Women's Hockey Heads To Final Four

March 13, 2007

Middlebury will make its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA semifinals after defeating Manhattanville in the quarterfinals for the third straight season. The Panthers will take on Wisconsin-Stevens Point at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 16th in Plattsburgh. The host school will meet Amherst in the other semifinal at 7:00 p.m.

The Panthers entered the semifinals after a 3-1 win over Manhattanville, as Middlebury out-shot the Valiants 39-14 on the night. Annmarie Cellino scored the game winner with 1:17 remaining before Middlebury added an empty-net goal. The game was played before a crowd of 755, the largest to ever watch a women's game in the Kenyon Arena.

Middlebury earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after falling 2-1 in triple overtime to Amherst in the NESCAC Championship game. The Panthers are now 11-3 overall in NESCAC Tournament play.

Middlebury enters the weekend as the three-time defending NCAA Champions with a record of 10-2 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 280-34-11 (.878) record over the past 12 seasons, with head coach Bill Mandigo sporting a 351-89-12 (.790) record in his 19th season at the helm of the program. His 351 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 22-3-2 overall record, after going 14-0-2 in NESCAC play. The offense ranks sixth in the nation, scoring 4.07 goals/game, while the defense allows 1.41 goals/game, placing them third among their Division III opponents. The special teams have been impressive, with Middlebury's penalty kill ranked seventh (.912) and its power play fourth-best (.227).

Leading the team in scoring this season is NESCAC Player of the Year, Abby Kurtz-Phelan. The senior is ranked fifth nationally with 1.76 points and fourth with 1.05 assists/game. She has 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points in 21 games played. She is second on the team with six power play and five game-winning goals. Kurtz-Phelan now has 100 career points in 98 games played.

Sophomore Annmarie Cellino (14-19-33), senior Shannon Sylvester (14-18-32), senior Shannon Tarrant (10-18-28) and junior Karen Levin (10-14-24) round out the leading scorers.

Junior Angie Todd and first-year netminder Lani Wright have split time in goal this season. Todd is 9-1-2 with a 1.10 GAA (2nd nationally) and a .936 save percentage (6th nationally). Wright has a 12-2 record with a 1.65 GAA (7th nationally) and a .912 save percentage.

2007 NCAA Women's Hockey Tournament - *=host school

Quarterfinals, Friday, March 9th & Saturday, March 10th
*Middlebury 3, Manhattanville 1
Wis.-Stevens Point 4, *Gustavus Adolphus 1
Amherst 2, *R.I.T. 1

Semifinals, Friday, March 16th - Plattsburgh
Middlebury (22-3-2) vs. Wis.-Stevens Point (19-6-2) - 3:30 p.m.
Plattsburgh (25-0-2) vs. Amherst (20-5-3) - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 17th - Plattsburgh
Consolation Game - 3:30 p.m.
NCAA Championship - 7:00 p.m.