MARSHFIELD, Mass. - The New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) women's division has announced their pairings for the postseason tournament and Norwich University claimed the number one overall seed after posting an undefeated 15-0-1 record.
Defending National Champions Norwich will host eighth seed Salem State University in quarterfinal action. Number two seed Suffolk University will welcome seven seed University of Massachusetts Boston while three seed Castleton University will host number six Plymouth State University. Rounding out the quarterfinal pairings is four seed University of Southern Maine who will host Johnson & Wales University.
This marks the ninth straight season the Cadets come into the NEHC postseason as the number one overall seed. The team is averaging 5.81 goals per game in league play and surrendering a minuscule 0.88 goals per game to NEHC opponents. The Cadets boast four of the league's top five scorers in Amanda Conway (20-11-31), Adrieana Rossini (8-16-24), Sophie McGovern (10-10-20) and Alyssa Hulst ( 6-12-18). Meanwhile, Emily Lambert has been a brick wall between the pipes, surrendering only five goals in league play while posting a perfect 8-0-0 record.
First year program, Suffolk University, has had a spectacular start to their varsity campaign. The Rams rank second in the NEHC with 2.88 goals per game and are led offensively by Tess Adams (12-5-17). Adams 12 goals rank third in the conference. Suffolk also boasts a top goaltender in Kristen Caporusso whose 1.75 goals against average ranks third in conference and 10-4-2 record in net ranks second only behind Lambert.
Castleton has remained as one of the top programs in NEHC behind first year head coach Mike Venezia. The Spartans will look to Jocelyn Forrest to continue her recent scoring barrage. The senior forward's 21 points rank third in the conference. She also ranks first in power play points (12) and power play goals with six.
The Huskies earned a quarterfinal home game thanks in large part to their stingy defense and goaltending play by senior Britney Evangelista. Evangelista ranks second in the NEHC in goals against average (1.39) and save percentage (.952). Defender Jensen Hamblett has also been getting done on the offensive end of the ice as her 10 points rank third in the league for defenseman scoring.
The Wildcats of Johnson & Wales also boast a strong goaltender is Jasmine Mucci. The freshman netminder has put together an impressive season behind a 2.69 goals against average. She ranks first in the conference in minutes played at 957+ and her 430 saves are good for second. On offense the team will look to Katherine Mason whose nine points league the team in scoring.
Sixth seeded Plymouth State will look to senior Brooke Maggy who leads the Panthers with 11 points on four goals and seven assists. Amber Thomas and Alexis Fagan round out the team's top scorers as they boast 11 and nine points respectively.
The Beacons of UMass Boston aim to capture some of the postseason magic from 2016 as the most recent team to knock off the top ranked Cadets in the conference tournament. Senior forward Jane Morrisette leads the way in scoring with 12 points in league action. Freshman forward Cailey Kozich ranks third in the NEHC in freshman scoring with 10 points on three goals and seven assists.
The Vikings of Salem State earned the final spot in the postseason thanks to strong upperclassmen performances from Danielle Kelley, Kylie Currier and Jacqueline Sindoris. The trio boasts ten, nine and six points respectively and have scored over half the team's goals in league contests this season.
The NEHC postseason begins with quarterfinal action on Saturday, February 16. The semifinal round is scheduled for Saturday, February 22 with the league championship-taking place on Saturday, March 2. All games will be held at the campuses of the highest seed.
Full NEHC pairings listed below:
#1 Norwich (15-0-1) vs. #8 Salem State University (1-12-1) - 3:00pm
#2 Suffolk (10-4-2) vs. #7 UMass Boston (5-9-2) - 7:30pm
#3 Castleton (9-5-2) vs. #6 Plymouth State (5-7-4) - 3:00pm
#4 University of Southern Maine (6-6-4) vs. #5 Johnson & Wales (7-8-1) - 4:00pm