Hickey, Jackson score for Panthers as comeback falls short
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Norwich University scored three first period goals Friday evening and held on to defeat Plymouth State University, 4-2, in a women's New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) game at Hanaway Rink.
The Panthers outscored the visitors 2-1 over the final 40 minutes but couldn't overcome the strong first period by Norwich. The league-leading Cadets are now 12-6 overall and 10-1 in the NEHC, while PSU is 6-12 overall and 2-8 in conference games. Norwich is also ranked ninth by D3hockey.com and 10th by USCHO.com.
Freshman Jess Piracini (Tewksbury, Mass.) opened the scoring for Norwich five minutes into the game, finishing off a crossing pass from sophomore Muranda Toews (Grand Prairie, Alb.) from the right side for her second goal of the season. Senior Taylor Cross (Saugus, Mass.) upped the margin to 2-0 at the 12:53 mark with her third of the season, putting home a rebound after PSU sophomore goalie Mariah Trupp (Topeka, Kan.) made the initial save on a shot by sophomore Erin Joyce (Manchester, N.H.)
The Cadets made it 3-0 at the 17:19 mark of the opening frame as sophomore Sarah Schwenzfeier (Hingham, Mass.) poked home a loose puck in the crease for her eighth of the year.
PSU had an outstanding chance to get on the board with seven minutes to go in the first period when senior Kelsey Lynch (Collegeville, Pa.) walked in alone but Norwich sophomore goalie Laurie King (Waddington, N.Y.) robbed her with a save from point-blank range. The Panthers had another golden opportunity early in the second period when junior Haley Branovan (Canandaigua, N.Y.) went coast to coast and got a good shot off but King smothered the puck to keep PSU scoreless.
Norwich made it 4-0 with just 2:51 left in the second period when sophomore Nicole Goebel (Saskatoon, Sask.) scored her second goal of the season on a mid-air deflection of a shot from the point by freshman Carly Menges (Novelty, Ohio).
PSU finally got on the board with 1:30 left in the second period when sophomore Shannon Hickey (Arlington, Mass.) carried the puck from the right corner and used her strong reach to beat the goalie on a backhander just inside the left post.
The Panthers made things interesting at 6:23 of the third period, cutting the margin to two goals when freshman Taylor Jackson (St. Albans, Vt.) stole the puck at mid-ice and went in on a breakaway, snapping in a shot off the left post for her third of the season.
Norwich out-shot PSU 12-3 in the third period and 32-16 for the game to hold on for the win. PSU freshman goalie Emelie Lindqvist (Gullerason, Sweden) came on after the first period and made 22 saves on 23 shots over the final two periods. King finished with 14 saves to earn the win for Norwich.
Both teams play NEHC games on Saturday as PSU travels to the University of New England for a 3:00 face-off and Norwich visits the University of Massachusetts Boston for a 1:00 p.m. start.
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