BEVERLY, Mass. – The first-seeded Endicott women's ice hockey team will host No. 4 seed Stevenson University this Saturday in the Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) Tournament semifinals at 12:30 PM at Raymond J. Bourque Arena. Admission will be free of charge to this weekend's frozen four-style format that will feature both semifinal rounds on Saturday (12:30 PM/4:00 PM) and the championship round on Sunday (1:30 PM). Fans should also be reminded that backpacks will not be allowed in the arena. Purses are permitted into Raymond J. Bourque Arena for the weekend.
The No. 8/10 nationally ranked Gulls earned the first seed in the CHC Tournament after winning the regular season championship with an 11-1-0 league mark. Endicott received an automatic bye into the semifinal round of the 2016-17 CHC Tournament for winning the league, while No. 4 Stevenson claimed a spot in the playoffs with a 7-4-1 conference record. The Mustangs then advanced to the semis with a 2-1 quarterfinals victory against Johnson & Wales University (JWU) on Saturday, February 25 (BOX SCORE | RECAP).
THE MATCHUP/SERIES HISTORY: Endicott and Stevenson are deadlocked at a 2-2-1 record headed into Saturday's semifinal round tilt. The Mustangs posted a 2-0-1 record in the first three meetings, which includes a 2-1 double overtime victory in the inaugural CHC Championship game last season, while the Gulls have won the last two games in the all-time series.
SCOUTING ENDICOTT: The Gulls, who have not played in a contest since February 18, enter Saturday's matchup on a four-game winning streak. During that span, Endicott has outscored its opponents 13-2 (three shutouts).
Nationally speaking, Endicott checks in among the best in Division III in the following categories: No. 11 scoring offense (3.04 g/gm), No. 3 scoring defense (1.12 g/gm), No. 8 scoring margin (1.92), No. 1 fewest penalty minutes (5.6 pim/gm), No. 21 power play (22/122, 18.0%), No. 1 penalty kill (65/67, 97.0%), No. 44 combined special teams (87/189, 46.0%).
SCOUTING STEVENSON: The Mustangs hit the road for their ninth weekend road trip and their 18th game away from their home rink, the Reisterstown Sportsplex. The team is 8-4-0 in road games this season and have posted a 2-2-0 record in neutral games. Junior Chelsea Blackburn (Westland, Mich.) has totaled 39 points in 40 career road games on 26 goals and 15 assists. This season she has 20 points away from home on 14 goals and six assists, including one hat trick. Classmate Monica Pozuc (Kent, Ohio) has 20 career points on the road, including 16 this season on six goals and 10 assists. Meanwhile, sophomore Cierra Siemasko (Fallston, Md.) has recorded 12 of her 13 career points away from home.
As a team, Stevenson ranks nationally in the following categories: No. 16 scoring offense (2.84 g/gm), no. 24 scoring defense (2.12 g/gm), No. 20 scoring margin (0.72), No. 11 fewest penalty minutes (7.5 pim/gm), No. 44 power play (16/133, 12.0%), No. 17 penalty kill (75/86, 87.2%), No. 58 combined special teams (91/219, 41.6%, second-to-last in the country).
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The winner of Saturday's semifinal will take on the winner of No. 2 Morrisville State and No. 3 SUNY Canton on Sunday in the CHC championship game at 1:30 PM at Raymond J. Bourque Arena.
(Some portions of this release courtesy of the Stevenson University Sports Information Department)