Amherst to Host Plattsburgh State in NCAA First Round
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s ice hockey team is bound for the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year, after receiving an at-large bid to the upcoming tournament. The Lord Jeffs will play host to two-time defending national champion Plattsburgh State on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Amherst wrapped up the 2009 NESCAC Women’s Ice Hockey Championship on Sunday afternoon with a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss to Middlebury College at home. Amherst entered the conference tournament as the top seed, and hosted play throughout the tournament at Orr Rink. The 2nd-seeded Panthers cruised through the first two rounds to set up a rematch of the thrilling 2006 conference title game that went to triple overtime, before Amherst won the first of two straight NESCAC crowns, 2-1.
With the defeat this weekend, Amherst dropped to 21-5-0, which already ranks as a program record for wins in a season. The Jeffs won 20 games, and a NESCAC title, in each of the past two seasons before moving onto the NCAA Tournament.
The loss snapped four significant streaks for Amherst, including its 50-game unbeaten streak against NESCAC opponents (43-0-7), six-game unbeaten streak against Middlebury (3-0-3) and eight-game overall winning streak. The Jeffs were also attempting to become the first team to win three consecutive NESCAC titles.
Despite the loss, Amherst can take some extra confidence into the NCAA Tournament knowing they will play at home. During the 2008-09 season, Amherst has posted an impressive 12-2-0 record at home, and has outscored opponents by an unbelievable 52-18 margin at Orr Rink.
Amherst will face the Cardinals of Plattsburgh State this weekend, which enters the NCAA Tournament with a 22-4-2 record after falling to Elmira 3-0 in the ECAC-West Championship finals. The Cardinals snapped a 13-game unbeaten streak (12-0-1) with the loss to Elmira, a stretch during which Plattsburgh scored five or more goals on nine occasions.
The Lord Jeffs and Cardinals have already met once this year, on Jan. 16. Plattsburgh State won that game 3-1 after adding an empty-net score with just six seconds remaining. After a scoreless first period, the Cardinals scored just 23 seconds into the second period, before grabbing the eventual game-winner midway through the frame. Amherst responded just 62 seconds later, but could not score again to equalize.
Tickets for this weekend’s game will be sold for $5 for adults, and $3 for students, seniors and children. Children under two years old will be admitted free of charge. Tickets will be sold at Orr Rink, with doors opening at 12 p.m.
The game will also be broadcast live online via JeffCast, and can be accessed from the link below.