Women’s club hockey headed to national championship

By Kaitlin Boyer

On Thursday, the Massachusetts women’s club hockey team will head to the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Championship in Ashburn, Va.

With a 16-4-2 record and a second-place spot in the ACHA rankings, the Minutewomen hope to continue their winning record at nationals, which run until Sunday.

The national championship trip comes after a 2-1 win for UMass over Northeastern (11-5-2) in the title game of the East Coast Women’s Hockey League tournament on Feb. 18th. The victory also grants the Minutewomen the opportunity to host the ECWHL playoffs in 2014.

UMass boasts some top scoring players with Sarah Oteri leading the team with 28 goals this season. Amanda Ambromson has 24 total points and Stefani McGrath follows her with 16.

Junior goalkeeper Chelsea Corell has a 9-4 record with 295 saves out of 320 shots this season.

In his first year with the team, Minutewomen coach Bill Wright said the team has really has developed and “the result has shown that.”

“I think the team’s progressed very well over the year,” he said. “It really has been a team effort. There isn’t one or two or even three go-to players that we depend on. Whoever plays is always performing well and that is really lending itself to a good cause for the team outlook as well.”

UMass will face still competition at the Ashburn Ice House. Wright called Minnesota, Northeastern, and No. 1 seed Liberty the top teams noting that they are “going to be strong.”

Robert Morris and Michigan are also likely to be strong competitors.

“The girls are really excited to get to nationals,” Wright said. “We have six seniors that are obviously in their last year and they’ve been to nationals three times already so they are primed for the trip.”

If UMass captures this title, it will be the second championship win in the program’s history.

The first matchup for the Minutewomen will be against Michigan State on Thursday at 11:15 a.m., followed by Northeastern at 6 p.m. On Friday, UMass will face Robert Morris. All games can be viewed on fasthockey.com

Kaitlin Boyer can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Kaitlin_Boyer.