Panthers complete most successful season to date
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's ice hockey team jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period en route to cruising to a 6-0 win over Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East Tournament quarterfinal action at Kreitzberg Arena.
Junior Tori Charron (Tecumseh, Ont.) and senior Jillayne DeBus (Howell, Mich.) each scored twice to lead the Cadets' offense as they advanced to the ECAC East semifinals for the fifth straight season. Norwich (20-3-3) also earned hosting rights for the ECAC East final four weekend for the third straight season with Saturday's victory. The Cadets will host either Southern Maine or UMass Boston on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.
The Cadets outshot Plymouth State 53-3 for the game, but junior goalie Ali Ponte (Richmond Hill, Ont.) made 47 saves for PSU. Norwich held the Panthers without a shot for nearly a full two periods; PSU finally registered its first shot with just over two minutes left in the second.
Plymouth State was making its first appearance in the ECAC East Tournament and concluded its best season in program history (5-17-4, 4-10-4 ECAC East). Head coach Ashley Kilstein was named the ECAC East Coach of the Year after doubling PSU's all-time win total in the program's seventh season.
Senior forward Kelly Fisk (Hannibal, N.Y.) picked up her eighth win of the season in net for NU. Sophomore Loren Carrier (Chandler, Ariz.) came on in relief for the final 28:53 of the game and stopped all three shots she faced.
Despite controlling the play from the opening faceoff, Norwich wasn't able to register its first shot on goal for over 7:30 minutes. However, once the Cadets finally broke through they went on to pepper Ponte with 15 shots by the end of the first period.
Three shots found their way past Ponte with two coming on the power play after Plymouth State was whistled for a flurry of penalties. DeBus finally got Norwich on the board at the 13:27 mark of period when she jammed home a rebound in front after Ponte made an initial save on Marie-Philip Guay's (Longueuil, Quebec) shot from the point. DeBus crashed the net from the left faceoff circle and just beat Ponte to the loose puck to slip it past the Panthers' goalie.
Sophomore Tyne Gove (Berwick, Ont.) netted her sixth goal of the season less than two minutes later, tapping home a rebound in front of the net. Gove snuck in from the right side of the cage after Ponte got a pad on junior forward Emily MacKinnon's (Kirkland, Que.) tip in front of the net. Charron capped the first period scoring at the 16:48 mark with her first of the game and 28th of the season off assists from Renee Lortie (Cornwall, Ont.) and DeBus.
Norwich didn't take long to make it 4-0 as junior Meghan Papagno (Wakefield, Mass.) re-directed a shot into the top right corner of the net off a feed from Gove on a 2-on-1 break 49 seconds into the second period. Charron notched her second of the day and Division III-leading 29th tally of the season at the 16:22 mark off an assist from Lucie Manhartova (Prague, Czech Rep.) to make it 5-0.
DeBus capped the scoring at the 14:11 mark of the third by redirecting a shot while crossing in the middle of the slot off a pass from Guay that tucked just underneath the crossbar. Junior defenseman Kayla Parsons (Fairbanks, Alaska) also picked up an assist for her second helper of the game.
(Courtesy of Norwich Sports Information)
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