MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) women's division has announced their pairings for the postseason tournament. Norwich University claimed the number one overall seed after posting a 15-2-0-conference record.
Norwich will host eighth seed Plymouth State University in quarterfinal action. Number two seed Manhattanville College will welcome seven seed University of Southern Maine while defending NEHC Tournament Champion and three seed; University of Massachusetts Boston will host Salve Regina University. Rounding out the quarterfinal pairings is four seed Castleton University who will host University of New England.
This marks the seventh straight season the Cadets come into the NEHC postseason as the number one overall seed. The Cadets are led by a duo of juniors in Kim Tiberi (Raleigh, N.C.) and Sarah Schwenzfeier (Hingham, Mass.) who rank third and fourth in NEHC scoring with 27 and 26 points respectively. Tiberi's 10 goals and 17 assists led all NEHC blueliners in scoring. The Cadets will also look to Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) and Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) to continue their impressive freshmen campaigns, as the duo rank first and second in freshmen scoring with 20 and 17 points.
This marks the second straight season Plymouth State has punched their ticket to the NEHC postseason. The Panthers are led by Haley Branovan (Canandaigua, N.Y.) whose 15 points from the blueline rank fourth overall in NEHC defenseman scoring. The program also boasts another lethal defenseman scorer in Courtney Evans (Fairbanks, Alaska) as her ten points in NEHC play rank second on the team.
Manhattanville earned the number two seed after posting their best league record since the 2012-13 season. The Valiants' 3.47 goals/game rank them at fourth in the league in scoring offense. Nicole Mensi (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) leads Manhattanville with 17 points in NEHC play. Her 11 goals on the season are tied for seventh best in the league. Sarah Sinning (Southold, N.Y.) and Karly Kapur (Sparta, N.J.) are also key offensive contributors for the Valiants as their 16 and 14 points rank them at second and third on the program in conference scoring.
Southern Maine earned the seventh seed in the NEHC Tournament after winning a tiebreaker over Plymouth State. The Huskies recorded a higher winning percentage against the top eight teams in the league, thanks to a key win over University of New England. Sophomore goaltender Britney Evangelista (North Smithfield, R.I.) boasts the second highest save percentage in the NEHC at .934. Senior forward Katie Couture (Harrisville, R.I.) leads the Huskies' offense with six goals and four assists for ten points in league games this season.
After coming off the program's first NCAA tournament appearance last season, UMass Boston will aim to continue their winning ways in the postseason. The Beacons feature ten players with double digits points this season. Julia Nolan (Duxbury, Mass.) will aim to keep her impressive freshman campaign rolling, as her ten points rank seventh best amongst NEHC freshman. Rachel Myette (Pembroke, Mass.) has been a force in net for UMass Boston, with her .932 save percentage ranking third best in the league.
Salve Regina won two of their final three contests to boost themselves into the six seed for the postseason. Amanda Cronin (Medfield, Mass.) leads the way for the Seahawks with a team-best 17 points in league play this season. She's averaging 1.00 points per game from the blueline, ranking third-best amongst NEHC defenseman. Taylor Chisholm (Discovery Bay, Calif.) has also been an offensive force this season as her 14 league points rank second for Salve Regina this season.
Castleton earned the four seed after posting a 7-8-2 record in NEHC action. Hannah Rose (Kenora, Ont.) and Aimee Briand (Barrington, N.H.) lead the way for the Spartans, each posting 13 points in league play. Alexis Kalm (Aberdeen, N.C.) has put in an impressive freshman campaign in net for the Spartans, ranking in the top ten in all goaltender statistical categories in the NEHC.
Number five seed, University of New England, skates into the postseason as winners of their last two contests. Gabby Crugnale (Malden, Mass.) leads the Nor'easters in scoring with 11 points this season. Of her six goals, five have come on the power play, ranking fourth in the league in power play scoring. The Nor'easters boast two more double-digit scorers in Mary Wirth (South Elgin, Ill.) and Annie Mullen (Concord, N.H.), who each posted ten points in NEHC action this season.
The NEHC postseason begins with quarterfinal action on Saturday, February 25. The semifinal round and championship game will be held on campus of the highest advancing seed on Friday, March 3 and Saturday March 4 in a final four style format.
Full NEHC pairings listed below:
#1 Norwich (15-2-0) vs. #8 Plymouth State (4-12-1) – 3:00pm
#2 Manhattanville (12-4-1) vs. #7 Southern Maine 4-12-1) – 3:00pm
#3 UMass Boston (12-5-0) vs. #6 Salve Regina (5-11-1) – 3:00pm
#4 Castleton (7-8-2) vs. #5 University of New England (7-9-1) – 3:00pm