Women's Hockey: #1 Norwich vs. #7 UMass Boston - NEHC Semifinals Preview

NEHC Women's Hockey Tournament Semifinal Preview

THE STORYLINE: No. 8/5 nationally-ranked Norwich (19-5-2, 15-0-1 NEHC) continues its quest for its ninth NEHC Championship on Saturday by hosting No. 7 seed UMass Boston (10-14-2, 5-9-2 NEHC) in NEHC Semifinal action at Kreitzberg Arena.

The Cadets earned the No. 1 seed for the NEHC Tournament for the ninth straight year. With a victory on Saturday, NU would advance to the NEHC Championship that it would also host on March 2 at Kreitzberg Arena.

Norwich is coming off a 3-0 victory over Salem State in the quarterfinal round last Saturday, while UMass Boston upset No. 2 seed Suffolk 2-1 as well.  

Tickets are available at www.cadetstickets.com or by calling 802-485-2880. If you are unable to attend the game, live video will be available at www.nsnsports.colleges/norwich

WHAT'S AT STAKE: A berth in the NEHC Tournament Championship is on the line on Saturday. Norwich will be looking to make its 11th straight league tournament title game appearance, while UMass Boston will be looking to make its third appearance in the title game.  

In the other semifinal matchup, No. 3 Castleton hosts No. 5 Johnson & Wales on Saturday at 4 p.m. Castleton beat No. 6 Plymouth State 2-1 in the quarterfinals, while Johnson & Wales upset No. 4 Southern Maine 5-0.

The last time Norwich did not make the NEHC Tournament Championship was its inaugural season in 2007-08.

THE SERIES: Today marks the 23rd all-time meeting between Norwich and UMass Boston in women's ice hockey. Norwich leads the all-time series 18-4-0 vs. the Beacons, including two victories by identical 4-1 scores this season.

The Cadets and Beacons have met in two of the last three NEHC Championship games, with UMass Boston winning 2-0 in 2016 and Norwich winning 7-0 in last year's title game.

THE COACHES: Norwich is led by Mark Bolding '95, who is in his 12th season at the helm of the NU women's ice hockey program. The four-time American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) Coach of the Year has compiled an impressive 264-67-22 record in his tenure as the only head coach the program has known, while leading the Cadets to two NCAA Division III National Championships (2011, 2018).

UMass Boston is led by first-year head coach Dom Lozzi, who is a 2012 Bowdoin College graduate. Lozzi previously served as an assistant coach at Trinity College.

ABOUT THE CADETS: Norwich is led offensively by the two-time NEHC Player of the Year in junior forward Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.), who has 27 goals and 11 assists for 38 points this season.

Senior forward Adrieana Rossini (Malden, Mass.) has nine goals and a team-leading 19 assists for 28 points and reached the 100-career-point milestone this year. Junior Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) has 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points and is four points away from becoming the 11th member of the 100-career-point club. McGovern was named to the NEHC First Team, while Rossini earned Second Team honors.

Sophomore defenseman Samantha Benoit (Bow, N.H.) (5-16-21) and junior forward Alyssa Hulst (Scarborough, Maine) (8-14-22) round out Norwich's top-five offensive leaders. Benoit was named to the NEHC First Team, while Hulst earned Third Team honors.

Senior captain forward Bryn Labbe (Calgary, Alberta) (7-7-14) became the 10th member of the 100-career-point club earlier this season.

In goal, sophomore Emily Lambert (Riverview, Mich.) has grabbed the reins of the No. 1 goalie spot. Lambert has compiled an 12-4-1 record with a 1.35 goals against average and a .939 save percentage. Lambert became the first goalie in program history to be named the NEHC Goalie of the Year last week.

ABOUT THE BEACONS: UMass Boston is led by senior Jane Morrisette, who has 10 goals and seven assists for 17 points and was named to the NEHC Second Team.

Sophomore Katie Leffler has eight goals and eight assists for 16 points. Senior Edy Moritz has eight goals and four assists for 12 points, while freshman Cailey Kozich has four goals and eight assists for 12 points as well.

Senior Kaleigh Beauregard rounds out the top-five offensive leaders with three goals and eight assists for 11 points.

In goal, senior Alyssa DePippo and junior Caty Flagg. DePippo is 6-9-1 with a 1.83 GAA and a .907 save percentage. Flagg is 3-5-1 with a 1.88 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

By the Numbers: (national rank)

SCORING OFFENSE-
Norwich: 4.31 (6th)
UMass Boston:  1.96 (40th)

SCORING DEFENSE-
Norwich: 1.42 (10th)
UMass Boston:  1.88 (24th)

PENALTY MINUTES PER GAME-
Norwich: 8.7 minutes (30th)
UMass Boston: 8.2 minutes (39th)

POWER PLAY-
Norwich: 22.3 percent (12th)
UMass Boston: 18.5 percent (19th)

PENALTY KILL-
Norwich: 89.4 percent (14th)
UMass Boston: 87.9 percent (21st)