MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) announced its post-season pairings for the 2017-18 Women's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament, scheduled to begin Saturday, Feb. 24, and has named Morrisville State College the regular season champion after finishing the conference slate with a 10-0-2 record.
The Mustangs also earned the right to host the tournament as the top seed, receiving a first round bye. Endicott College received the second overall seed and will also receive a bye in the opening round.
Morrisville State has made a post-season tournament appearance in each of its three seasons of existence. Just a year ago, they battled their way to the program's first ever title, but this season holds something extra special. It's the programs first season they have finished league play undefeated, have earned the right to host as the top seed, and they get to play for an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championship.
"We are excited to host our league championship," head coach Melissa Lomanto commented.
"As a team, we have worked hard all year with everyone contributing to our success."
Solid in every position on the ice, Morrisville State clinched the top seed large in part to its stingy defensive unit that features a majority of upperclassmen that has surrendered a league low 0.92 goals on average per game. Freshman Karoline Arvik (Trondheim, Norway) has served as the backstop for the Mustangs, posting a 0.958 save percentage and conference leading 0.84 goals against average. Five of her eight total shut outs have come within league action, including five in the last six games.
Much of the Mustangs offensive success doesn't come at the hand of just one stick, as each and every forward has contributed to the scoring this season. Five forwards have collected double figures, including Maddison Devlin (Campbell River, British Columbia) and Alexziz Giannamore (Pittsburgh, Pa.) who each have posted a league best eight goals within conference action.
Opening round action will get underway Saturday as third seed SUNY Canton hosts sixth seeded Becker College at 4 p.m. in Canton. The second quarterfinal will take place at Nichols College, who earned the fourth seed, facing fifth seed Johnson and Wales at 7:40 p.m. at Nichols.
Winners of the quarterfinal round will advance to the semi-finals, scheduled Saturday, March 3 for a chance to play for the title Sunday, March 4.
"Our league has grown and has become more competitive," Lomanto said. "We are looking forward to an exciting weekend of hockey here at Morrisville State, and are excited to have the opportunity as a conference to advance further as one of the top nine teams in the country competing for an NCAA title."
This will be the first year the Colonial Hockey Conference will be eligible for an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
Additional tournament information will be released once made available.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2018 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2018 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.