Bulldogs Face Elmira in First Round of NCAA Tournament for Third Straight Year

Bulldogs Face Elmira in First Round of NCAA Tournament for Third Straight Year

Elmira Game Notes | Adrian Game Notes | NCAA Digital Program

ADRIAN, MICH. -- The Adrian College women's hockey team will face Elmira in the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship Quarterfinals for the third consecutive season. The game will take place in Elmira, N.Y., this year as opposed to Adrian, Michigan where the game has been the last two meetings. Opening puck drop is scheduled for 3:00 p.m., ET, in the Murray Athletic Center in Pine Valley, N.Y.

The Bulldogs enter the tournament by earning the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association's (NCHA) automatic bid by defeating Lake Forest 4-3 (OT) in the NCHA Slaats Playoff Championship Game. The Soaring Eagles earned an at-large bid after winning the inaugural United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) tournament title with a 5-0 win over Stevenson.

Adrian eliminated Elmira from the NCAA tournament last season with a 5-4 win in overtime at Arrington Ice Arena. In the 2016 tournament matchup, Elmira defeated Adrian 3-1 in the first-ever NCAA tournament game hosted by the Bulldog women. These two teams also met earlier this season in the East/West Classic. The Soaring Eagles were the victors with a 5-1 win. Elmira is the only Adrian opponent to score more than four goals this season. Adrian holds a slight 3-2 advantage in the all-time series with Elmira.

The Bulldogs have an overall record of 22-5-1 and a 16-1-1 conference mark on the season and are currently ranked 5th in both the USCHO.com and the D3hockey.com poll. The Soaring Eagles (3rd USCHO.com & D3hockey.com) are 23-2-2 overall this season and had a 15-0-1 conference record. 

Adrian is 8-4 this season on the road. The Bulldogs first loss came against Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) opponent Northland 3-2 (OT) in November. Adrian was downed by defending National Champion, Plattsburgh State 1-0 in the Cardinals annual UNO Classic in a rematch of the 2017 national championship game. The third loss came against Norwich, 3-2, on the second day of the East/West Classic. Wisconsin-Eau Claire handed the Bulldogs their fourth loss on the road with a 3-2 decision. Elmira is 10-1-2 at home this season. The Soaring Eagles lone loss came at the hands of Amherst College with a 3-2 result. The two ties came against Norwich (3-3) and William Smith College (2-2).
 
The Bulldogs enter the game with the seventh-best scoring offense in DIII, averaging 4.14 goals per game. The team's top scorers are Kelly O'Sullivan (Inverness, Ill.) (7+23=30), Tory Harshman (Owen Sound, Ontario) (13+15=28), and Kristi Zink (Canton, Mich.) (5+22=27). Adrian's specialty this season has been defense as the Bulldogs are allowing an average of 1.07 goals per game which is third in the country. Freshman Kate Turner (Houston, Texas) leads all goalies with 11 shutouts on the year. She also holds school records for shutouts in a season as well as wins in a season (21-5-1). Her 1.00 goals-against average ranks third in the nation and her save percentage of .945 comes in at eight in the national rankings.
 
Elmira boasts the second-best scoring offense (5.19 G/GM) and scoring defense (1.00). The Soaring Eagles are led on offense by Sarah Hughson (26+20=46), Katie Granato (22+18=40), and Shannon Strawinski (10+20=30). Kelcey Crawford has been a mainstay in net for Elmira. She has a 20-2-2 record, .955 save percentage (4th NCAA), and 1.05 goals against (4th NCAA).
 
The winner of Saturday's game will advance to the final site of the NCAA Division III Championship. The semifinal round will take place on Friday, March 16, and a champion will be crowned the following day. The location of the final site will be determined following this weekend's first-round action.
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