Courtesy Norwich and Middlebury Sports Information Offices
Three Stories Below …
NORTHFIELD –– The Norwich University men’s ice hockey team won its second straight New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) title and 14th overall with a 3-0 victory over Hobart on Saturday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
Senior forward Jordan Hall (Anchorage, Alaska) scored twice, while senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) stopped all 29 shots he faced to record his ninth straight shutout and new NCAA Division III record 13th in a single season. The win was also Aubrun’s 50th of his record-setting career in the Maroon & Gold and he stretched his shutout streak to 572:31 straight minutes.
Senior forward Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) opened the scoring at the 3:14 mark of the first period with his 12th goal of the season off assists from Brett Ouderkirk (Monkland, Ontario) and Hall.
Lewis beat Hobart goalie Liam Lascelle with a wrist shot from the right wing off a feed on a 2-on-1 from Ouderkirk. Hall made the play by absorbing a hit in front of the NU bench but pushed the puck ahead to Ouderkirk to create the rush.
Norwich increased the lead to 2-0 at the 5:17 mark when Hall scored his 12th goal of the season and extended his goal-scoring streak to six straight games. Hall scored on the power play off a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing setup from Ouderkirk and TJ Dockery (Lockport, N.Y.). Dockery worked the puck from the point over to Ouderkirk at the left faceoff circle. Ouderkirk fired a cross-ice pass to Hall, who corralled it and then ripped a shot past Lascelle to double the lead.
Hobart ramped up the pressure in the third period, bottling Norwich up in its own end on multiple occasions, but the Statesmen were once again unable to solve Aubrun and the Norwich defense. Lawson MacDougall had the best scoring chance for Hobart with an open chance in the middle of the slot but his shot hit off the right post and deflected away with just over two minutes left.
Hall capped the scoring with three seconds left with an empty-net goal after he won the puck out of massive scrum along the side boards and then rifled it into the empty net ahead of a few Hobart players to seal the victory.
Norwich won its sixth straight against Hobart since it lost the 2018 NEHC Championship game on home ice. The Cadets and Statesmen have met in all three league finals since Hobart joined the league in 2017-18.
Norwich extended its unbeaten streak to 18th straight games with the victory and earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. The Cadets will find out their next opponent on Monday, March 9 during the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey selection show at 10:30 a.m. on www.ncaa.com.
Norwich will likely either host a play-in round game next Saturday, March 14 or the Cadets will receive a bye and host a quarterfinal round game on Saturday, March 21 at Kreitzberg Arena.
NORTHFIELD –– Senior forward Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) scored a hat trick to the Norwich University women’s ice hockey team to its fourth straight New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) title and 10th overall.
Despite trailing 2-1 at the midway point of the second period, Norwich (22-4-2) rattled off eight straight goals to cruise to a 9-2 victory over Suffolk University.
Freshmen forwards Julia Masotta (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Ann-Frederique Guay (St. Lambert-de-Lauzon, Quebec) each had two goals, while senior forward Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) had a goal and two assists to lead the Norwich offense.
Junior defenseman Samantha Benoit (Bow, N.H.) had two assists, while sophomore Alexa Berg (West Fargo, N.D.) made 25 savesin goal for the Cadets.
Conway was named the NEHC Tournament MVP for the second time in her career, while Masotta, Guay, Berg and Benoit were named to the All-Tournament team for the Cadets.
Suffolk opened the scoring at the 6:59 mark of the first period with Grace Scholz, sniping a wrist shot over the shoulder of Berg from the middle of the slot on a breakaway. Julia Volpe made a great play to chip the puck up off the boards to spring Maddy Burton and Scholz on a 2-on-1. Burton feathered a tape-to-tape pass from the side boards to Scholz alone in front and she took care of the rest, burying the puck for her fourth goal of the season.
Norwich responded at the 14:11 mark with a power play goal by McGovern. McGovern one-timed a cross-ice pass from Guay into the top of the net from the middle of the right faceoff circle for her 19th goal of the season. Benoit picked up the second assist on the goal.
Suffolk took another lead at the 10:12 mark of the second period with a bar down goal from Sydney Tietz. Tietz picked up the puck in the neutral zone and then wheeled through the center of the and evaded a Norwich defender before ripping a shot off the cross bar and in for her sixth goal of the season.
However, Norwich finally got its NCAA Division III-leading offense rolling after that, lighting the lamp three times in a span of 1:46 with goals from Baptiste, Guay and Conway.
Baptiste tied the game at 2-2 with a power play goal on a rebound off a blocked shot initially by Benoit at the 13:26 mark of the second period.
Guay made it 3-2 Norwich just 38 seconds later with the eventual game-winning goal for her 17th goal of the season off assists from Morgan Tefft (Redwood City, Calif.) and Carley Sedlar (Howell, Mich.).
Conway scored her first of the game just over a minute later off assists from Kayla Goleniak (Canton, Mich.) and Masotta.Goleniak made a great cross-ice pass to find Conway alone on the right side of the crease and then she fired the puck past Suffolk’s Julia McLellan to make it 4-2 Norwich.
The Cadets pulled away in the third period with five more goals to cap their NEHC playoffs scoring nine, 10 and nine goals respectively in each of the three rounds.
Guay scored again on the power play for her 18th goal of the season at the 2:49 mark with a snipe under the cross bar off assists from Baptiste and Berg.
Conway scored her second of the game and 30th of the season at the 4:25 mark off an assist from Masotta at the 4:25 mark.
Masotta scored twice at the 6:43 and 10:57 mark of the third period to increase the lead to 8-2. Conway capped the scoring to complete her sixth career hat trick at the 15:25 mark of the third period off an assist from McGovern.
Berg improved to 10-3-2 on the season, while MacLellan dropped to 6-12-2 and made 37 saves.
Norwich outshot Suffolk 46-27.
Norwich earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament with the victory. The Cadets will await their fate during Monday’s selection show at 10 a.m. on www.ncaa.com.
MIDDLEBURY — Top-seeded Middlebury came from behind, scoring a pair of unanswered goals to edge fourth-seeded Hamilton 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in Kenyon Arena. With the victory, the Panthers advance to the NESCAC Championship game for the 16th time and will face #3 Amherst at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Middlebury had a great chance to get on the board with 5:39 expired. Caroline Cutter redirected a pass from Claudia Vira on the doorstep, but Hamilton netminder Sidney Molnar was there to twart the chance. Later, Panther Jenna Letterie intercepted a pass in transition before wristing a shot from point blank at the 14:40 mark, but Molnar denied the chance to keep the contest scoreless. The Continentals took advantage of a power play, scoring 16:52 into the opening period for the 1-0 edge. Missy Segall and Kelli Mackey passed back-and-forth just inside the blue line, before Mackey found the back of the net through traffic.
Middlebury looked for the equalizer early in the middle frame during a power play beginning at the 1:28 mark. During the span, the Panthers fired seven shots, but a strong Hamilton defense stood up to hang onto its one-goal lead. The Continentals had a great opportunity to extend the advantage at the 10:38 mark during a give-and-go between Maddie Hong and Kate Piacenza, but Hong’s attempt from the doorstep was denied by Middlebury goaltender Anna Goldstein. The Panthers’ best chance to knot the contest came at the 17:22 mark when Eva Hendrikson sent a pass from the defensive zone up to Madie Leidt. Leidt broke in all alone, but her shot was stifled by Molnar. Middlebury found the equalizer with just six seconds left in the second period. Letterie collected a loose puck in the corner, before sending it to Anna Zumwinkle in the slot. Zumwinkle turned and fired the puck straight into the goal to make it 1-1 heading into intermission.
With 3:25 expired in the final stanza, Letterie had a great chance to give the Panthers the lead, but Molnar made a sprawling save to deny the opportunity. Hamilton had a flurry of chances to tally a goal beginning at the 5:13 mark of a power play, but the Panthers denied all five attempts. Middlebury’s Sidney Portner tallied the game-winning shorthanded goal at the 9:39 mark of the third. Portner and Letterie skated two-on-one against Hamilton’s goaltender. An initial bid by Letterie was denied by Molnar, but Portner lifted the rebound over Molnar’s shoulder for the 2-1 edge. The Continentals had a great chance to tie the game at the 12:51 mark when Michaela Giutarri went one-on-one with Middlebury’s netminder, but Goldstein made a great glove-save to thwart the chance. Hamilton pulled its goaltender with 1:21 remaining in regulation, but were unable to find the equalizer, as the Panthers hung on for the 2-1 victory.
Goldstein made 29 saves to earn the win in goal for the Panthers as she remains unbeaten this season (9-0-1). Molnar made 35 stops over 58:39 for the Continentals. Middlebury held a 37-30 advantage in shots during the win.