Jeffs Earn No. 5 Seed, Third Straight NESCAC Tournament Berth

AMHERST, MA - The Amherst College women's hockey team finished its regular season at 13-11 overall and 7-9 in conference play, setting a single-season school record for wins and earning a third consecutive trip to the seven-team NESCAC Postseason Championship Tournament. The Jeffs tied Hamilton College for fourth place in the conference standings, but Hamilton was awarded the No. 4 seed and a first-round home game against fifth-seeded Amherst using a predetermined conference tiebreaker system. The Jeffs and Continentals square off in the quarterfinals this Saturday at 2 p.m.

Bowdoin and Middlebury finished the regular season tied atop the NESCAC with matching 15-1 conference records. Thanks to a coin flip, Bowdoin, ranked fifth in the latest USCHO.com national poll with an overall record of 18-4-1, was awarded the top seed, a first-round bye and will host the semifinal and final rounds for the second consecutive year. Middlebury (15-1 NESCAC, 19-3 overall) is the tournament's second seed and will host seventh-seeded Connecticut College (5-11 NESCAC, 7-17 overall) in one of three NESCAC first-round contests. The Panthers, ranked second nationally, are the defending NESCAC Champions.

Third-seeded Williams (12-4 NESCAC, 14-8 overall) will also host sixth-seeded Wesleyan (6-9-1 NESCAC, 9-14-1 overall). Williams, ranked seventh nationally, has defeated the Cardinals in the first round of each of the past two postseason tournaments.

The top seven teams qualify for the NESCAC Championship Tournament. First-round games will be played on Saturday, February 28, and winners will advance to the semifinals at Bowdoin on Saturday, March 6. Teams are rebracketed entering the semifinal round with top-seeded Bowdoin playing the lowest remaining seed. The NESCAC Tournament champion receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Championship.

2004 NESCAC WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round - Saturday, Feb. 28 at Higher Seeds

No. 7 Conn. College at No. 2 Middlebury
No. 6 Wesleyan at No. 3 Williams
No. 5 Amherst at No. 4 Hamilton

Semifinals - Saturday, Mar. 6 at Bowdoin (1 p.m./4 p.m.)
No. 1 Bowdoin vs. lowest remaining seed
Remaining first-round winners

Championship - Sunday, March 7 at Bowdoin (1 p.m.)
Semifinal winners