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Women's Hockey East Tournament: Number One Seed Northeastern Starts On Quest For Title

Hockey East's four best women's hockey teams will meet in Hyannis, MA Saturday and Sunday to decide the league champion. Northeastern leads the way behind steady Olympic goalie Florence Schelling.

Hockey East Player of the Year Florence Schelling leads number one seed Northeastern University in the 2012 Women's Hockey East Tournament. (Photo: Hockey East)
Hockey East Player of the Year Florence Schelling leads number one seed Northeastern University in the 2012 Women's Hockey East Tournament. (Photo: Hockey East)

Regular season women's Hockey East champions Northeastern University will look to keep their seven game unbeaten streak going in Saturday's semifinal round of the league tournament. The Huskies will face number four seeded Providence College in the day's first semifinal game at 12:30 p.m. in Hyannis, MA.

Northeastern goaltender Florence Schelling, the league's most valuable player, is one of the best goaltenders in the nation. The calm and collected backstopper is 20-5-4 in 29 games played this season, and has kept the Huskies in tight games down the stretch. The Northeastern offense is led by Hockey East Rookie of the Year Kendall Coyne, who has 26 goals and 19 assists this season. Coyne keeps the Huskies' first line uptempo and high shooting.

If anyone can neutralize Coyne, it may just be Providence College senior goaltender Genevieve Lacasse. Lacasse has a .933 save percentage on the season, and has kept the Friars competitive in this year's deep Hockey East field.

In the later semifinal, the battle of Commonwealth Avenue will write yet another chapter, as number two seeded Boston College will face number three seed Boston University at 3:30 p.m.. The defending champion Eagles are seeing a lot of success from underclassmen, with freshman and sophomores stepping in when several upperclassmen missed time due to injuries. Their defense is led by freshman Alex Carpenter, who has only been left off the box score once in her last five games. The Terriers will trot out a trio of nuanced Candian forwards - Marie-Philip Poulin, Jenn Wakefield and Isabel Menard - who skate with speed and read defenses well.

The winner of each semifinal will go on to meet in Sunday's championship game at 1pm. The league champion will receive an auto-bid to the NCAA Tournament.