Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
AMHERST, MA. –– The Norwich University women’s ice hockey team took step one on its revenge tour with a 3-1 victory over Amherst College on Wednesday night at Orr Rink in the 2020 NCAA Tournament First Round.
Senior forward Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) scored on a shorthanded breakaway for her nation-leading 32nd goal with 8:09 left in the third period for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
Senior forward Kelley Madden (Novelty, Ohio) scored twice to lead the Cadets’ offense, while sophomore goalie Alexa Berg (West Fargo, N.D.) made 30 saves to backstop the Cadets to the next round.
Conway picked off a pass in her skates from an Amherst defender at the blue line and then skated free on a breakaway into the zone. Conway took a couple of strides past the Amherst blue line before rifling a wrist shot over the glove of Amherst goalie Caitlin Walker from the middle of the slot.
Madden scored her second goal of the game and her 13th of the season with an empty-net goal with 49 seconds left in the game to punch the Cadets’ ticket to the quarterfinals.
Norwich thoroughly outplayed Amherst in the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Mammoths 11-3 in the first period.
The Cadets finally broke through with the game’s first goal at the 13:30 mark with Madden scoring her 12th goal of the season on a rebound to give Norwich the first lead of the game.
Blossom Truel (Bow, N.H.) fired a pass to Samantha Benoit (Bow, N.H.) at the point from the left faceoff circle. Benoit sent a slap shot in on net that was saved by Walker. However, she wasn’t able to corral the rebound and Madden was first to it to slip it past Walker on her backhand for the 1-0 lead.
Amherst responded in the second period, outskating the Cadets for a majority of the 20 minutes and outshooting Norwich 12-7 in the middle frame.
Berg made a terrific save to stone Carley Daly on a breakaway with 12 minutes to go in the period.
However, on the ensuing faceoff, Amherst won the draw and possessed the puck in the corner. Kailtin Hoang lifted the puck to try and center it and the puck ricocheted off the back of the net, bounced up and over and off the back of Berg’s head and into the net to tie the game at 1-1. Leslie Schwartz and Anne Malloy picked up the assists on Hoang’s ninth goal of the season.
After Conway gave Norwich the lead, the Cadets’ defense buckled down around Berg to stymie Amherst’s offense over the final eight minutes.
Berg made a terrific save on a backhand partial breakaway by Hoang with 3:17 to go in the third period. She then stoned Eliza Laycock on a tip from the bottom of the faceoff circle with 1:45 left in the game.
Norwich and Amherst each had 31 shots on goal. Berg improved to 11-3-2 on the season. Walker dropped to 16-5-5 on the year with the loss.
Norwich will now travel to No. 1-ranked Plattsburgh State for a 3 p.m. quarterfinal showdown with the defending national champion Cardinals. Plattsburgh State has won five of the last six national championships and handed Norwich two of its four losses this season.
More information will be released later in the week on spectators and live coverage for Saturday’s game at Plattsburgh State.