Photo Courtesy of Adam Hatt Photography
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – This time the Norwich women's ice hockey team finished the job.
One year after falling 4-2 to Manhattanville in the ECAC East finals, the Cadets finally got revenge on with a 6-3 victory over their archrivals in the 2012 ECAC East Women's Tournament Championship game on Sunday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena.
It didn't come easy though as Manhattanville (15-9-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of power play goals from Lauren Nutkevitch and Jackie Solomito coming 1:56 apart.
However, Norwich (25-2-1) responded with two goals in the final two minutes of the period from Kaycie Anderson (Maple Plain, Minn.) and Brittany Sharman (Ayer's Cliff, Quebec) that sparked a string of five straight Cadets' goals.
Anderson got NU on the board at the 18:21 mark of the first period by tipping an initial shot from Melissa Rundlett (Saco, Maine) past Manhattanville goalie Emy Cote.
Just 1:15 later Sharman beat Cote again with a wrist shot from the high slot that found its way over the shoulder of the Valiants' goalie and tie the game up at two heading into the first intermission.
Junior forward Jillayne DeBus (Howell, Mich.) kept the Cadets' momentum rolling with her 19th goal of the season just over a minute into the second period. DeBus stuffed home a rebound in the crease after sophomore forward Renee Lortie's (Cornwall, Ontario) initial shot was saved by Cote.
Stephanie Invernizzi (Hingham, Mass.) made it 4-2 at the 17:14 mark of the second period when she chipped home a rebound off the cross bar and past a sprawled out Cote for her sixth goal of the season. Tyne Gove (Berwick, Ontario) and Anderson recorded assists on the goal.
Lortie made it 5-2 just before the midway point of the third period when she redirected a pass from DeBus short side past Cote for her 19th goal on the year.
Manhattanville's Lynsey Schill cut the deficit to 5-3 at the 12:31 mark off an assist from Haleigh Hutchinson but it was too little too late.
Julie Fortier (Saint-Malachie, Quebec) put a final stamp on the game with an insurance tally for her 29th goal of the season at the 14:33 mark of the third to cap the scoring. Anderson and Sarianne Lynn (Wethersfield, Conn.) picked up the assists on the goal.
Sophomore goalie Kelly Fisk (Hannibal, N.Y.) made 16 saves for Norwich to improve to 18-1-0 on the season. Cote turned aside 27 shots for Manhattanville to finish the year at 9-8-2.
DeBus was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament while Fortier, Anderson and Sharman were named to the All-Tournament team. Manhattanville's Katie Little and Castleton's Paula Stephens rounded out the All-Tournament team selections.
Norwich has now won three of the last four ECAC East Tournament titles and assured them an automatic qualifier in the NCAA Tournament. This will mark the fourth straight appearance for the Cadets in the NCAA Tournament in just their fifth year of existence.
The Cadets will begin their NCAA Tournament title defense next Saturday with an opponent to be determined. NU will found out who it plays Monday morning at 10 a.m. EST during the NCAA's live selection show on www.ncaa.com.
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