October 10, 2011

Women's power ratings: BU starts out as No. 1

Marie-Philip Poulin of BU. (photo: Isabel Slepoy/BU Athletics)

New England Hockey Journal presents its inaugural power ratings of the region's 14 Division 1 women's teams. The inaugural ratings appeared in the October 2011 issue of NEHJ.

1. Boston University

No team from the East has ever won an NCAA title in women’s hockey. The Terriers may be talented enough to end that string.

2. Providence

Friars are a rarity -- in good shape at every position. That’s especially true in goal, where Genevieve Lacasse is one of the best in the business

3. Quinnipiac

Kelly Babstock and the rest of the Bobcats’ kiddie corps are another year older, which should scare just about everyone.

4. Boston College

Eagles don’t have the star power of last year, but will have a chance to showcase their outstanding depth. All they need is for a goalie to step forward.

5. Harvard

Missing out on NCAAs last year didn’t sit well with one of the game’s traditional powers. Jill Dempsey (Winthrop, Mass.) and Josephine Pucci will try to lead them back.

6. Dartmouth

Big Green used a late-season charge to grab an NCAA berth last winter. This year, behind players like defenseman Sasha Nanji, there’s no reason to think they can’t return.

7. Northeastern

Huskies will try to pick up where they left off last year, when they upset BU to reach Hockey East championship game.

8. New Hampshire

Uncharacteristic sixth-place finish won’t become the new normal for perennial power UNH, but a return to the NCAAs is at least a year away.

9. Connecticut

Any improvement from the Huskies will hinge on playing better team defense in front of standout goalie Alexandra Garcia.

10. Yale

Emotional season on and off the ice last year for the Bulldogs, who would like to at least get back to the ECAC Hockey playoffs.

11. Vermont

New-look Catamounts may be the youngest team on the ice in these parts. Any serious climbing is probably a year away.

12. Maine

Making the Hockey East playoffs for a second straight year is a reasonable goal for the Black Bears, who took a step forward last year under new coach Maria Lewis.

13. Brown

New coach Amy Bourbeau (Coventry, R.I.) has her work cut out, taking over a program that’s 12-65-9 over the last three years.

14. Sacred Heart

Defenseman Nicole Palazzo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) is the top returning scorer for the independent Pioneers, who went 8-21-0 last year playing Division 1 and 3 teams.