MIDDLEBURY, Vt. --- The Colby College women's hockey team battled hard the past two weekends to get into the New England Small College Athletic Conference playoffs, and now hope to keep their season going when the Mules travel to top-seeded Middlebury College for a league playoff game Saturday at 1 p.m.
The game will be Webcast (there is a cost) at http://www.middlebury.edu/athletics/about/livecoverage
Colby dropped a 3-2 loss in overtime at home to start the season and then fell 6-0 the next day to the Panthers. The Mules want the game to be close and low scoring again Saturday.
Colby sophomore goaltender Brianne Wheeler had 56 saves in the season opener loss to Middlebury. She had 38 saves in the first two periods. The Panthers solved her the next day and Wheeler had 30 stops in that contest.
Wheeler and Colby's defense have kept the Mules (6-16-2 overall) in many games this season. She has made 634 saves in 22 games and owns a .920 save percentage to go along with a 2.65 goals against average.
The Mules have had goal scoring problems for nearly the entire season, but came up with 10 goals in two key league wins over Wesleyan University and Hamilton College to earn the eighth seed in the playoffs.
Sophomore forward Samantha Slotnick is a key offensively, leading the Mules with six goals and seven assists for 13 points. Lauren Guarente (4 goals, 3 assists), Annie Papadellis (4 goals, 2 assists), Marissa Simmons (1 goal, 5 assists), Meredith Reynolds (3 goals, 2 assists), and Carolyn Fuwa (2 goals, 3 assists) are other leading scorers.
Middlebury (18-3-3 overall) has won the close games this season, with seven one-goal victories. However, the Panthers have had their offense in high gear over the past seven games with 35 goals (5.0 per game).
The Panthers have 11 players with 13 points or more this season. Junior forward Lauren Greer has 11 goals and 14 assists for a team-best 25 points, sophomore Sara Ugalde (13 goals, 11 assists), first-year Hannah Bielawski (7 goals, 16 assists), and senior Maggie Melberg (9 goals, 13 assists) are leading scorers.
Middlebury first-year goalie Annabelle Jones has played about 72 percent of the minutes in net and has a .925 save percentage.
2012 Women’s Ice Hockey Championship Seeding
Quarterfinals – Saturday, Feb. 25 at higher seeds
No. 8 Colby at No. 1 Middlebury – 1:00 p.m.
No. 7 Connecticut College at No. 2 Amherst – 1:00 p.m.
No. 6 Williams at No. 3 Bowdoin – 1:00 p.m.
No. 5 Hamilton at No. 4 Trinity – 3:00 p.m.
Semifinals – Saturday, March 3 at Highest Remaining Seed
Lowest remaining seed vs. Highest remaining seed – 1:00 p.m.
Remaining first round winners – 4:00 p.m.
Championship – Sunday, March 4
Semifinal Winners – 2:00 p.m.
NOTE: If the Semifinals and Championship of the NESCAC Women’s Ice Hockey Championship are held at the same site as the NESCAC Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, then the Semifinals will be on Saturday, March 3, at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.