I couldn't miss a chance to see the #2 team in the nation play so we went over to St. Paul to watch them play DIII Hamlin (# 7 in DIII).
Some background - We used to go to DIII games 10 years ago because there were some neighborhood kids who layed. Honestly most of the teams we saw would have lost to halfway decent high school teams. That certainly is not true for either of these two teams, it was an entertaining game.
Natalie Darwitz took over Hamlin a couple of years ago and has built a pretty impressive squad. Mira Jasola is an assistant but was not there last night
Hamlin was a step or two faster so some of the other impressions may come from that. The biggest difference I noticed was that HU made far fewer mistakes than STA. Tossing the puck into empty space with no plan, missing passes and not following up. HU seemed to have more organized attacks.
HU broke to a 3-0 lead thanks in part to going 2-3 on the PP. In the second they traded PPGs and HU added even strength late in the period. I thought it might get out of hand as STA started taking dump penalties and were really struggling on the PK. The officiating was not horrible but a lot more strict than we are getting used to in women's hockey. they traded goals in the third for a 6-2 final. Most impressive was that HUs goals came from 6 players! They are not a one-line club.
Box score (with caveat that I may be just close, I don't normally try to do this)
SOG HU-36 STA - 27
PP HU - 2 for 7 STA - 0 for 7
Faceoffs - my estimate is HU won 2/3rds