Women's Hockey Prepares For NCAA Tourney

March 8, 2005

3/8/05 - The Middlebury College women's hockey team will make its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend when they host Manhattanville. The game will take place on Friday, March 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the Kenyon Arena.

The Panthers enter the game with a 3-2 record in NCAA play, falling in the '02 and '03 first rounds before winning the title a year ago. Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Middlebury captured the '00 and '01 AWCHA National Championship. Middlebury has an amazing 219-29-9 (.870) record over the past 10 seasons, with head coach Bill Mandigo sporting a 299-84-11 (.773) record in his 17th season at the helm of the program. His 299 wins are more than any other coach in any division in the history of women's college hockey.

The defending NCAA Champions earned their bid to the tournament by capturing their third NESCAC Championship in five years, with a 5-1 win over Bowdoin. The Panthers enter the weekend with a 23-3-1 overall record, after going 14-1-1 in NESCAC play. Middlebury is ranked second in the latest national poll and third in the PairWise power rankings. Middlebury's offense ranks fourth in the nation, scoring 4.75 goals/game, while the defense allows 1.33 goals/game, placing them seventh among Division III teams. The special teams have been impressive, with Middlebury leading the nation with a power play that clicks at .270 and a penalty kill that is .921 effective, ranking eighth nationally.

Emily Quizon leads the team in scoring this season with 16 goals and 36 assists for 52 points. Her assists and points lead the team, while she owns six power play goals on the season. Quizon averages 1.93 points/game (3rd nationally) and 1.33 assists/contest (1st nationally). Lorna Gifis is the team's leading goal scorer with 25, to go along with her 18 assists, 43 points, and a nation's best 10 power play goals. Her .093 goals/game are third among the nation's players. Alison Graddock (11-16-27), Shannon Tarrant (7-18-25), Karen Levin (5-19-24), and Shannon Sylvester (6-15-21) round out the team's leading scorers. In goal, Kate Kogut has a 16-3-1 record with a 1.44 GAA and a .930 save percentage to go along with her six shutouts.

Manhattanville enters the tournament with a 22-3-2 record, boasting an 18-1 mark in ECAC East play. The Valiants earned their bid with a 4-1 win over <?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Rensselaer in the ECAC Championship game on Sunday. Manhattanville is ranked second in the latest national poll and eighth in the PairWise power rankings. The Valiants have the nation's best scoring offense (6.15) and scoring defense (1.04), while their power play is fifth (.201) and the team's penalty kill is third (.955).

Leading the team in scoring this season have been Cherie Stewart (28-23-51), Jessica Zimmerman (21-18-39), Jennifer Mulick (21-13-34) and Jami Grasby (14-20-34). Stewart is fourth nationally with 1.89 points/game and second with a 1.04 goals/contest. In goal, Nicole Elliott is 12-2-2 with a 1.09 GAA and a .943 save percentage, while Liane Ortis is 9-1 with a 0.83 GAA and a .951 save percentage. Both of those statistics are tops nationally.

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2005 NCAA Women's Hockey Tournament

Quarterfinals, Friday, March 11th

Manhattanville (22-3-2) @ Middlebury (23-3-1)

Quarterfinals, Saturday, March 12th

Bowdoin (20-4-1) @ Plattsburgh (20-5-1) - 7:00 p.m.

Gustavus Adolphus (23-3-1) @ Wisconsin-Stevens Point (22-2-1) - TBA

Semifinals, Friday, March 18th - Elmira College - 3:30 p.m./7:00 p.m.

Middlebury/Manhattanville winner vs. Gustavus Adolphus/Wisconsin-Stevens Point winner

Bowdoin/Plattsburgh winner vs. Elmira

Saturday, March 19th - Elmira College

Consolation Game - 3:00 p.m.

Championship Game - 7:00 p.m.