Women's Hockey Heads to Vermont For NESCAC Semifinals Saturday

Photo courtesy of www.CIPhotography.com
Photo courtesy of www.CIPhotography.com

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Bowdoin College women's ice hockey team will look to claim its first NESCAC Championship since 2004 when they travel to Vermont this weekend for the conference championship weekend.

Saturday's semifinal action begins when top seeded Middlebury hosts fifth seeded Connecticut College at 1:00 p.m., with third seeded Amherst and second seeded Bowdoin facing off at 4:00 p.m. Games will be played at Kenyon Arena on the campus of Middlebury College, with the semifinal winners advancing to the championship game to be played at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3. The 2013 NESCAC Champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Tickets are priced at $5 for adults, $3 for students and will be available at the door. Fans unable to attend can watch all of the action live via webcast at the link above.

The second-seeded Polar Bears defeated seventh seeded Williams, 5-3, in the quarterfinals and are looking to make it back to the championship game for the first time since 2006. Bowdoin has two NESCAC titles to its credit, winning the conference crown in 2002 and 2004 and playing in five straight championship games from 2002-2006.

Led by four of the league's top point producers, Bowdoin (19-4-2, 12-3-1 NESCAC) is led offensively by first year Rachel Kennedy, who has 29 points off of 15 goals and 14 assists. Senior Kayte Holtz, sophomore Chelsea MacNeill, and senior Kim Tess-Wanat have combined for over 70 points and helped the Polar Bears to a 14 game unbeaten streak during the year. Bowdoin locked up the second seed with a pair of victories at Amherst to close the regular season. Amherst leads the championship series with a 4-1 mark, including a 1-0 win in the 2012 semifinals.

Third seeded Amherst (12-10-1, 10-5-1 NESCAC) has emerged as one of the premier teams in the conference in recent years, advancing to the finals six straight times. The Jeffs' incredible run has included three conference championships (2007, 2008, 2010) and a pair of national titles (2008, 2009). Despite their recent success, they have come up just short against Middlebury in each of the last two NESCAC title games. In addition to their 1-0 overtime setback in last year's championship, they fell 4-3 in 2011. The Jeffs defeated sixth seeded Hamilton, 5-1, in the quarterfinals.

Senior Geneva Lloyd leads the Amherst offense with 27 points, while sophomore Tori Salmon has 25 points. Senior Megan Doyen has 18 points, tying Lloyd for a team-best 13 goals. Doyen leads the NESCAC with nine power play goals, while Lloyd's 13 goals and 14 assists are best among NESCAC defensemen.