The NCAA Women’s Hockey Championship selection committee has released the draw for the 2006 NCAA Championship and the Gustavus women’s hockey team received a bye into the Final Four which will take place on March 17-18 at a site yet to be determined. The Gusties will play the winner of the Manhattanville vs. Middlebury game in one national semifinal on Friday, March 17.
Following is a release issued by the NCAA. Gustavus will release more details on Monday, March 6.
The NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Committee has announced the seven teams selected for the 2006 NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship. Of the seven teams selected, four of the teams received automatic qualification berths as winners of their conference championships. One school was selected from Pool B, which are independent schools and schools from conferences that do not meet the requirements for automatic qualification. The final two schools are from Pool C, which are schools from automatic-qualifying conferences that were not the conference champion and the remaining schools from Pool B.
Conferences receiving automatic qualification:
ECAC Division III East Women’s Hockey League: Manhattanville
ECAC Women’s West Ice Hockey League: Plattsburgh State
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: Gustavus Adolphus
New England Small College Athletic Conference: Middlebury
Three first-round games will be played at campus sites March 10, 11 or 12. Dates and times for these games will be announced Monday. The four remaining teams will play in the semifinals and finals to be held March 17 and 18, respectively at a site to be determined following the first-round games.
Highlights of the NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship will be shown on CBS at 1 p.m. Eastern time, Saturday, April 22. CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA will feature highlights of 17 different NCAA championships; each taking place during the winter season.
In last year’s championship, Emily Quizon scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal midway through the third period to give Middlebury College a 4-2 lead over Elmira College. Elmira fought back with a goal late in the third period and nearly tied the game with just seconds to play, but it was not enough as Middlebury hung on for a 4-3 victory to capture its second consecutive NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship.
Prior to Middlebury’s reign as national champions, Elmira won the previous two NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championships in 2002 and 2003.