Feb. 24, 2011

NEWPORT, R.I. - The Salve Regina University women's ice hockey team will host an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women's East Quarterfinal playoff game against UMass Boston on Saturday, February 28 at 2 p.m. at St. George's Rink in Middletown.

The Seahawks earned the No. 4 seed in the tournament after completing the conference season with a 9-7-2 mark (10-12-3 overall). Salve Regina enters the playoffs riding a three-game win streak which has seen it defeat ECAC foes Nichols (2-1), Plymouth State (3-0), and Southern Maine (3-2). The Beacons, meanwhile, earned the No. 5 seed following a 9-8-1 ECAC season (13-10-1 overall). UMass Boston boasts a 4-1-1 record in its last six games and also owns wins over perennial ECAC powers Manhattanville (3-1) and Holy Cross (4-3) this season.

Sophomore Rachel Porter (Franklin, Mass.) leads the Seahawks with 21 points and is tied for the team lead in goals (10) with classmate Melanie Sherlock (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Sherlock brings a three-game goal scoring streak into this weekend's playoff contest. The forward pairing of senior Kendra Andrie (Muskegon, Mich.) and freshman Erin McCullough (Ludlow, Mass.) has also proven to be an effective one for Cox. Andrie finished second on the team in scoring with 15 points (9-6-15) and has recorded 10 points (6-4-10) in her last 12 games. McCullough, meanwhile, finished third on the Seahawks with 14 points (8-6-14) in 20 games and has nine points (4-5-10) in her last 10 games. She also ranks fourth in the ECAC in freshman scoring with 12 points (6-6-12) in 14 conference games. In goal, junior Rebecca Simmons (Averill Park, N.Y.) and sophomore Ali Muehlbronner (Glenside, Pa.) combined to post a 2.77 goals against average (GAA) and a .908 save percentage in 2010-11.

Senior Kristen Smith (Beavercreek, Ohio) led the Beacons in goals (13) and points (22) during the regular season. She also potted a team-high three game-winning goals. Classmate Rachel Sousa (Woburn, Mass.) dished out a team-high 12 assists and finished second with 21 points, recently becoming only the fourth player in program history to record her 100th career point against New England College on Feb. 18 vs. Castleton State. She is followed by senior Lauren Duran (Woburn, Mass.) with 16 points (10-6-16) and senior Katie Kirwan (Centerville, Mass.) with 13 points (4-9-13). In goal, junior Leah Hallett (Rocky Hill, Conn.) posted a 5-7-1 mark with a 2.59 GAA and a .926 save percentage which is good for second-best in the ECAC East and 21st in the nation among D-III goaltenders.

The Beacons hold a 9-6-1 edge in 16 all-time meetings with Salve Regina, but have dropped five of the last six meetings, including a pair of games earlier this season. The Seahawks defeated the Beacons 5-3 in Boston on Saturday, November 13, then returned to `The Bay State' on Friday, February 4 and blanked UMB 6-0.

This is also the second time the two schools have met in the playoffs. Two years ago, the Seahawks traveled to Boston for an ECAC Women's East Quarterfinal playoff game and hung a 7-2 loss on the Beacons. Caitlin Campbell and Molly Golden each scored a pair of goals for Salve Regina and then-freshman Rebecca Simmons recorded 25 saves. Salve Regina would go on to defeat Manhattanville 1-0 in the ECAC Semifinals before falling to Norwich in the ECAC Finals, 4-0.

To follow Saturday's action live via Livestats, copy and paste the following link into any web browser, http://web.salve.edu/athletics/statistics/LIVE/WH/xlive.htm

*Release courtesy of Salve Regina Sports Information Dept.