NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's ice hockey team topped Plymouth State 5-0 on Saturday afternoon in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Quarterfinals at Kreitzberg Arena.
The top-seeded Cadets (20-5-1, 15-2-0 NEHC) got two goals and an assist from sophomore Bryn Labbe (Calgary, Alberta) and will now host the NEHC Championship Weekend for the seventh straight season at Kreitzberg Arena.
No. 4/5 nationally-ranked Norwich will take on the Univ. of New England in the first semifinal at 4 p.m. at Kreitzberg Arena. Manhattanville will face defending NEHC champion UMass Boston in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. The winners will advance to the NEHC Championship game to be played Saturday at 3 p.m.
After a sluggish start, Labbe finally got the Cadets rolling with a goal on a deflection in the slot at the 11:35 mark of the first period. Labbe redirected a shot from Kim Tiberi (Raleigh, N.C.) at the point and beat Plymouth starting goalie Mariah Trupp. Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) also picked up an assist on the goal after playing the puck back to Tiberi from the half boards.
Norwich made it 2-0 just 33 seconds later when Maggie Conroy (Batavia, Ill.) scored her first of the season with a pretty deke on her backhand to get Trupp to commit before sliding it behind her. Muranda Toews (Grand Prairie, Alberta) notched the primary assist to spring Conroy on the 1-on-1 situation with the goalie. Brynn Wopperer (Amherst, N.Y.) picked up her first collegiate assist as well on the goal.
Labbe increased the lead to 3-0 with her second of the night and eighth of the season at the 3:21 mark, scoring off her own rebound all alone with the goalie. McGovern picked up the assist for her second of the night as well.
Norwich quickly made it 4-0 just 1:38 later when Adelle Murphy (Roseau, Minn.) deflected a Desirae Kuhlmann (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) shot from the point for a power play goal. Carly Menges (Novelty, Ohio) picked up the second assist on the goal.
The Cadets capped the scoring with another power play goal with nine seconds left when Tiberi buried a shot into the top left corner of the net off a rebound. Labbe and McGovern notched assists on it.
Norwich's nation-leading power play went 2-for-4 on the player advantage after coming in clicking at 31.2 percent.
Junior goalie Laurie King (Waddington, N.Y.) made seven saves in 40 minutes to improve to 16-2-1 on the season. Celeste Robert (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) came on to make five saves in the final 20 minutes, including a sprawling full-extension save to rob a PSU forward of a wide-open net.
Norwich improved to 21-0-0 all-time vs. Plymouth State.
Norwich is looking to win its seventh NEHC Championship in now its 10th year as a varsity program. UMass Boston beat NU 2-0 in last year's title game at Kreitzberg.