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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Getting set for the NCAA tournament

Plus U Sports conference results, CWHL and NWHL news and hockey links from around the globe

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Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 10
Emma Nuutinen (22) at the Pyeongchang Olympics. She won the CHA championship with Mercyhurst University this past weekend.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Story of the week

The NCAA conference championships were settled last weekend, meaning we now know who’s competing in the NCAA tournament (bracket! We’ve got a bracket! I love brackets). Most of the results, if not expected, are hardly out of the blue. As mentioned in an article we linked to last week, Minnesota’s best path to the NCAA tournament was to win the WCHA championship, and this weekend they did just that, beating first-ranked Wisconsin. Clarkson edged Colgate in the ECAC championship game, but like Wisconsin, Colgate will still make the tournament with an at-large bid. Over in the CHA, Mercyhurst upset Robert Morris to take the championship title and punch their ticket to the tournament, with a lot of help from Pyeongchang bronze medalist Emma Nuutinen.

It was in Hockey East that [redacted] got weird.

It was a surprise when UConn knocked off second-seeded Providence in the quarterfinals—no seventh seed had ever beaten a second seed in tournament history. I thought that was cool, a nice feel-good moment, but UConn’s next opponent was Boston College, who are on a different tier from any other team in their conference. I’d mentally penciled BC into the finals at this point. Hell, I actually told one of my coworkers that there was no way UConn was going to beat BC (this is a real, actual thing that happened, so I can wave goodbye to my coworkers taking me seriously on hockey matters ever again). UConn, unsatisfied with beating the second seed in the tournament, set their sights on top-seeded BC and beat them 4-2 Saturday afternoon. Freshman Natalie Snodgrass had two goals, Annie Belanger made 29 saves, and UConn made the championship game for the first time ever.

The magic didn’t last—Northeastern, also playing in the championship for the first time, won that Husky-on-Husky matchup and the Hockey East trophy. Boston College made the NCAA tournament anyway—they’re too good to not have won an at-large bid—and the field is rounded out with Ohio State, who’ve had a great year under second-year head coach Nadine Muzerall, and are making their first NCAA tournament appearance. The first round starts off on March 10th—will we see any other upsets in this year of chaos?

NCAA

10 greatest rivalries in U.S. women’s college hockey
From the timeless Eastern feuds starting in the ’70s to the WCHA epics of this century, here are the top 10 rivalries in U.S. women’s college hockey history

WIH: Daryl Watts Named One Of Three Finalists For Patty Kazmaier Award - BC Interruption
Award given to the top player in D-I women’s hockey

GOAL BY GOAL: BC Women’s Hockey Crashes Out Of Hockey East Tournament With 4-2 Semifinal Loss To UConn - BC Interruption
Hockey East chaos bites the Eagles

BC Women’s Hockey Cleans Up At Hockey East Awards Banquet - BC Interruption
So many awards

Mercyhurst Wins 2018 CHA Championship
The Mercyhurst Lakers overcame the top-seeded Robert Morris Colonials to win the College Hockey America championship with a 5-3 win on March 3.

Northeastern Wins Hockey East Championship - The Ice Garden
The Hounds of Huntington skated with the Bertagna Trophy for the first time in program history

Shannon Miller v. UMD: Long-awaited discrimination trial starts this week | Duluth News Tribune

The Journal | College women’s hockey: Clarkson wins ECAC title, advances into NCAA Tournament
There’s going to be gold in the immediate future for the Clarkson University women’s hockey team.

Wisconsin clipped by Minnesota in WCHA final, but get NCAA Tournament rematch Saturday afternoon | The Daily Cardinal
While it can be difficult to find the silver lining following a loss to Minnesota in the WCHA championship, one positive is that Wisconsin (30-4-2) won’t have to wait long for a rematch.

Women’s Hockey: Ohio State reaches NCAA tournament for first appearance in program history | The Lantern
The No. 5 Ohio State women’s hockey team has made history — again.

U Sports

Conference playoff schedule and results

Women’s hockey play for OUA championship this weekend | The Journal
With 18 wins now under their belt this season, the women’s hockey team needs just one more to crown themselves OUA champions.

Huskies capture third straight AUS women’s hockey championship | The Chronicle Herald
Rebecca Clark made 30 saves and Siobhan Birch scored the game’s only goal as the Saint Mary’s Huskies edged the St. Francis Xavier X-Women 1-0 to capture their third straight AUS women’s hockey championship on Tuesday night in Antigonish.

Concordia 3, Montréal 1: A Title 13 Years in the Making | Sports – The Link
The clock had just struck zero and the Concordia Stingers women’s hockey team were officially Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec champions.

Bisons capture Canada West hockey crown | Winnipeg Sun
Alanna Sharman picked up two assists and fellow fourth year forward Natasha Kostenko scored the eventual game winner as the top-ranked University of Manitoba Bisons dumped the Saskatchewan Huskies 5-2 Saturday night

CWHL

Sarah Lefort shines but Kunlun beat Les Canadiennes in a shootout - Eyes On The Prize
Montreal forward has a hat trick, but Canadiennes can't hold on to late lead

Les Canadiennes drop final game of China road trip - Eyes On The Prize
3-0 loss to Kunlun Red Star gives them a 1-2-1 trip

CWHL Recap: Thunder dominate Inferno 5-1, Furies shut out Blades 3-0 - Pension Plan Puppets
Whether they were fighting for a playoff spot or pride, the GTA CWHL teams both got the win tonight.

CWHL recaps: Toronto vs Boston 4-0; Markham vs Calgary 4-1 - Pension Plan Puppets
Sami Jo Small shuts out Boston to finish the season for the Furies. Liz Knox takes the mantle of winningest goalie in Thunder history.

Jessica Platt’s journey: How hockey helped a transgender player find herself - The Globe and Mail
Platt is the first openly transgender athlete in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, and one of only a few anywhere within elite female sports

Inferno Spotlight: Lindsey Post - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Rookie Goalie Brings Accolades And Intensity To Calgary Crease

Olympians Jenner and Turnbull return to Calgary Inferno - The Ice Garden
The Inferno just turned up the heat by adding two key performers from Team Canada’s 2018 Olympic roster.

Kristen Hagg: More than just the GM for the Calgary Inferno - Matchsticks and Gasoline
With all the events at the Olympics, sometimes the behind-the-scenes stories get swept under the rug. This one’s about Kristen Hagg.

NWHL

Lisa Chesson: Olympian & NWHL Isobel Cup Champion
Going into the final weeks of the NWHL season, Buffalo Beauts defender Lisa Chesson and her team are on a nine-game winning streak heading toward the Isobel Cup.

The art of the faceoff: the game within the game - The Ice Garden
Some of the NWHL’s best centers talk about one of the most overlooked aspects of the game.

Boston Pride Sign Heralded Draft Choice Mallory Souliotis
With the Boston Pride signing defender Mallory Souliotis, the eighth overall pick of the 2017 NWHL Draft, they immediately bolstered their blueline and improve their offensive capabilities. Souliotis has a cannon of a shot and will be enjoyable to watch during the remainder of this season.

Westfield's Rebecca Morse thriving in National Women’s Hockey League
Rebecca Morse is in her second season with the Metropolitan Riveters, who have steamrolled through the NWHL competition and clinched home-ice advantage in the postseason.

International hockey

IIHF announcement
Notice of No Fault ADRV on COR player Un Hyang Kim

PyeongChang's Korean legacy - Olympic - International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF
(video link)

Canadian women’s sledge hockey team fights for the right to play - The Globe and Mail (paywall)
Since the national women’s team originated almost 10 years ago, it has been striving for acceptance and admission into Canada’s most celebrated sports culture. Now the team is fighting to receive Paralympic certification and gain recognition from Hockey Canada

European league hockey

Russia: Women’s Hockey Update: February 27th, 2018 | CONWAY'S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
This one is sort of a catch-up edition; there were games in the amateur League of Women's Hockey and in the Russian national Under-18 championship during the Olympic break, so read on for a full recap of those events.

SWHL (Switzerland): The ZSC Lions are the ones to beat in the SWHL A playoffs - swisshockeynews.ch
The playoff semifinals of the SWHL A are about to start. The ZSC Lions, who won five of the last seven championships, are definitely the ones to beat this year.

AWIHL (Australia)

2017-18 AWIHL season: Round 10 | Ice Hockey News Australia
The final round of the 2017-18 Australian Women's Ice Hockey League season has finished