Women's Hockey Headed To Final Four

March 9, 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 out-shot the Valiants 39-14 on the night, coming away with a 3-1 win. The game was played before a crowd of 755, the largest to ever watch a women's game in the Kenyon Arena.

Middlebury looked strong early, holding Manhattanville shot-less for the game's first 7:20. Each team had some chances to score in the period, with both squads going 0/3 on the power play. The Valiants had a nice opportunity at the 13:19 mark, but Cory Alcorn was denied by Lani Wright on a breakaway. Amanda Nonis tried to stuff a shot home from the far side on a power play, but Wright was equal to the task once again. Middlebury ended the period with a 14-9 edge in shots.

Middlebury controlled play early in the second period, out-shooting Manhattanville 6-1 in the first five minutes. Middlebury was pressuring on a power play at 11:30 as Shannon Tarrant's rocket from the point hit the outside of the right post. Moments later, Abby Kurtz-Phelan found Tarrant in the same spot, but this time, Tarrant beat Karine Turmel with a slapper to the right side. The assist was the 100th point of her career for Kurtz-Phelan.

Just 45 seconds after the goal, Turmel denied another great opportunity, stopping Alison Graddock driving to the goal, before just getting apiece of Lacey Farrell's shot with her glove to deny a goal. Annemarie Cellino had another great chance at the 14-minute mark, but her shot was saved by Turmel before the rebound trickled past the goal line.

Manhattanville tied the game with 1:56 left in the third period, as Monique Rafferty circled the net before snapping a quick shot over the left shoulder of Wright for the goal. The Panthers against controlled the shots in the period, holding a 15-4 advantage.

Middlebury had a great chance to take the lead on a power play that began at the 11:27 mark. Several Panthers had great scoring chances from close range, but Turmel was able to deny each shot to keep it a 1-1 game. Middlebury killed off a Manhattanville power play at 14:51, giving the Valiants an 0/5 clip for the night.

Cellino scored the game-winner for Middlebury with just 1:17 left on the clock. Cellino skated to the left point just in front of the blue line, before ripping a shot to the top left corner of the net over the right shoulder of Turmel. Erika Nakamura added an empty-netter with 40 seconds remaining.

Wright made 13 saves in goal, moving to 12-2 on the season, while Turmel made 36 stops for Manhattanville.

Date: March 9, 2007 - 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Kenyon Arena - Site: Middlebury, Vt.

TEAM 1 2 3 OT F
Manhattanville (19-8-1) 0 1 0 - 1
Middlebury (22-3-2) 0 1 2 - 3

M-2nd (11:36) - PP: Shannon Tarrant (Abby Kurtz-Phelan, Annmarie Cellino)
Ma-2nd (18:04) - Monique Rafferty (Alex Blackwell)
M-3rd (18:43) - Cellino
M-3rd (19:20) - EN: Erika Nakamura (Tania Kenny)

Lani Wright-M (60 min., 13 saves, 1 GA)
Karine Turmel-Ma (59:45 min., 36 saves, 2 GA)