As the league play begins to get intense with just six weeks remaining in the regular season, teams are looking for freshmen to jump up and provide scoring depth. The winter break saw some of those rookies have breakout performances.
Andie Anastos leads a strong Boston College freshman class who head coach Katie King Crowley believes has done a “great job of making their play faster and quicker.” Anastos is a two-time Hockey East Rookie of the Month, and is following in the skate strides of teammate Haley Skarupa. Third on the Eagles in scoring (9 goals, 10 assists), she has already had five multi-point games this season. She’s currently centering the second line with fellow freshman Kristyn Capizzano and junior Kate Leary, who is having a career year in points playing on the line.
Maddie Elia is third on Boston University’s list of top scorers, with six goals and 11 assists thus far this season. She has scored in three of her last five games, including a one goal, two assist game against Maine in Saturday’s final game of the winter break. The Lewiston, New York native shows versatility, being able to center a variety of line combinations thus far this season. Her height (5-foot-10) also gives her advantage, and she shows great awareness when fighting for the puck against the boards.
In the ECAC, Quinnipiac’s Emma Woods is a member of an all-star line with senior Kelly Babstock and junior Shiann Darkangelo. That first line easily could be one of the best lines in the nation. Woods has 18 points off of eight goals and 10 assists this season and has played in all 24 games. She has fallen into a bit of a dry spell, not having scored yet in 2014, but continues to play smart. She leads all freshmen on her team in plus-minuswith a plus-14.
Phoebe Staenz was leading Yale’s charge back into the
elite of the ECAC until the Swiss National Team called her back to
Europe for the Olympics. She leads the Bulldogs in scoring with
seven goals and 10 assists, and is second in the country in
freshman scoring. Her Olympic time may cause her to lose that
status, but it is worth it for the chance to become only the fourth
Bulldog in history to play women’s hockey in the
Game of the Week
Harvard at Cornell, Saturday afternoon
After a surprising 2-0 shutout at home against Yale on Saturday afternoon, Harvard will be looking for wins this weekend to not lose an edge in the ECAC. The Crimson are now behind Cornell and Quinnipiac in the league standings, and a win against Cornell could be extremely important down the road. Harvard needs their top two forward lines to contribute more consistently, and they need to convert more of their power play opportunities (they are 10 of 60 so far this season.)
Player of the Week
Denna Liang, Princeton, senior forward, Marblehead, Massachusetts
The Marblehead native scored her first collegiate hat trick during Princeton’s Saturday 4-4 tie against RPI. Two of those goals came in the game’s first six minutes. Princeton is hanging tight in the ECAC race, currently sitting in fifth with a few weeks to go. Liang, the older sister of Harvard freshman goalie Brianna, leads the Tigers with 15 points (8g, 7a).
Team of the Week
The Eagles are doing exactly what head coach Katie King Crowley expected: having gotten the kinks out in the season’s first half, they are ready to dominate the second half of the season. They ended Boston University’s long-time Hockey East winning streak last Wednesday night, with a 4-1 win at the Terrier’s Walter Brown Arena, and then hung tough against Northeastern, tying 1-1 Saturday and winning 3-2 Sunday. They host Vermont this weekend, and their burgeoning defense will look to stop Catamounts’ star scorer Amanda Pelkey.
1. Boston College (Overall: 14-4-3, Hockey East: 9-1-1) - What will help the Eagles down the stretch is their forward line depth and their defensemen’s ability to play the puck. They by no means have it easy down the line, but their turning the corner at the perfect time.
2. Harvard (Overall: 12-2-2, ECAC: 8-2-1) – It is not the fact that the Crimson lost to Yale that is the problem: it is that they did so without getting a goal on the board. With just three forward lines, Harvard is getting to the part of their schedule where fatigue and injuries could wreak havoc on a talented team.
3. Boston University (Overall: 16-4-1, Hockey East: 9-1-0) - The Terriers rebounded from their loss to Boston College with a 5-2 Sunday win at Maine. In the last week, they have struggled with teams getting ahead of them early (something both the Eagles and Black Bears did), and how they respond to those challenges will dictate their fate down the line. They met the challenge against Maine - can they against two desperate teams in Providence and Northeastern this weekend?
4. Quinnipiac (Overall: 16-3-5, ECAC: 7-3-4) - The Bobcats went 2-1 on the week, only dropping a 3-2 decision to RPI on the weekend. The loss to the Engineers broke a six game undefeated streak. They face a giant test this weekend, hosting College Hockey America leader Robert Morris.
5. Vermont (Overall: 9-10-4, Hockey East: 5-4-1) – If the Catamounts want to make a splash, they will take one of their two games at Boston College this weekend. With New Hampshire nipping at their heels in the Hockey East standings and Northeastern hanging tough in recent games, Vermont needs to surge forward to build a cushion for a tournament home game berth.