Panthers drop one-goal game to league leaders
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Plymouth State University women's ice hockey team gave league-leading and #3-ranked Norwich University all it could handle Friday afternoon but the Cadets pulled out a 2-1 victory in an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East game at Kreitzberg Arena.
Norwich extended its ECAC East unbeaten streak to 26 straight games with the win. PSU remains winless against Norwich in the eight years of the program, but Friday's outcome represents the smallest margin of victory in the 16 career meetings.
Freshman Erin Joyce (Manchester, N.H.) and senior Rachel Bellio (Denver, Colo.) each scored goals for Norwich, while sophomore Adelle Murphy (Roseau, Minn.) tallied two assists.
Norwich (12-3-2, 9-0-1 ECAC East) went up 1-0 at the 5:41 mark of the first period with Bellio notching her fourth goal of the season on her own rebound off assists from Murphy and freshman defenseman Kim Tiberi (Raleigh, N.C.).
Bellio's goal came on the power play after she planted herself in the middle of the slot and scored on her second whack at the puck after Murphy fed her a pass from the half boards. Bellio's initial shot was blocked but it kicked right back out to her stick and she wristed it into the lower right corner of the net.
The Cadets added to their lead at the 7:12 mark of the second period with Joyce potting her team-leading eighth goal of the season with a wrist shot past PSU junior goalie Alyssa Altschuler (Cheshire, Conn.). Murphy dropped the puck back to a trailing Joyce at the left faceoff circle after freshman defenseman Desirae Kuhlmann played the puck down to Murphy.
Plymouth State (3-15-1, 3-8-0 ECAC East) got on the board at the 17:26 mark of the second period with Evans blasting a slapshot over the glove of NU freshman goalie Laurie King (Waddington, N.Y.) to cut the the Cadets' lead to 2-1. Auby won a faceoff back to Evans before she let loose on a slapper from the half boards that bounced off the glove of King and into the back of the net.
The Cadets outshot Plymouth State 26-10. King made nine saves for Norwich while Altschuler stopped 24 shots for PSU.
Norwich will look to keep its league unbeaten streak intact on Saturday when it hosts UMass Boston at 1 p.m. at Kreitzberg Arena in a big showdown between the top two records in the league for Division III teams. PSU returns home to host the University of New England Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Hanaway Rink.
(Courtesy of Norwich Sports Information)
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