Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, Mass. – The second-seeded Amherst women's hockey team will begin its quest for a fourth league title when it plays host to seventh-seeded Connecticut College on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1:30 p.m.
Ticket Information: No tickets will be sold in advance of this weekend's NESCAC Women's Ice Hockey Championship quarterfinal game. All tickets will be sold on site, with doors to Orr Rink opening at noon on Saturday. Tickets will be $3 for adults and $1 for students and children. Amherst students with a valid ID will be admitted free of charge.
How They Got Here: Amherst (19-4-1, 13-2-1 NESCAC) closed out the year strong, going 9-1-1 over its last 11 after an equally impressive 10-3-0 start. Currently slotted third on the USCHO charts, the Lord Jeffs have twice squared off with the nation's top-ranked team, falling to RIT, 1-0, on Dec. 11 before handing Norwich a 2-0 loss on Jan. 24.
Looking to deny the Jeffs a sixth-straight trip to the conference finals are the seventh-seeded Camels (11-11-2, 5-10-1 NESCAC). Beginning with consecutive losses to Amherst on Jan. 27-28, Conn. College has dropped its last six match-ups against league opponents, including a pair of games against Williams on the final weekend of the regular season.
Season Series: Amherst opened a two-game set with Conn. College on Jan. 27 with a 3-2 victory. Geneva Lloyd '13 (Calgary, Alberta) had two goals in the win, with Ellen Swiontkowski '12 (Minnetonka, Minn.) adding a goal and an assist. Courtney Dumont '14 registered a pair of points for the Camels. Kerri Stuart '14 (Tewksbury, Mass.) made 20 saves for the Jeffs, while Amy Leichliter '13 had 34 stops.
Kaitlyn McInnis '13 (Franklin, Mass.) opened up the scoring the following afternoon before first-year Melissa Martin's (Berkley, Mass.) power play goal proved to be the game winner in the Jeffs' 2-1 victory. Sinead Murphy '12 (Rochester, Minn.) finished with 32 saves, while Kelsie Fralick '15 made 41 stops.
The Difference Makers: Ranked second in the league with 3.25 goals per game, a balanced Amherst offense features nine players with at least 10 points. Swiontkowski leads the Jeff attack with 24 points on 10 goals and 14 points, while Lloyd and Josie Fisher '12 (Norwich, Vt.) have each notched 23 points through 24 games. Dumont, who has scored five goals in her last four games, leads Conn. College in scoring (21 pts, 12 G, 9 A)
Key Statistic: Amherst has won 14 straight games against Connecticut College dating back to 2005. The two teams have met once in NESCAC championship play, with Amherst skating to a 6-1 semifinal win in 2009.
2012 NESCAC Women's Hockey Championship
Quarterfinal Round - Saturday, Feb. 25
No. 8 Colby at No. 1 Middlebury - 1 p.m.
No. 7 Conn. College at No. 2 Amherst - 1:30 p.m.
No. 6 Williams at No. 3 Bowdoin - 1 p.m.
No. 5 Hamilton at No. 4 Trinity - 3 p.m.
Semifinal Round - Saturday, Mar. 3
(Played at Highest Remaining Seed)
Championship Game - Sunday, Mar. 4
Live Coverage: Saturday's game will feature a free webcast.