AMHERST, Mass. – The No. 4/4 Amherst College women's ice hockey team wrapped up the regular season with a 20-1-3 overall record and a 13-1-2 mark in league action to secure the second overall seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship tournament. The Purple & White will play host to seventh-seeded Bowdoin College in quarterfinal play on Saturday, Feb. 27, with the puck set to drop at Orr Rink at 3 p.m.
SETTING THE SCENE
Amherst and Bowdoin split the regular season series between the sides, with the Polar Bears handing Amherst its only loss of the year, 3-2, on Jan. 15, before the Purple & White returned the favor on Jan. 16 and claimed a 3-1 win. Amherst owns a 4-2 postseason series advantage against Bowdoin; however the two teams have not met since the 2013 conference semifinals in which the Polar Bears defeated the Purple & White, 3-1.
No. 2 Seed (20-1-3, 13-1-2 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats
Amherst has orchestrated one of the finest season's in program history, entering this weekend's matchup on a 12-game win streak, having outscored opponents 58-8 in that span. Boasting depth on an explosive offensive and a shutdown defense, the Purple & White currently rank fourth nationally in team offense per game (4.25) and 12th nationally in penalty kill percentage (88.5%). Amherst is looking to reach its ninth semifinal game in ten years and claim its fourth overall league crown (2007, 2008, 2010).
Offensively, Alex Toupal '18, Erin Martin '16 and Eileen Harris '16 have been sensational for the Purple & White, with the trio combining for 55 goals and 38 assists for 93 points and 12 game-winning tallies.
Leading the team and ranking fourth in the nation in goals with 22, Martin has also added 12 helpers this season en route to ranking 13th nationally in points per game (1.42). Just above her in points per game is teammate Toupal, who has scored 21 goals along with a team-leading 15 assists to secure the number 12 spot nationally in points per game (1.57) and the number six spot in goals. Toupal's three short-handed goals rank her tied for second in the country. Harris is the only other double-digit goal scorer on the Purple & White, notching 12 goals along with 11 assist for 23 points. In addition to the trio, Amherst boasts six other skaters with double-digit points on the year.
Amherst's backline has been lights out all season, with Caitlyn Ryan '17, Lynndy Smith '17, Caroline Bomstein '16, Camille Herzog '17, Kristen Molina '18, and Miriam Eickhoff '19 comprising a unit that ranks third nationally in defense per game (1.21 goals/game).
Tabbed to start in net 18 times this season, Sabrina Dobbin '18 (14-1-3) anchors Amherst's stringent defense that has allowed just 29 goals. Collecting 455 saves in 1095:04 minutes in between the pipes for the Purple & White, Dobbins has posted a 1.31 goals against average (seventh in nation) and a .950 save percentage (fifth in nation). Her tally of five shutouts on the season is seventh best in the country. Fellow sophomore goaltender Bailey Plaman (6-0-0) has also fared well this year, accruing a .948 save percentage and a 0.82 goals against average in 360 minutes in goal.
No. 7 Seed (8-13-2, 5-10-1 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats
The Polar Bears punched their ticket to their 15-consecutive postseason by sweeping Wesleyan, and splitting its regular season series between Amherst, Colby, Hamilton, and Williams. Appearing in two of the last three NESCAC championship games, Bowdoin begins its quest for a fourth league title (2002, 2004, 2013) owning the conference's second best powerplay (21.4%).
Bowdoin is led offensively by Miranda Bell and Ariana Bourque. Bell ranks first on the team in both goals and assists, with 10 and 12, respectively, while Bourque is second on the team in both categories with nine goals and 10 assists. Marissa Fichter, Julie Dachille, and Jessica Bowen round out the Polar Bear's double-digit point getters, with Fichter tallying six goals and five assists and Dachille and Bowen each notching five goals and six assists apiece.
Junior Lan Crofton (6-10-0) has logged the majority of minutes in net for the Polar Bears, recording a .897 save percentage and a 2.93 goals against average in 940:49 minutes. Racking up 401 saves while allowing 46 goals, Crofton enters the postseason with 17 starts and three shutouts under her belt. Sophia Lattanzio (2-3-2) started in net for Bowdoin nine times this season, registering a .901 save percentage and a 2.69 goals against average.
2015-16 TALE OF THE TAPE
|No. 2 Amherst||No. 7 Bowdoin|
|Goals Against Avg.||1.20||2.92|
2016 NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT
Quarterfinals – Saturday, February 27 (at Higher Seeds)
No. 8 Colby at No. 1 Middlebury – 2 p.m.
No. 7 Bowdoin at No. 2 Amherst – 3 p.m.
No. 6 Hamilton at No. 3 Conn. College – 3 p.m.
No. 5 Trinity at No. 4 Williams – 1 p.m.
Semifinals – Friday, March 4 or Saturday, March 5 (at Highest Remaining Seed)
TBD | TBD
Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
Remaining Quarterfinal Winners
Championship – Saturday, March 5 or Sunday, March 6