Panthers to host UNE in NEHC first round on Saturday
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Following a pair of exciting victories over the weekend, the Plymouth State University women's ice hockey team will host a postseason game for the first time in program history.
Plymouth State (8-13-4, 7-5-2 NEHC) has earned the fourth seed for the upcoming New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) women's division tournament and will host fifth-seeded University of New England at Hanaway Rink on Saturday night (7:00 p.m.).
In other quarterfinal action top-seeded Norwich University will host eighth seed New England College, second seed University of Massachusetts Boston will host seventh-seeded Salve Regina University and third seed Castleton University will host sixth-seeded University of Southern Maine. All other quarterfinal games will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
PSU looked impressive picking up four points with wins over UMass Boston and Salve Regina over the weekend. The Panthers, under the guidance of second year head coach Mykul Haun, had three different goal scorers and never trailed in Friday night's 3-1 win over the Beacons on Girls & Women in Sports Night. On Saturday, Salve Regina jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period before junior Kelsey Roy (Ft. Collins, Colo.) scored a pair of goals to even the score. Sophomore Sydney Linnick (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) potted the game-winner with eight minutes to play and the Panthers held on for the Senior Day win.
UNE (9-9-7, 4-5-5 NEHC) will come into the game with confidence after going 1-0-1 against the Panthers this season. The two teams skated to a 1-1 tie at Hanaway Rink on Nov. 4, just the third game of the season for PSU, before the Nor'Easters topped Plymouth 4-1 in Biddeford, Maine on Jan. 27.
The game will feature two of the top goaltenders in the NEHC in PSU junior Emelie Lindqvist (Gulleråsen, Sweden) and UNE sophomore Caty Flagg (Methuen, Mass.). Lindqvist ranks third in the league with a 2.07 goals against average and is second with a .941 save percentage, while Flagg leads the league with a .946 save percentage and is second in the league averaging 1.74 goals against.
Linnick, sophomore Alexis Fagan (Wakefield, R.I.) and junior Brooke Maggy (Los Angeles, Calif.) lead the Panthers with five goals apiece, while sophomore Kailey Jacobs (Westwood, Mass.) tops the team with 10 assists and 13 points. The Panthers have surrendered the second fewest goals to conference opponents this season, allowing just 22 tallies in 14 games.
For the Nor'Easters, freshman Jessie Scott (Barre, Vt.) leads the team with eight goals and 13 points. Sophomore Tatum Gietl (Littleton, Colo.) is second on the team with 12 points, while junior Julianne Sheehan (Chelmsford, Mass.) leads the team with nine assists.
The four winners from Saturday's games will advance to the semifinals the following Saturday (Feb. 27). The highest remaining seed will host the lowest remaining seed in one semifinal game, with the two remaining teams playing at the site of the higher seed in the other semifinal.
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