Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD –– The Plattsburgh State women’s ice hockey team scored three times in a span of 1:01 in the second period to seize momentum en route to a 6-3 victory over Norwich University on Sunday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena in the 10th annual East-West Hockey Classic.
No. 1-nationally ranked Plattsburgh State (11-1-0) had goals from six different skaters as the Cardinals continued their mastery of the Cadets to sweep the season series. Over the past eight seasons the Cadets have gone 184-22-10 against all of their other competition … but in the same time frame they are 1-15-2 vs Plattsburgh.
Norwich (10-2-0) was led by a three-point night from senior forward Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.), but Plattsburgh State scored five unanswered goals in the second and third period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 6-2 lead.
Conway opened the scoring at the 5:50 mark of the first period, shoving home a pass from Mikah Baptiste (Ottawa, Ontario) top shelf and over the glove of Plattsburgh goalie Ashley Davis to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead. The goal was Conway’s team-leading 11th of the season and the 95th of her career. Baptiste made a terrific individual effort to strip the puck away from a Plattsburgh defender and then backhand a pass down to Conway at the far post who take care of the rest.
Plattsburgh State responded at the 18:17 mark of the first period with Taylor Whitney scoring on a power play goal off assists from Sierra Benjamin and Nicole Unsworth to tie the game at 1-1.
However, Norwich quickly seized the momentum back with a goal by 19 seconds later by senior Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) off assists from Conway and Baptiste. McGovern shoveled home a rebound in the crease with a diving effort after Conway was initially denied on a shot by Davis. The goal was McGovern’s sixth of the season and gave the Cadets a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Plattsburgh State stole all the momentum back though, capitalizing on a tumultuous span of 1:01 for the Cadets in the middle of the second period as the Cardinals scored three goals to take a 4-2 lead. Madison Walker tied the game at the 9:18 mark, hammering home a feed from the left by Kaitlin Drew-Mead on a 2-on-1 rush.
Abby Brush gave Plattsburgh its first lead of the game at the 9:57 mark with a goal off an assist from Emma Killeen. Killeen gathered the puck in the neutral zone and fed a pass up the boards to Brush. Brush skated in from the right and sent a backhander in that beat Emily Lambert (Riverview, Mich.) five-hole and make it 3-2 Cardinals.
Plattsburgh finished off the three-goal blitzkrieg with Nicole Unsworth capitalizing on a Norwich turnover in front of its own net to deke out Lambert and shovel the puck into the open net on her backhand.
The Cardinals added two more power play goals to open the third period and improve to 3-for-4 on the power play for the day with Sara Krauseneck and Ivy Boric scoring goals.
Norwich was awarded a penalty shot at the 8:30 mark after Ann-Frederique Guay (St. Lambert-de-Lauzon, Quebec) was hauled down on a breakaway. Guay’s penalty shot attempt was stoned by Davis to keep the score at 6-2.
The Cadets did end up getting one back with Brynn Wopperer (Amherst, N.Y.) scoring her fourth goal of the season off assists from Kayla Goleniak (Canton, Mich.) and Conway.
Lambert finished with 35 saves in the game and suffered her first loss of the season. Davis made 29 stops for Plattsburgh and improved to 6-0-0 on the year.
Plattsburgh State outshot Norwich 41-31 and went 3-for-4 on the power play, while Norwich was 0-for-4.
In the second semifinal, No. 8 Elmira and No. 6 Adrian skated to a 2-2 tie through regulation and overtime. Adrian ended up topping Elmira 2-1 in the ensuing shootout to punch its ticket to the East-West Classic Championship game. Adrian will meet Plattsburgh at 4 p.m. in the finals, while Norwich will host Elmira in the consolation game at 1 p.m.