NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Junior Sarah Schwenzfeier (Hingham, Mass.) netted her second career hat trick to lead the Norwich University women's ice hockey team to a 5-0 victory over Southern Maine on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Celeste Robert (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) stopped all 11 shots she faced to record her 17th career shutout and set the new NU program career record, breaking Cindy Fortin's '11 record of 16.
Sophomore Adrieana Rossini (Malden, Mass.) scored a goal and tallied two assists for a three-point game as well to help lead the Cadets' offense.
After a scoreless first period, Norwich (17-5-1, 13-2-0 NEHC) broke out with three goals in the second period to take a commanding 3-0 lead after 40 minutes.
Norwich finally got on the board at the 6:40 mark of the second period with freshman Kelley Madden (Novelty, Ohio) scoring her third goal of the season on a rebound in front of the net. Maggie Conroy (Batavia, Ill.) and Kirsten Watts (Chugiak, Alaska) picked up assists on the goal after Conroy ripped a shot from the point that deflected off a skate and then Watts got a swat at the puck.
The Cadets increased the lead to 2-0 just 43 seconds later with Schwenzfeier notching her 13th goal of the season with a tap-in goal off a 2-on-1 rush with Rossini. Rossini collected a puck at the center of the ice just inside UNE's blue line and then fed a pass over to Schwenzfeier, who buried the puck into the net before slamming into the post.
Rossini and Schwenzfeier hooked up again to make it 3-0 at the 11:15 mark. Schwenzfeier had an initial shot saved, but Rossini fended off a USM defender to slide the puck inside the left post for her 14th goal of the season.
Robert kept her shutout alive with a great glove save on a breakaway by USM's leading scorer Alex Mitchell at the 1:38 mark of the third period.
Schwenzfeier made it 4-0 just moments later working a great give and go with Adelle Murphy (Roseau, Minn.) and then slipping the puck past Courtney Davis for her second of the night. Rossini picked up the secondary assist.
Schwenzfeier completed the hat trick with her team-leading 15th goal of the season at the 10:00 minute mark of the third period. Schwenzfeier curled off the half boards and fed a pass down low to Murphy below the goal line, Murphy immediately slid it back to a cutting Schwenzfeier who one-timed it into the back of the net before Davis could get over. Tiberi picked up her team leading 21st assist on the goal as well.
Norwich remained tied with Holy Cross for second place in the NEHC standings. Saint Anselm continues to hold a one-point lead on both the Crusaders and Cadets in the race for the regular season title. Holy Cross beat Manhattanville 7-0 on Saturday, dropping the Valiants to three points behind Norwich in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NEHC Tournament. The Cadets can clinch the top seed with one point next weekend when they close out the regular season at New England College and Plymouth State.
Norwich has won six straight regular season titles, but the Cadets will need Saint Anselm to drop at least one point in order to catch the Hawks. Saint Anselm faces Holy Cross on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:05 p.m.