Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD –– The Norwich University women’s ice hockey team dominated from start to finish in a statement 6-0 victory in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Championship game on Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena.
Norwich (21-5-2, 15-0-1 NEHC) won its third straight NEHC Tournament title and ninth overall in front of a new women’s hockey attendance-record crowd of 1,283 fans on Saturday.
Sophomore defenseman Samantha Benoit (Bow, N.H.) tallied four assists and finished with a +5 plus-minus rating en route to being named the NEHC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Junior forward Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) scored twice, while senior forward Adrieana Rossini (Malden, Mass.) tallied a goal and two assists to lead the offense in the victory.
Junior forward Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) notched two assists and became the 11th NU women’s hockey player and fourth this season to reach the 100-career-points milestone.
Norwich now advances to the NCAA Division III National Tournament for the 10th time in its 12-year history where it will look to defend its 2018 title. The Cadets will find out who they will face in their first game on Monday, March 4 during the NCAA selection show on NCAA.com.
After nearly 30 scoreless minutes, Norwich finally was able to solve Castleton goalie Rylie Wills with senior defenseman Robyn Foley (Goulds, Newfoundland and Labrador) scoring a power play goal with a shot from the point through traffic that evaded Wills. Bryn Labbe (Calgary, Alberta) and Rossini notched the assists on Foley’s second goal of the season.
Labbe increased the lead to 2-0 at the 17:32 mark of the second period with a high wrist shot from the top of the slot off assists from Rossini and Benoit for her eighth goal of the season.
Blauth made it 3-0 just 19 seconds later with a blast from the blue line that Wills got her shoulder on, but the puck deflected up and bounced behind her and into the back of the net for Blauth’s ninth goal of the season. Brynn Wopperer (Amherst, N.Y.) and Benoit notched assists on the goal.
Rossini increased the lead to 4-0 at the 11:52 mark of the third period with an unassisted goal, rifling a wrist shot into the corner of the net from the middle of the slot after she picked off a pass at the Castleton blue line to skate in alone. The goal was Rossini’s 10th of the season.
Conway capped the scoring with her nation-leading 28th and 29th goals of the season with both of the assists on both goals coming from McGovern and Benoit.
Conway, Rossini and Foley joined Benoit on the All-Tournament team. Castleton’s Wills and Aimee Brand were also named to the team.
Norwich sophomore goalie Emily Lambert (Riverview, Mich.) stopped all six shots she faced to pick up her sixth shutout of the season. Wills was incredible all game for Castleton, stopping 51 shots and keeping the Spartans in it for nearly the entire game.
NORTHFIELD –– Revenge tour complete.
After seeing its season end on home ice one year ago in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Championship game vs. Hobart, the Norwich University men’s ice hockey made sure it didn’t happen again on Saturday night.
Sophomore Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) scored 3:41 into the third period for the eventual game-winning goal to lift the Cadets to a 2-1 win over Hobart and claim their record 13th NEHC Tournament title in the process.
Sophomore Ryan Boucher (Fitchburg, Mass.) won a faceoff over to his left and then Brassard fired a wrist shot over the glove of Hobart goalie Liam Lascelle for his 10th goal of the season and give Norwich its first and only lead of the game.
Junior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) and the Norwich defense took care of the rest as Aubrun stopped 29 shots en route to being named the NEHC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Junior Jordan Hall (Anchorage, Alaska) scored for the third straight game and continued his playoff goal-scoring streak with the Cadets’ first goal of the game in the second period.
Hobart thought it took a 1-0 lead with 3:44 to go in the first period but a deflection by Ryan Lynch was waved off in front for a Statesmen player being in the crease.
The Statesmen made it count for good just 30 seconds later though as Mike Faulker sent a wrist shot through traffic from the top of the left faceoff circle that beat Aubrun between the arm and his body and trickled over the line to put Hobart up 1-0.
Norwich finally solved Lascelle at the 12:50 mark of the second period with Hall scoring on a terrific individual effort, picking the puck up on his own goal line and going 200-feet coast to coast while weaving between a couple Hobart defenders and then firing a wrist shot that beat Lascelle blocker side to tie the game up at 1-1.
Lascelle finished with 29 saves for Hobart.
Hall, Brassard and Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec) were named to the NEHC All-Tournament team for Norwich, while Hobart’s Faulkner and Lascelle rounded out the team.
Norwich extended its unbeaten streak to 17 straight games with the win as the Cadets improved to 15-0-2 in 2019. NU also punched its ticket to its 18th NCAA Tournament appearance with the win.
Norwich will find out its fate on Monday, March 4 during the NCAA selection show. The selection show will air at 10:30 a.m. on Monday on www.ncaa.com