Middlebury To Host Manhattanville In NCAA Quarters

March 7, 2006

Middlebury will makes its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 10th when they host Manhattanville at 7:00 p.m. This will be the second straight NCAA quarterfinal match-up between the two schools. A year ago, Emily McNamara scored the game-winner 16:31 into overtime to lift the Panthers to a 3-2 win. The all-time series between the schools is tied at two wins apiece. It was Manhattanville that broke Middlebury's 136-game Division III winning streak back in January of '01.

Middlebury earned its way into the tourney by capturing its fourth NESCAC Championship with an 8-2 win over Bowdoin. Emily Quizon and Annmarie Cellino each notched hat tricks in the title game. The Panthers are now 10-2 overall in NESCAC Tournament play.

No stranger to NCAA play, the Panthers are the two-time defending champions, with a record of 6-2 in NCAA play since the tournament's inception in '02. Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Middlebury captured the '00 and '01 AWCHA National Championships. Middlebury has an amazing 255-31-9 (.880) record over the past 11 seasons, with head coach Bill Mandigo sporting a 326-86-11 (.784) record in his 18th season at the helm of the program. His 326 wins are more than any other coach in any division in the history of women's college hockey.

The Panthers enter the game with a 24-2 overall record, after going 15-1 in NESCAC play. Middlebury was ranked second in the final national poll and second in the PairWise power rankings. The offense ranks fourth in the nation, scoring 4.54 goals/game, while the defense allows 1.31 goals/game, placing them third among their Division III opponents. The special teams have been impressive, with Middlebury's penalty kill ranked second (.952) and its power play fourth-best (.258).

Leading the team in scoring this season have been Quizon and Cellino. Quizon, a senior captain, leads the team with 19 assists to go along with her 19 goals and 38 points on the season. She enters the weekend with 107 career assists and 169 points, putting her third and fifth respectively on Middlebury's all-time lists. Cellino has a team-high 24 goals and 41 points on the season to go along with her 17 assists. The rookie leads the team with eight power play goals (second nationally), while leading the nation with six shorthanded tallies on the season.

Other leading scorers this season for the Panthers have been junior Shannon Sylvester (11-16-27), junior Abby Kurtz-Phelan (13-13-26), rookie Erika Nakamura (14-7-21) and sophomore Karen Levin (5-14-19). Juniors Shannon Tarrant (5-14-19) and McNamara (4-14-18) have been the leaders on defense. Sylvester and Kurtz-Phelan each have four game-winners, tying them for fourth among national leaders.

In goal, senior Kate Kogut is 18-2 on the season with a 1.61 GAA and .915 save percentage. Her GAA is seventh nationally, while her winning percentage (.900) puts her second.

Manhattanville earned its way into the tourney with a 4-1 win over N.E.C. in the ECAC East title game. The Valiants sport a 23-3-1 overall record with a 20-game winning streak that was snapped at Plattsburgh on February 26th. The team leads the nation with 6.0 goals/game, while allowing a fourth-best 1.41 goals/game. Strong special teams are also a key for Manhattanville, with a .250 power play (5th) and a .931 penalty kill (4th).

Sophomore Amanda Nonis leads the team in scoring with 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points on the season. Her 1.77 goals/game rank her third nationally, while her 1.0 assists/contest put her sixth. Senior Jessica Temesy (17-22-39), sophomore Jessica Zimmerman (15-22-37), senior Jami Grasby (15-17-32) and rookie Alex Blackwell (13-16-29) are the other leading scorers.

First-year netminder Karine Turmel has been in goal of late, sporting a 10-1-1 record with a 1.19 GAA and .943 save percentage. Her GAA leads the nation, while her save percentage puts her second. Sophomore Liane Ortis has a 13-2 record with a 1.51 GAA and .923 save percentage.

2006 NCAA Women's Hockey Tournament

Quarterfinals, Friday, March 10th
Manhattanville (23-3-1) @ Middlebury (24-2) - 7:00
Quarterfinals, Saturday, March 11th
Wis.-Superior (22-3-2) @ Wis.-Stevens Point (19-4-4) - 8:00
Elmira (18-8) @ Plattsburgh (24-2-1) - 7:00

Semifinals, Friday, March 17th - site TBA
Wis.-Superior/Wis.-Stevens Point winner vs. Elmira/Plattsburgh
Manhattanville/Middlebury winner vs. Gustavus Adolphus (22-3-2)

Championship, Saturday, March 18th - site TBA
Gametime - TBA