WILIAMSTOWN, MA – Meghan Gillis' Williams College women's ice hockey team (12-11-1/8-8-0 NESCAC) has been seeded fourth in the NESCAC Tournament and will face fifth seeded Trinity (14-8-2/7-7-2 NESCAC) Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in Lansing Chapman Rink.
Threes are wild in this match-up. Williams and Trinity will be meeting for the third time this month at Lansing Chapman Rink and the Ephs and Bantams are meeting for the third straight year in the opening round of the NESCAC Tournament. Both the Ephs and the Bantams are hoping that this will be the third year in a row that either the Ephs or the Bantams win the NESCAC title. Williams won in 2014 and Trinity won last year.
A year ago in the NESCAC Tournament first round contest Trinity won 1-0 and went on to win its first NESCAC title. In 2014 Williams defeated Trinity 3-2 and continued on to win its first NESCAC title.
Williams and Trinity split their two games this season with Trinity blanking the Ephs 4-0 in the first encounter and then the Ephs prevailed 4-2 in the second game. Williams was awarded the fourth seed by virtue of having eight conference wins to the Bantams' seven.
Williams is making its 14th quarterfinal appearance in 15 years and is looking to advance its second semifinal appearance in 10 years.
Trinity has been one of the hottest teams in NESCAC over the last 13 games, posting a record of 10-1-2.
The Bantams' last loss in their final 13 contests of the season came at the hands of the Ephs back on February 6, but since that game Trinity has fashioned a 4-0-1 ledger.
The Ephs enter Saturday's game having lost to Oswego State and twice to Middlebury since beating the Bantams.
A look at the conference statistics reveals that Trinity averages 2.25 goals a game, while the Ephs are scoring at a 2.12 clip. Both the Bantams and the Ephs are allowing 2.38 goals a game.
Power play opportunities could be a key in this match-up as Trinity leads NESCAC in penalty minutes and the Ephs are second. Trinity is averaging 7.2 penalty minutes a game and the Ephs check in at 7.1 per game. Trinity has scored on 14.3% of their power plays (4th), while the Ephs have scored 9.6% (8th).
The Bantams have a slightly higher penalty kill percentage as they rank second in NESCAC at 90.6% and the Ephs are third at 87.5%.
In conference the Ephs are led in scoring by Michaela Levine who has scored six goals and assisted on seven for 13 points. The Bantams' top points producer in NESCAC play is Cheeky Herr who has netted five goals and assisted on six for 11 points.
In 771:20 Eph goalie Christina Cleroux has allowed 21 goals for a goals against average of 1.63 (5th) and a save percentage of .936 (5th). The Bantams' goalie Sydney Belinskas is sixth in both goals against and save percentage. Belinskas's goals against average in 966.34 is 2.05 and she sports a save percentage of .928.
The winner of the Williams-Trinity game will advance to the NESCAC semifinals to be played at the home ice of the remaining top seed next weekend.