March 3, 2010

By Amy Farnum

Top-ranked Plattsburgh is riding the nation’s longest unbeaten streak at 17 games (15-0-2) as the Cardinals enter ECAC East Women’s Hockey League playoffs that feature three of the nation’s top four teams in the semifinals on March 6.  The unbeaten streak is the second-longest in school history.

The Cardinals went 17-0-1 in league play, setting a school record for league victories, behind the stellar play of senior Stephanie Moberg’s 17 goals and 14 assists.  Plattsburgh has won seven ECAC West titles since 2004, and begins its quest for another against Utica in Saturday’s semifinal contest.  

Plattsburgh, which has made six straight NCAA appearances and claimed two of the last three Division III national titles, will put a 26-game conference unbeaten streak on the line.  The Plattsburgh-Utica winner will face the victor of third-ranked Elmira and No. 4 RIT on Sunday.

After setting the tone with a record-setting 10-1 win over Colby in the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship quarterfinals, defending NCAA champion and second-ranked Amherst College is poised to put together another successful postseason run as the Lord Jeffs host the league’s semifinals and final on March 6-7.The victory also avenged the Jeffs’ only NESCAC loss of the season, a 3-2 setback to Colby on Jan. 30.  

The Jeffs lead the league with 4.04 goals per game, and will test their offensive prowess against Bowdoin, which returns to the semifinals for the first time since 2007.  Senior Kate Dennett dished out two assists against Colby, becoming the fifth player in school history to collect 100 points.  

Fifth-ranked Trinity College and No. 10 Middlebury, the defending NESCAC champion, will tangle in the league’s other semifinal.  

  Lake Forest sophomore Kim Herring tallied a single-game school record six assists, and posted the first six-point game in program history, as she sparked the No. 7 Foresters to a 7-0 defeat of Finlandia University in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association O’Brien Cup quarterfinals on Feb. 28.

Herring boasts a school-record 25 assists this season in addition to 28 goals as she continues to lead the nation with 2.12 points per game.

Lake Forest’s win over Finlandia stretched its’ unbeaten streak to 10 games, tying the program record the squad set at the beginning of the season.  The Foresters will host UW-Superior in the NCHA semifinals on March 5.  The winner will meet the winner of Adrian and UW-River Falls in the O’Brien Cup title game the next day.

LITTLE BY LITTLE:  Manhattanville freshman Katie Little continued to be a scoring machine for the Valiants, tallying four goals in a resounding 11-1 win over Nichols in the ECAC East Tournament quarterfinals on Feb. 27.

Little, a native of Victoria, British Columbia, ranks third in the nation with 1.04 goals per game, and is fourth with 1.62 points per contest.

No. 9 Manhattanville hosts the remainder of the league playoffs on March 6-7.  The Valiants will meet New England College in the semifinals, while UMass Boston faces Norwich.