MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) has announced their pairings for the postseason. Endicott College (9-2-1) claimed the regular season crown and number one seed for the postseason tournament. The number one seed also solidifies hosting rights for Endicott for the championship weekend tournament.
Endicott and number two seed, Nichols College, will both receive byes into the semifinals. Number three seed, Morrisville State, will host six seed Salve Regina University while fourth seeded SUNY Canton will host fifth seeded University of New England in first round action.
The Gulls clinched the top seed after sweeping last year's champions, Morrisville State, in the final weekend of league play. Endicott leads the CHC in scoring defense, allowing 0.83 goals per game. Vendela Jonsson (Linkpoing, Sweden) leads the defense between the pipes, surrendering a mere five goals in league games. On offense the team will look to Caroline Hughes (Andover, Mass.), Lexi Klein (Shoreview, Minn.) and Jade Meier (Fairbanks, Alaska) who all rank in the top ten in league scoring.
Nichols put together another fantastic season to earn a bye straight into the semifinal round as the two seed. Reigning CHC Rookie of the Year Mel McAleer (Hanson, Mass.) leads the conference in scoring with 17 points on ten goals and seven assists. Following closely is teammate Kelly Ferreira (North Falmouth, Mass.) whose 15 points on six goals and nine assists rank second. The Bison also boast one of the league's top goaltender in Cassandra Goyette (Norton, Mass.) whose 1.17 goals against average and .958 save percentage each rank third.
Defending CHC Champions, Morrisville State, skated to a third seed and first round home game to begin their quest to defend the crown. The Mustangs will look to Jessica Ujcik (Munich, Germany) and Mackenzie Lombardi (Hamilton, Ont.) to set the pace offensively. Ujcik ranks third in the CHC with 11 points (six goals, five assists) while Lombardi ranks fifth with ten points (two goals, eight assists).
SUNY Canton earned the fourth seed and first round hosting rights after posting a 5-5-2 record in league play. Noelle Niemiec (Staten Island, N.Y.) leads all CHC defenseman with nine points on three goals and six assists. Sophomore Ashley Gillies (Timmins, Ont.) also poses an offensive threat from the blue line as her seven points (five goals, two assists) rank just behind Niemiec in defenseman scoring.
Fifth-seed University of New England are led by Kyra Yu (Ogden, Utah) on offense. The sophomore's nine points give her a share of sixth most points in league. The Nor'easters are tied for first in league scoring with 31 goals in 12 conference contests.
Salve Regina nabbed the sixth and final spot in the CHC postseason. The Seahawks are led by senior captain Taylor Chisholm (Discovery Bay, Calif.) who paced the team with eight points on five goals and three assists in league play. They will also look to senior goaltender Jennifer O'Connell (Marstons Mills, Mass.) to play a key role in the playoff stretch.
The CHC postseason begins with quarterfinal action on Saturday, February 23. The semifinal round and championship game will be held at Endicott College on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 in a final four style format.
Full CHC Tournament pairings listed below:
#3 Morrisville State (6-4-2) vs. #6 Salve Regina (3-8-1) – Sat. 2/23 -1:00pm
#4SUNY Canton (5-5-2) vs. #5 Univ. of New England (5-6-1) – Sat. 2/23 -4:00pm
Games played at campus of high seed
#1 Endicott (9-2-1) vs. lowest remaining seed (Sat. 3/2)
#2 Nichols (8-3-1) vs. highest remaining seed (Sat. 3/2)
Both semifinals to be played at Endicott with Championship game to follow on Sunday 3/3