The Gustavus women’s hockey team has been selected to host the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship this Friday and Saturday at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Play will begin on Friday when Norwich University of Northfield, Vermont will face Elmira College of Elmira, New York at 3:30 pm in one semifinal matchup followed by Gustavus facing defending national champion Amherst College of Amherst, Massachusetts in the other semifinal at 7:00 pm. Saturday’s consolation game will begin at 3:30 pm, while the championship game is set to start at 7:00 pm. (All times are Central Daylight Time). Follow all of the action at the Tournament Website.
There are single session and all-session tickets available for the NCAA Championship. Costs are $12 for adults and $6 for students for a single session and $20 for adults and $10 for students for an all-session pass. Tickets, which are all general admission, are available in advance at gustavustickets.com or at the door the day of the game.
There will be a live videostream of all four games during the weekend and live statistics will be available as well. A link to both will be posted as soon as they are available.
Elmira (23-4-1) advanced to the finals with a 2-1 win over Trinity College. The Eagles, who will be making their sixth appearance in the NCAA Championship Finals, lost to Amherst 4-3 in overtime in last year’s championship game in Middlebury, Vermont. Norwich (19-5-5), which is making its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first ever appearance in the Finals, scored twice in the final two minutes of the third period to defeat Plattsburgh State 3-2 and move on to the Semifinals. Elmira and Norwich have met once before in the NCAA Tournament and that was last year when the Eagles defeated the Cadets 2-1 in a first round game.
Elmira is led in scoring by a trio of seniors including Jenna McCall, who has tallied 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points, Jamie Kivi, who has contributed 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points, and Lauryn DePaul, who has registered 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points. Sophomore Alex Bresler leads in goals scored with 18. In the nets, first year Lauren Sullivan has compiled a record of 14-2-1 with a 1.14 goals against average, while first year Samantha Maguire has posted a mark of 8-2-0 with a 1.86 goals against average. Elmira has won 12 straight games including its last three against nationally ranked opponents #7 RIT (2-1, ot), #3 Plattsburgh State (4-2), and #5 Trinity (2-1). The Eagles boast a rich NCAA Tournament history having won national titles in 2002 and 2003, while finishing second last year. Elmira has compiled a 10-5-0 mark in eight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Norwich has quickly grown into one of the premier small college programs in the country advancing to the NCAA Championship Finals in just its third year of competition. The Cadets posted a mark of 12-10-2 in their first year of competition in 2008, before qualifying for the NCAA Tournament last year with a mark of 19-9-1. Norwich is led in scoring by sophomore Julie Fortier who is one of the top scorers in Division III with 22 goals and 16 assists for 38 points. Joining Fortier up front is senior Sophie Leclerc who has contributed 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points. Leclerc scored twice in the final 90 seconds against Plattsburgh State to vault the Cadets past the Cardinals and into the Finals. In goal, junior Cindy Fortin has played the majority of minutes and compiled a record of 9-5-5 with a 2.19 goals against average. Sophomore Chiara Traversa has also performed well in the nets posting a mark of 10-0-0 with a 1.41 goals against average.
Gustavus (22-4-2) punched its ticket to the finals with a 2-0 win over UW-River Falls. The Gusties enter the weekend with the longest winning streak in Division III at 13 straight. After starting the season 2-3-1, the Gusties have compiled a mark of 20-1-1 the rest of the way. Amherst (21-2-4) received the #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a bye into the semifinals. The Lord Jeffs earned an automatic bid to this year’s Tournament by virtue of winning the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Playoff title. This will be the first ever meeting between Gustavus and Amherst in the NCAA Tournament.
The Gusties will be making their fourth appearance in the NCAA Championship Finals, but first since 2006. Coach Mike Carroll’s squad snapped a string of three consecutive first round NCAA Tournament losses by dispatching of UW-River Falls last Saturday. Gustavus features three of the top five scoring first year players in this year’s NCAA Tournament in Lindsey Hjelm (11-13-24), Meagan Wanecke (11-11-22), and Tam Meuwissen (8-12-20). Hjelm, Wanecke,and Meuwissen join with sophomore Allie Schwab (17-13-30) and senior All-American Melissa Mackley (12-17-29) to give the Gusties a balanced scoring attack. All-America defender Kirstin Peterson anchors the blue line, but also contributes in the offensive zone as she is the team’s fourth leading scorer with six goals and 18 assists for 24 points. In goal, sophomore Danielle Justice leads Division III in goals against average at 0.85. She has compiled a 16-2-0 mark, while posting a .889 save percentage. Emily Klatt has also been solid in the nets as she has compiled a 6-2-2- mark with a 1.73 goals against average.
Amherst has registered an impressive 21-2-4 mark against a very demanding schedule that includes a 7-1-3 record against teams currently ranked in the top ten nationally. The Lord Jeffs rank sixth in Division III in scoring offense (3.93 gpg) and fourth in scoring defense (1.19 gpg). Amherst also sports a very balanced scoring attack with six players scoring 20 points or more this season. First year Geneva Lloyd leads the way with eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points. Courtney Hanlson is next with 16 goals and 11 assists for 27 points. Junior Caroline Hu has compiled an impressive 14-1-1 record as the Lord Jeffs primary netminder. She ranks second in the nation in goals-against average (1.00) and seventh in save percentage (.938).
2010 NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Championship
Gustavus Adolphus College – St. Peter, Minnesota
Friday, March 19 – National Semifinals
#10 Norwich (19-5-5) vs. #2 Elmira (23-4-1) – 3:30 p.m. (CDT)
#1 Amherst (21-2-4) vs. #6 Gustavus Adolphus (22-4-2) – 7:00 p.m. (CDT)
Saturday, March 20
Third Place Game – 3:30 p.m. (CDT)
Championship Game – 7:00 p.m. (CDT)