Women's Hockey Ready For NESCAC Tournament

February 28, 2006

The Middlebury College women's hockey team will make its fifth consecutive trip to the NESCAC semifinals this weekend. The Panthers will host the tournament for the first time since they hosted the inaugural tourney in '02. Middlebury will take on Colby, Saturday, March 4th at 12:30 p.m., while Bowdoin will meet Williams in the other semifinal at 3:30 p.m. The winners meet for the NESCAC Championship game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Middlebury has won the tournament three times ('05, '03, '01), including a 5-1 win at Bowdoin a year ago. The team is now 8-2 overall in NESCAC Tournament play, advancing to the finals in three of the last four seasons. The Panthers have also captured four national championships in the last six years, including back-to-back NCAA crowns in '04 and '05.

Middlebury enters the weekend with conference-best 1.29 goals allowed/contest, while their offense ranks second with 4.46 goals/game. Special teams have also been key, with the Panthers sporting a NESCAC-best .252 power play percentage and a .957 penalty kill, tops in the nation. Head coach Bill Mandigo is now in his 18th season, with more wins (324-86-11) than any other coach in women's college hockey history.

Leading the team in scoring this season have been senior Emily Quizon and rookie Annmarie Cellino. Quizon leads the team with 18 assists to go along with her 15 goals and 33 points on the season. She enters the weekend with 106 career assists and 164 points, putting her third and fifth respectively on Middlebury's all-time lists. Cellino has a team-high 20 goals and 35 points on the season to go along with her 15 assists. She leads the team with six power play goals, while leading the nation with five shorthanded tallies on the season.

Other leading scoring this season for the Panthers have been junior Shannon Sylvester (11-16-27), junior Abby Kurtz-Phelan (12-12-24), rookie Erika Nakamura (11-7-18) and sophomore Karen Levin (5-13-18). Juniors Shannon Tarrant (5-12-17) and Emily McNamara (4-13-17) have been the leaders on defense.

In goal, senior Kate Kogut is 16-2 on the season with a 1.63 GAA and .916 save percentage. Her GAA leads the NESCAC and is eighth in the nation, while her save percentage ranks her second in the conference.

2006 NESCAC Women's Hockey Tournament

Saturday, March 4th - Kenyon Arena - Middlebury College
#1 Middlebury (22-2) vs. #4 Colby (15-7-1) - 12:30 p.m.
#2 Bowdoin (16-8) vs. #3 Williams (14-10-1) - 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 5th - Kenyon Arena - Middlebury College
NESCAC Championship - 1:00 p.m.