerance Maschmeyer led the way in the shutout win

Calgary Inferno sharp in CWHL weekend sweep of visiting Boston Blades | Calgary Sun
Yes, they can play... Two more weekend wins of the red-hot Calgary Inferno has lifted the club into second place in the Canadian Women's Hockey League standings.

Les Canadiennes Embark on Once in a Lifetime Hockey Adventure to China | Sports – The Link
Montreal’s CWHL Team Prepare for Nine-Day Trip

Twists and Turns of Baiwei's Way - Canadian Women's Hockey League
The last Olympics Baiwei attended was the 2010 Vancouver Games. Since then, China has been fighting its way back to the Olympic stage.

Olympian Jocelyne Larocque returns to Markham Thunder - Pension Plan Puppets
Larocque will be in the lineup for this weekend’s home series against the Calgary Inferno

NCAA

Polls: USCHO | USA Today | The Ice Garden

GOAL BY GOAL: BC Women’s Hockey Special Teams Explode In 6-1 Win Over Vermont - BC Interruption
The Eagles sweep the Catamounts to advance to the Hockey East semifinals!

Watertown Daily Times | College women’s hockey: Harmon, Tiley provide backbone ‘D’ for Golden Knights
Offense often attracts fan attention, but the Clarkson University women’s hockey team is where it is, ranked second nationally heading into the postseason, in large part due to its play on defense.

Gophers women's hockey knows WCHA title is best — maybe only —route to NCAAs
The University of Minnesota women's hockey team, 20-10-3 in the regular season, know they need to win the WCHA tournament starting Friday to guarantee a spot in the NCAA tournament, which the Gophers haven't missed since 2007.

Watertown Daily Times | College women’s hockey: SLU eliminates Quinnipiac, advances to ECAC semifinals

College women's hockey: Beavers oust Bulldogs with Game 3 upset | Duluth News Tribune
For the second consecutive season, the Minnesota Duluth women's hockey program saw its season cut short via a heartbreaking postseason loss at Amsoil Arena.

Gophers to Face Ohio State in WCHA Semifinal :: University of Minnesota :: Official Athletic Site
The Official Athletic Site of the University of Minnesota - The WCHA Final Faceoff returns to Ridder Arena this Saturday and Sunday with the league's postseason crown and an NCAA berth on the line.

No. 5 Women’s Hockey Sends Princeton Packing, Advances to ECAC Semifinal | The Cornell Daily Sun
The Red beat Princeton in a best-of-three series and is two wins away from winning an ECAC championship.

UCONNHUSKIES.COM No. 7 UConn Upsets No. 2 Providence, Advances to Semifinals :: University Of Connecticut Official Athletic Site University Of Connecticut Official Athletic Site - Women's Ice Hockey
History was made at Schneider Arena this weekend, as the UConn womens ice hockey team became the first seven-seed to ever advance to the semifinals of the Hockey East Tournament with a 2-1 win over the second-seed Providence in a decisive game three on Sunday afternoon.

Don’t Overthink This. Daryl Watts Should Win The Patty Kaz - The Ice Garden
She’s the obvious top player in women’s college hockey, and she should be recognized as such.

Breaking down the Patty Kazmaier finalists - The Ice Garden
The top ten candidates for the highest individual honor in the NCAA have been released

NCAA Women’s Hockey Bracketology: February 21st, 2018 - BC Interruption
It’s tourney time!

WHEA Quarterfinals Recap - The Ice Garden
The first weekend is done, and four teams are moving onto the semifinals

NWHL

NWHL: Beauts Keep Winning, Riveters Continue to Hold First
The final two weeks of the NWHL regular season are ahead. The Riveters continue to hold first place, but the red-hot Buffalo Beauts can still catch them

Beauts fare well during All-Star weekend - The Ice Garden
Lots of goals, saves, shots and even an MVP title for Buffalo’s best players in St. Paul.

Is the Riveters’ offense finding its groove again? - The Ice Garden
The Metropolitan Riveters began the 2017-18 season with an 11-game winning streak, and in so doing established themselves as early favorites for the 2018 Isobel Cup.

Ashley Johnston and the role of the shutdown defender - The Ice Garden
The Metropolitan Riveters captain

Brown forward Sam Donovan signs NWHL contract with Whale - The Ice Garden
Connecticut signs 2017 draft pick for the remainder of the 2017-18 season

AWIHL (Australia)

2017-18 AWIHL season: Round 9 | Ice Hockey News Australia
Round 9 of the 2017-18 Australian Women's Ice Hockey League season has finished