NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's ice hockey team won its eighth New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Tournament title in the last 10 years with an impressive 7-0 victory over UMass Boston on Saturday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena.
Senior Sarah Schwenzfeier (Hingham, Mass.) and sophomore Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) each scored two goals to lead the Cadets' offense as they rolled to their fifth straight victory and second straight tournament title. NU won the rematch of the 2016 NEHC title game that UMass Boston upset the Cadets 2-0 in.
Norwich (24-1-3) claimed an automatic bid into the nine-team NCAA Tournament field with the victory. The Cadets will find out their first opponent on Monday, March 5 at 10 a.m. during the selection show that will air on www.ncaa.com.
NU took the lead at the 14:33 mark of the first period with Schwenzfeier tallying her 13th goal of the season to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead that they would never look back from. Adrieana Rossini (Malden, Mass.) found Schwenzfeier with a tape to tape pass from behind the net and then Schwenzfeier buried the puck into the back of the net and under the pad of UMass Boston goalie Rachel Myette.
Conway made it 2-0 at the 18:12 mark of the first period with her team-leading 28th goal of the season off assists from Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) and Samantha Benoit (Bow, N.H.). Benoit found McGovern with a stretch pass from in her own zone and then she fed the puck to Conway who beat Myette.
McGovern kept the momentum rolling at the start of the second period with her 14th goal of the season at the 1:02 mark to increase the lead to 3-0. McGovern slammed home a rebound after Myette made an initial save on Conway but couldn't control the rebound. Maggie Conroy (Batavia, Ill.) picked up the second assist on the goal.
Norwich tallied two more goals in the middle frame with Schwenzfeier scoring her second of the game and 14th of the season on the power play. Schwenzfeier took a pass from Kim Tiberi (Raleigh, N.C.) and walked out from behind the net. She cut across the bottom of the slot and outwaited Myette as she went down to block low. However, Schwenzfeier roofed it over her shoulder for the goal. Benoit picked up the second assist for her 23rd helper of the season.
Carly Menges (Novelty, Ohio) made it 5-0 at the 17:47 mark of the second period with her first goal of the season with a blast from the point that found its way through the UMass Boston defense and over the glove of Myette. Kelley Madden (Novelty, Ohio) picked up the assist after chasing down a puck in the corner and dropping it back to Menges for the blast.
Conway scored her 29th of the season at the 4:00 minuet mark of the third period with an unassisted tally after she stripped the puck off a UMass Boston player's stick and then roofed a shot off the bottom of the cross bar and in.
Maddi Blauth (Pennington, N.J.) capped the scoring with her second goal of the season, also coming unassisted with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that beat Myette.
Senior goalie Laurie King (Waddington, N.Y.) stopped all 18 shots she faced to pick up her ninth shutout of the season and program-record 23 of her career. King improved to 19-1-3 on the season and set the new program single-season win record in the victory.
Myette made 27 saves for UMass Boston to fall to 5-12-2 on the season.
Norwich finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while UMass Boston was 0-for-5.
Norwich will be making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in just its 11th season of existence. The Cadets were the No. 1 ranked team in the East Region in the latest NCAA rankings that are used to determine seeding for the NCAA Tournament.