College Hockey Inc.
Women's Notes: Conference Championships on the Line
Penn State Wins CHA to Secure NCAA Tourney Berth

CHA champion Penn State became the first team to advance to the NCAA Tournament (Photo: PSU Athletics).

Penn State won its second straight CHA playoff title – and became the nation’s first team to clinch an NCAA postseason berth – when it downed Mercyhurst last weekend in the conference championship game. The remaining four conference champs will be determined this week.

Here is a league-by-league look at each conference tournament:

Regular Season Champion: Penn State (second in a row)
Tournament Champion: Penn State (second in a row)
The Nittany Lions blanked Mercyhurst 1-0 in Saturday’s CHA championship game … Tournament MVP Katie DeSa (So., Pawcatuck, Conn.) registered a 24-save shutout and Mya Vaslet (Jr., Stittsville, Ontario) scored the game’s only goal early in the first period … It was the second straight CHA Tournament title for 15th-ranked Penn State

ECAC Hockey
Regular Season Champion: Colgate
Tournament Champion: TBD
The top four seeds in the ECAC Women’s Hockey Championship have all advanced to the semifinals by sweeping their quarterfinal opponents. Top-seeded Colgate eliminated No. 8 seed Brown, No. 2 Clarkson defeated No. 7 Princeton, No. 3 St. Lawrence got past No. 6 Yale, and No. 4 Cornell eliminated No. 5 Quinnipiac … Colgate will host Cornell and Clarkson will host St. Lawrence in the two single-elimination semifinal matchups on Friday … The two winners meet Saturday in the championship game.

Hockey East
Regular Season Champion: UConn (first in program history)
Tournament Champion: TBD
The Hockey East semifinals on Wednesday, March 6, will pit New Hampshire at Northeastern and Boston College at UConn … Northeastern is pursuing its seventh consecutive Hockey East Tournament title … The two winners will meet Saturday afternoon at the campus venue of the highest remaining seed.

Regular Season Champion: Long Island (second in a row)
Tournament Champion: TBD
The top two seeds in the NEWHA Championship were felled in overtime during last weekend’s semifinals … No. 5 seed Franklin Pierce defeated top-seeded LIU 4-3 behind a Grace Schuck (So., Bloomington, Minn.) hat trick and Claire Casey’s (Sr., Superior, Wis.) OT winner… In the other semifinal, No. 3 Stonehill took out No. 2 Saint Anselm thanks to Alexis Petford’s (So., Balgonie, Saskatchewan) goal in extra time … Franklin Pierce and Stonehill will square off in the title game Saturday afternoon.

Regular Season Champion: Ohio State (second in a row)
Tournament Champion: TBD
The top four seeds all avoided upsets and have advanced to the WCHA Final Faceoff semifinals Friday at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis … Top-seeded Ohio State will meet No. 4 Minnesota Duluth in the matinee, while No. 2 seed Wisconsin and No. 3 Minnesota will renew their rivalry in the nightcap … The winners advance to Saturday’s championship game.

The NCAA Selection Show will air on ESPNews on Sunday, March 10, at noon Eastern. The selection show can also be seen live online HERE.

Daily Scoreboard | Weekly ScheduleStat Leaders | Goaltending Leaders

Must Read:

BadgerExtra: How Wisconsin women’s hockey’s Cassie Hall avoids penalties
Basic Blues Nation: Penn State women’s hockey wins back-to-back CHA titles
Bemidji Pioneer: Gabbie Smith’s ‘gamer’ mindset at Bemidji State comes from athletic family lineage
Cornell Daily Sun: No. 6 women’s hockey dispatches No. 9 Quinnipiac, sweeps quarterfinals
Daily Cardinal: Breaking ice and glass ceilings
Daily Collegian: Goaltender Katie DeSa leads strong effort in women’s hockey’s CHA title game victory
Duluth News Tribune: Will UMD make a fourth straight NCAA women’s hockey tournament? 2024 NCAA women’s ice hockey championship: How to watch selection show, bracket info Women in Hockey: Blake Bolden
The Athletic: The business of Sarah Nurse: She’s one of the faces of hockey, but sights are set on more
The Ice Garden: NCAA Roundup: ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals version
The Rink Live: SCSU’s Greta Henderson has a couple things in common with Connor Bedard
USA Hockey: Keady Norton returns to coach 2025 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team
USCHO: Weekend wrap (March 4)

Must Hear:

Bulldog Insider: Debating the UMD women’s 25th anniversary team
Inside College Hockey America: Featuring Mercyhurst F Sara Boucher and Penn State F Julie Gough
Inside ECAC Hockey: Featuring Yale Head Coach Mark Bolding
Inside Hockey East: Featuring UConn sophomore F Brooke Campbell
The PodKaz: Talking NCAA tournament selections with committee chair Jeremy Gibson

Must Watch:

Bally Sports North: PWHL Minnesota Stars Pannek, Rooney are committed to growing the game Ohio State tops final Power 5 of women’s hockey season

The Blair Necessities:

It’s already been a March to remember for New Hampshire freshman G Sedona Blair.

On Friday, Blair was named to the All-Hockey East Third Team, one of only two Hockey East freshmen to earn all-conference honors. The following day, she notched a shutout – her fifth of the season – in UNH’s 3-0 playoff win over Vermont that sent UNH into the Hockey East Semifinals.

Blair also made UNH history during that shutout against Vermont, setting a new school record for saves in a single season (889).

On Sunday, Blair was named one of three finalists for Hockey East Rookie of the Year. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native has gone 18-15-2 across 35 appearances, posting a 2.29 goals against average and .918 save percentage.

Blair and the Wildcats will face No. 2 seed and host Northeastern in Wednesday’s semifinal.

A Saving Grace:

Franklin Pierce senior F Grace Schuck (Bloomington, Minn.) entered last Saturday’s CHA semifinal at Long Island with five goals 32 games this season, and just six tallies in 63 career contests.

Schuck added to that total in a big way Saturday, registering her first career hat trick to help lift the fifth-seeded Ravens to a 4-3 upset victory over the top-seeded Sharks. Shuck’s second and third goals came in the final 2:07 of regulation – just 33 seconds apart – to rally FPU from a 3-1 deficit and send the game into extra time.

FPU senior Claire Casey (Superior, Wis.) completed the stunning comeback, banging home a loose puck late in the extra frame.

The win propelled FPU to the CHA championship game with an NCAA Tournament auto bid on the line.

Keady Norton to Helm Team USA:

USA Hockey announced last Friday that Dartmouth Head Coach Liz Keady Norton (Princeton ’08) will return as bench boss for the 2025 U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team.

It will be the second straight such stint for Keady Norton, who guided an undefeated Team USA to the gold medal in 2024. Prior to taking over as head coach, Keady Norton served as an assistant coach for Team USA in 2023.

Keady Norton’s Team USA staff in 2025 will include Bemidji State Associate Head Coach Amber Fryklund (Bemidji State ’03), Boston College Associate Head Coach Courtney Kennedy (Minnesota ’03), Long Island Assistant Coach Shelly Picard (Harvard ’16) and Yale Goaltending Coach Mackenzie Bruch (Bemidji State ’17).

Notebook Quotebook:

“I thought her performance was spectacular because she made not only saves, but tough saves. Tons of credit for her mental toughness.”  

-- Mercyhurst Head Coach Mike Sisti (Canisius ’90) on fifth-year G Ena Nystrøm (Stavanger, Norway), who stopped 45 shots in the Lakers’ sending-ending 1-0 loss at Penn State in the CHA championship game (source: The Daily Collegian)

PWHL Note of the Week:

Minnesota D Sophie Jaques (Ohio State, 2018-23), the 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, scored her first and second PWHL goals last Tuesday in a win over Toronto. Jaques has four points (2G, 2A) in six games since joining Minnesota via trade. She did not register a point in seven previous games while with Boston.

A two-time first-team All-American at Ohio State, Jaques racked up 24 goals and 24 assists in 41 games as a senior when she captured the Patty Kazmaier Award and led the Buckeyes to the NCAA title game.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Minnesota Duluth freshman G Ève Gascon (Mascouche, Que.) notched her sixth shutout of the season in Saturday’s WCHA playoff win over St. Cloud State, a new school rookie record. As a team, the Bulldogs have 12 shutouts this season, one shy of matching the team record … Clarkson senior F Anne Cherkowski (Coldstream, British Columbia) collected her 100th career point in Saturday’s playoff win over Princeton. Cherkowski has seven points (2G, 5A) in her last five games … Ohio State has won 30-plus games for the third consecutive season.


CHA | ECAC | Hockey East | NEWHA | WCHA

Did you know? 98% of NCAA Division I women’s hockey players earn their degree!