NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's ice hockey team was handed its first New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) loss of the season on Friday afternoon with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Franklin Pierce at Kreitzberg Arena.
Despite outshooting Franklin Pierce 45-18, the No. 3-nationally ranked Cadets (11-3-1, 7-1-0 NEHC) had its 16-game league winning streak snapped by the Ravens and a superb goaltending performance by Shannon O'Neil.
O'Neil made 43 saves, including 18 and 16 in the second and third periods to lead Franklin Pierce to its first win over Norwich in school history.
Franklin Pierce (10-4-1, 6-3-0 NEHC) got on the board at the 16:02 mark with a goal by Marissa Ketterman off assists from Kayla Trujillo and Delaney Guimont. Ketterman beat NU starting goalie Celeste Robert (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) to the right hand side of the net after she collected a deflected puck from an initial shot by Guimont at the point.
NU answered back with 20 seconds left in the period with junior defenseman Kim Tiberi (Raleigh, N.C.) notching her second goal of the year off a shot from the point. Robyn Foley (Goulds, Newfoundland and Labrador) and Sarah Schwenzfeier (Hingham, Mass.) picked up the assists on the goal.
Tiberi took a pass from Foley along the blue line and slid an off-speed low shot that evaded O'Neil, beating her low to the right hand side of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
Franklin Pierce took the lead for good at the 9:48 mark of the third period when Alex Brolsma scored a power play goal with a tip off an initial shot by Meg Gilbride from the half boards. Alysha Raimo picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
The Ravens added to their lead with an empty net goal by Lanie Matsumoto at the 18:56 mark of the third period to seal the deal.
However, that's as close as the Cadets would get as they couldn't find the equalizer in the final 27 seconds despite having the goalie pulled for an extra skater.
Norwich will look to get back on track on Saturday at 1 p.m. when it hosts UMass Boston in a rematch of the 2016 NEHC Championship game. The Beacons beat NU 2-0 at Kreitzberg to claim their first-ever league tournament title. They are currently tied for third in the NEHC standings and first among Division III teams with NU having one game in hand.