Women's Hockey Headed To NCAA Championship Weekend

March 12, 2013

The Middlebury College women’s hockey team will make its seventh appearance in the NCAA semifinals when they travel to Wessman Arena in Superior, Wisconsin. The Panthers will meet familiar foe Plattsburgh on Friday, March 15th at 4:30 p.m., while Elmira meets Gustavus Adolphus at 8:00 p.m. The third-place game will take place at 4:30 on Saturday with the NCAA Championship game facing off at 8:00 p.m. (all times are eastern).

Middlebury is in the midst of its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance, having previously qualified from (’02-’10, ‘12). The Panthers have won more tournament games (15-7) than any other school in Division III history and are first with a .682 winning percentage in NCAA games. The Panthers earned an at-large bid to the tournament after falling in the NESCAC Championship game on Sunday. Last weekend, Middlebury picked up a 3-2 overtime win at Norwich in the quarterfinals as sophomore Katie Sullivan scored all three goals to earn the hat-trick.

Middlebury won three straight titles from ’04-’06, advancing to the finals in ’07. Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Middlebury captured the ’00 and ’01 AWCHA National Championship tournaments.  Middlebury earned its way into the tournament with an at-large bid after falling in the NESCAC Championship game to Bowdoin.

Middlebury has amassed an amazing 390-71-27 (.827) record over the past 18 seasons. The Panthers have boasted some impressive streaks in that time, including a 136-game Division III unbeaten streak (ended 1/26/01 with loss at Manhattanville) and an 85-game home winning streak (ended 3/1/02 with loss to Williams).

Middlebury is among the nation’s leaders in many categories, including scoring offense (3.25-11th), scoring defense (1.71-9th), power play (.242-5th) and penalty kill (.865-14th).

The Middlebury offense is led by Hannah Bielawski, who is sixth in the nation and first in the NESCAC with .75 assists/game. The sophomore also owns nine goals and 30 points, with her 1.07 points/game placing her third among her NESCAC colleagues. Sophomore Emily Fluke leads the team with 16 goals to go along with 12 assists for 28 points this season, tying her for fifth in the league with 1.0 points/game. Her .57 goals/contest tie her for second in the NESCAC. Sullivan (13-12-25), senior Lauren Greer (10-10-20), junior Jennifer Krakower (3-15-18) and junior Madeline Joyce (7-10-17) round out the team’s leading scorers.

Defensively, Madison Styrbicki (3-13-16) is a four-time All-NESCAC selection. The senior, along with her fellow captain and classmate Heather Marrison (5-9-14) will anchor the blue line.

In goal, Annabelle Jones has started the last five games for the Panthers. The senior has an 11-3-2 record with a 1.42 GAA (6th nationally/2nd in NESCAC) and a .941 save percentage (6th nationally, 4th in NESCAC). Junior Laura Pinsent has started 10 games, owning a 6-4 mark with a 2.35 GAA and an .897 SV%.

Head Coach Bill Mandigo is now in his 25th season at the helm of the Panthers. He has a career record of 470 wins, 121 losses, and 29 ties, giving him more wins than any other coach in any division in the history of women’s college hockey. After leading his team to its first ECAC Championship in '96, Mandigo was named the ECAC Coach of the Year. In 2001, Mandigo was again honored as the ECAC Coach of the Year, as well as the AHCA National Coach of the Year. In ’01, ’04 and '05, Mandigo was named the AHCA National Coach of the Year. Since then, he’s led the team to five more ECAC titles, five national titles and four NESCAC crowns. He was recently named the NESCAC Coach of the Year for the second time.

2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Championship
Semifinals, Friday, March 15th – Wessman Arena – Superior, Wis.
Middlebury (19-7-2) vs. Plattsburgh (26-0-2) – 4:30 p.m. (eastern)
Elmira (22-5-1) vs. Gustavus Adolphus (27-0-1) – 8:00 p.m.

Semifinals, Saturday, March 16th – Wessman Arena – Superior, Wis.
Third-Place game – 4:30 p.m.
NCAA Championship – 8:00 p.m.