Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD — The Norwich University women’s ice hockey team rallied to score two third-period goals and skate to a 2-2 stalemate with No. 2-ranked Middlebury College on Tuesday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
No. 7-ranked Norwich (15-4-2, 12-0-0 NEHC) got goals from Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) and Mikah Baptiste (Ottawa, Ontario) to salvage a point in a thrilling back-and-forth top-10 intrastate showdown.
After a scoreless first period, Middlebury (13-2-3, 8-1-1 NESCAC) scored twice in the middle frame with goals from Katie Hargrave and Madie Leidt.
Hargrave scored at the 10:03 mark with her fourth goal of the season off an assist from Anna Zunwinkle to take a 1-0 lead. Zunwinkle corralled an errant outlet pass in the neutral zone and hit Hargrave with a tape-to-tape pass in stride at the blue line. Hargrave beat a Norwich forward and then skated past a defenseman to come in on a partial breakaway and beat NU’s Alexa Berg (West Fargo, N.D.) stick side for the goal.
The Panthers added to the lead at the 19:20 mark with Madie Leidt sniping a wrist shot from the top of the slot into the top corner of the net off an assist from Eva Hendrikson for her team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Hendrikson kept a puck in at the blue line with her skate and then Leidt walked in from the sideboards and roofed a shot over the shoulder of Berg for the goal to make it 2-0 Middlebury with a power play tally.
Norwich came storming back in the third period though with McGovern scoring her 11th goal of the season on a delayed penalty off assists from Julia Masotta (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.). Conway fed the puck from behind the net out to Masotta, who fired a wrist shot that deflected up and over Middlebury’s Anna Goldstein. The puck ended up hitting the cross bar and then McGovern was the first to the rebound on the right side of the net to slam it in and cut the deficit to 2-1 at the 9:13 mark.
The Cadets equalized at the 15:18 mark with Baptiste beating Goldstein through the five-hole on the power play off assists from Masotta and Conway.
Norwich had a couple of golden chances in the final minute of the game with Conway being robbed on a breakaway for the third time by Goldstein and then immediately after McGovern pushed a rebound bid wide of an open net as she fell to the ice in the waning seconds.
Norwich had a power play opportunity in overtime, but was unable to capitalize and for the second straight meeting at Kreitzberg Arena the two sides skated to a draw. They also tied 2-2 back in 2018.
Middlebury outshot Norwich 39-26 in the game, including a 26-9 advantage after two periods.
Berg made 37 saves in net to bring her record to 5-3-2. Goldstein made 24 saves to go to 5-0-1 on the season.
Norwich continues its five-game home stand to close the regular season this weekend when it hosts Southern Maine on Friday at 7 p.m. and Suffolk on Saturday at 3 p.m. in two more NEHC matchups at Kreitzberg Arena.