Northeastern is one win away from a second chance.
In 2021, the Huskies fell to Wisconsin, 2-1, in overtime in the NCAA women’s hockey national championship. They already avenged that loss with a dominant victory over the Badgers in quarterfinal play Saturday, but they still have one more game before they can think about a championship.
And if last week’s contest brought some feelings of deja vu, Friday’s is sure to, as well. In order to reach the title game, the Huskies will have to get past Minnesota Duluth — the team they defeated in their 2021 Frozen Four semifinal game.
The Huskies were motivated to get past Wisconsin last week, given the Badgers caused them a load of heartbreak in 2021. But Minnesota Duluth very well may come out with that same energy, considering the Bulldogs also are looking for revenge.
It’s no surprise these two teams are facing each other again at this point of the season. Northeastern is 30-4-2, while Minnesota Duluth sits at 24-11-1. Friday’s game marks just the second-ever meeting between the two programs, and considering they are coming in back-to-back postseasons, it’s clear both are perennial women’s hockey powerhouses.
Depending on which poll you favor, however, you may have a different idea of just how close this game will be. Voters in the USCHO poll have Northeastern ranked third with 120 points, pulling in behind Ohio State (150) and Minnesota (134). Minnesota Duluth ranks eighth with 48 points.
The USA TODAY poll tells a different story, with Northeastern ranked second behind Ohio State and Minnesota Duluth pulling in third.
But regardless of what the polls and numbers and history says, the madness of March doesn’t only apply to college basketball. On the ice as on the court, anything can happen.
Northeastern-Minnesota Duluth is scheduled for Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ will broadcast the game.
Who’s Playing Well?
In the second semifinal, No. 1 Ohio State will play No. 5 Yale. The Buckeyes reached the Frozen Four with a 4-3 victory over Quinnipiac, while Yale had a bit of an upset in the quarterfinal round with a 2-1 overtime victory over fourth-seeded Colgate.
Clair Degeorge scored two goals for Ohio State in its quarterfinal win, while left wing Liz Schepers had a whopping 15 shots on goal while finishing with one assist.
For Yale, Tess Dettling was the hero with her goal at 2:05 of overtime.
The second semifinal game will air on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.
The men’s Hockey East tournament winds down this weekend, with semifinal play scheduled for Friday and the championship game to follow Saturday.
Top-seeded Northeastern will battle No. 4 UConn in the first semifinal game at 4 p.m. ET, followed by No. 2 Massachusetts and No. 3 UMass Lowell at 7:30 p.m. ET. NESN will air coverage of the early game, with the broadcast of the late game moving to NESN+ to accommodate the Boston Bruins-Winnipeg Jets contest.
The winner of the Hockey East tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA men’s national championship.
Conference tournaments across the nation wrap up this weekend in preparation for the official Selection Show on Sunday. The full 16-team field will be revealed, with 10 at-large teams joining six conference championship winners on the road to the Frozen Four.
As the saying goes, all roads lead to Boston. The men’s Frozen Four will take place at TD Garden, with semifinals on April 7 and the national championship on April 9.