PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Norwich University women's ice hockey team put forth a valiant road effort, but the Cadets' long-time nemesis Plattsburgh State once again got the best of them with a 3-1 non-conference win at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena on Tuesday night.
Norwich (4-1-0, 4-0-0 NEHC) got 41 saves from senior goalie Celeste Robert (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec), but it wasn't enough to upset the three-time defending national champions and their dynamic duo of Melissa Sheeran and Kayla Meneghin.
Sheeran and Meneghin once again proved to be thorns in the side of the NU as they each tallied a goal and an assist to help Plattsburgh extend its dominance of the series to 11 straight games. The Cardinals are now 9-0-2 in the last 11 meetings between the two schools.
Sheeran opened the scoring at the 7:21 mark of the first period with a give-and-go with Meneghin on a 2-on-1 rush. Sheeran won the puck along the boards from a NU defender in the neutral zone to create the odd-player rush from the left wing.
Sheeran skated over the blue line and fed a pass to Meneghin on the other wing, Meneghin quickly flipped it back over to Sheeran and then Sheeran deked, slid the puck over to her backhand and slipped the puck through Robert's five hole as she frantically sprawled to the ice.
Norwich tied the game back up at the 10:30 mark of the first period when freshman Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) found the back of the net for her fifth goal of the season. Adelle Murphy (Roseau, Minn.) and Bryn Labbe (Calgary, Alberta) picked up assists on the goal.
Labbe skated along the end boards and stickhandled through two Plattsburgh players to keep possession off the half boards. She then dumped the puck low to Murphy who skated behind the Plattsburgh net and fed a pass to Conway on the left side of the goal and she quickly one-timed it and the puck just trickled over the line after Plattsburgh goalie Camille Leonard got a piece of it.
Plattsburgh dominated the second period, outshooting the Cadets 15-5 and holding a huge territorial advantage. Plattsburgh hit two posts within a minute of each other near the midway point with Ashley Songin and Hannah Kiraly both finding iron.
The Cardinals finally broke through to take the lead for good at the 14:51 mark of the second period with Meneghin and Sheeran hooking up again. Sheeran circled behind the net and waited out Robert as she tried to get to the post, she fired a cross ice pass to the left faceoff circle to Meneghin. Meneghin corralled the pass and took a low wrist shot that bounced off the left pad of Robert and into the back of the net.
Plattsburgh (5-0-0, 4-0-0 ECAC West) added an empty netter with 1.6 seconds left from Melissa Ames for her third goal of the season to make it 3-1.
Robert dropped to 2-1-0 on the year despite posting the 41 saves, which is the second highest total in her career for a single game. Camille Leonard made 19 saves for Plattsburgh to improve to 5-0-0.
Norwich returns to action on Friday when it hosts Saint Michael's at 6 p.m. at Kreitzberg Arena in another New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) matchup.