COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team has drawn the fourth seed in this week's New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) Tournament and will host No. 5 Post University on Tuesday for a first-round game on Rink 2 at Cairns Arena in South Burlington at 7:10 p.m.
The Purple Knights were the predetermined host of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Open Tournament Final Four on three separate occasions but had never previously qualified to host a postseason contest.
The winner of Tuesday's game advances to oppose No. 1 Saint Anselm College in a semifinal on Saturday at 4 p.m., as the Hawks were already the predetermined host of the weekend portion of the tournament. Saturday's other semifinal is between No. 2 Sacred Heart University, the defending champion, and No. 3 Franklin Pierce University. Sunday's championship game is set for 4 p.m.
Tickets for every NEWHA Tournament game are $5, while children younger than 12 will be admitted for free. Passes for both Saturday games will also be available for $5 apiece.
Saint Michael's will compete in a postseason tournament for the 17th time in 18 seasons. The Purple Knights were eliminated by Franklin Pierce in each of the last two first rounds, falling 3-1 in 2017 and only 2-1 last winter. Saint Michael's went 3-1 against Post this season, avenging a season-opening 2-1 loss by outscoring the Eagles 12-0 in the next three games. The Purple and Gold has yet to play a home game in February, having played all seven of its contests at home in January before hitting the road for its final six regular-season outings.
The Purple Knights carry a 6-16-1 record into the NEWHA Tournament, going 4-11-1 against their Alliance brethren. Saint Michael's knotted Sacred Heart, 1-1, on Jan. 11 behind senior Nicole Talcott's (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) 50 saves after defeating Franklin Pierce, 5-2, on Nov. 10, one night after losing just 4-3. Eight of the Purple and Gold's losses came by three goals or fewer this winter.
Junior Jordan Monbouquette (Wayland, Mass./Lawrence Academy) leads the team in goals (9) and points (13), sophomore Maddie Gervais (Glastonbury, Conn./East Catholic) adds four goals and eight assists, while classmate Courtney Kelly (Arlington, Mass./Boston Jr. Shamrocks) has three goals and nine helpers from her spot on defense. Junior defender Arianna Boscia (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) notched five goals and six assists while blocking 30 shots.
Sophomore Krista Ferrari (Dunstable, Mass./East Coast Wizards) turned in four goals and four assists with a team-high 205 faceoff wins and 30 blocks, senior Madison Nichols (Gilford, N.H./Tilton School) had six goals, including three on the power play, while first-year Jenna Harrison (Kitchener, Ontario/Wellesley) has handed out seven assists while winning 47.3 percent of her draws and blocking 29 shots.
Talcott has a 3.02 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in 10 games, including eight starts, averaging 31.5 saves, while junior Vika Simons (Essex Junction, Vt./Minnesota Duluth Club) turns in a 3.68 GAA and a .912 save percentage. She has appeared in 13 games, with nine starts, averaging 35.0 saves during her first season of NCAA ice hockey.