NESCAC Championship Central
AMHERST, Mass. - The third-seeded Amherst College women's ice hockey team is set to host No. 6 seed and archrival Williams College this Saturday, Feb. 24 at Orr Rink for a NESCAC Championship Quarterfinal battle. The puck is set to drop at 1 p.m.
Saturday's NESCAC Quarterfinal will feature live stats and a webcast broadcasted by the Northeast Sports Network (NSN).
SETTING THE SCENE
Facing off twice this season, the Mammoths captured back-to-back victories over the Ephs in conference action on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27. First battling at Orr Rink, Amherst tallied two first period goals en route to earning a 3-1 win over Williams before heading to Lansing Chapman Rink a day later. In game two action, Amherst battled back from a 2-1 deficit to record three unanswered goals and clinch a 5-3 victory.
Amherst, looking to return to the NESCAC Semifinals for the fourth consecutive season, boasts a 21-13 all-time record in the conference tournament. Williams, owning a 9-14 all-time league tournament record, enters the Championship looking to move past the Quarterfinals for the first time since their NESCAC title run in 2014. The two sides have not met in NESCAC Championship action since the 2006-07 season, when the Mammoths edged the Ephs, 3-2 in overtime in the Quarterfinals before continuing on and eventually claiming the NESCAC crown.
No. 3 Seed (14-6-4, 9-4-3 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats
One of just three teams to appear in every NESCAC Championship tournament since its inception, Amherst enters the postseason for the 17th consecutive season aiming to return to the Semifinals for the 11th time in program history. Amherst will look to string together a pair of victories after closing out the regular season with a 3-2 win against Little III rival Wesleyan.
- The leagues top point getter with 1.58 points per game, Alex Toupal '18 heads the NESCAC's second-best scoring offense (3.00 goals/game) with 16 scores and 22 helpers for 38 total points. Alongside Toupal, Emma Griese '18 has proved to be a scoring threat with nine goals on the year, while Jocelyn Hunyadi's '19 play making abilities have helped her rack up 16 assists and 21 points during the regular season. Boasting a balanced offensive effort, the Mammoths have eight skaters with double-digit point totals, including Emma Flynn '21 (7G, 8A) and Katie Savage '19 (6G, 8A).
- In between the pipes, Bailey Plaman '18 (9-5-4) has started 19 contests for Amherst, notching 518 stops to post a 1.49 goals against average and a .950 save percentage in 1089:45 minutes. Also solid in net, Sabrina Dobbins '18 (5-1-0) has seen action in seven games, registering 125 saves, a .926 save percentage and a 1.65 goals against average. Alongside a stellar defense, Amherst has shut out three opponents this winter.
No. 6 Seed (10-7-7, 4-6-6 NESCAC) - Schedule/Roster/Stats
The Ephs are the No. 6 seed for the fourth time overall and first time since 2015. Ranking third in the conference in scoring with 64 goals, Williams is looking to make the semifinals for the first time since 2014, the same year the Ephs captured their lone NESCAC title.
- Both eclipsing the 20-point mark, Meghan Halloran and Abby Brustad lead the Eph offense, with Halloran netting 10 goals and dishing out a team-high 16 assists for 26 total points and Brustad tallying a Eph-leading 11 goals to go along with 12 assists for 23 points on the year. Annie Rush, Brynn Puppe and Avery Dunn round out Williams' double-digit point getters, with Rush proving to be an offensive catalyst with 11 helpers and Puppe finding the back of the net eight times this winter.
- Christina Cleroux and Marissa Anderson have split time in goal, starting 13 and 12 games, respectively. In 757:59 in net, Cleroux (4-3-5) has racked up 302 saves to notch a .938 save percentage and a 1.58 goals against average. Anderson (6-4-2) has seen 704:12 on action, recording 279 stops en route to logging a .915 save percentage and a 2.22 goals against average.
BY THE NUMBERS
|No. 3 Amherst||No. 6 Williams|
|Goals Against Avg.||1.56||1.87|
2018 NESCAC Women's Ice Hockey Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, Feb. 24
No. 8 Wesleyan at No. 1 Middlebury - 1 p.m.
No. 7 Colby at No. 2 Connecticut College - 1 p.m.
No. 6 Williams at No. 3 Amherst - 1 p.m.
No. 5 Bowdoin at No. 4 Hamilton - 1 p.m.