(Release provided by Plymouth State University Athletic Communications)
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Emelie Lindqvist (Gulleråsen, Sweden) turned in a career performance making 52 saves against the top-ranked scoring offense in the nation, but it wasn't quite enough as #1 Norwich University earned a 2-0 win over Plymouth State University in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) game at Hanaway Rink on Friday night.
Norwich (18-1-2, 11-0-0 NEHC) entered the game averaging 5.55 goals per game, the top mark in the country, but Lindqvist was spectacular making one brilliant save after another and the Panther defense blocked a number of Cadets' shots.
The visitors were able to sneak one in at the 6:43 mark of the first period. With a scrum of skaters piled in front of the PSU goal Lindqvist made multiple stops but sophomore Maddi Blauth (Pennington, N.J.) was able to shovel the puck in to make it 1-0.
The Cadets thought they had doubled the lead six minutes into the second. Blauth picked up a loose puck along the end boards and whipped a wrap-around shot that momentarily squirted behind Lindqvist, but she was able to cover up before it crossed the goal line.
Plymouth was able to apply some offensive pressure through the middle of the period, but senior goalkeeper Laurie King (Waddington, N.Y.) keep the Panthers off the scoreboard. Junior Kelsey Roy (Ft. Collins, Colo.) had a shot at the equalizer midway through the period when she split a pair of defenders and tried to beat King to the five-hole, but King squeezed the pads.
Minutes later PSU got a lucky break when the puck deflected off the skate of a referee right to sophomore Kailey Jacobs (Westwood, Mass.) in front of the Norwich goal, but her backhander was turned away. Junior Brooke Maggy (Los Angeles, Calif.) had a hack at the rebound but King covered up for the whistle and the game remained 1-0 heading into the third period.
The final period was more of the same as both teams remained aggressive. Norwich got some insurance with a power play score with 8:45 to play. Sophomore Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) took a pass from classmate Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) and skated down the middle, then drifted to the left side through two PSU defenders. Lindqvist attempted to poke the puck away with her stick, but Conway's backhanded shot deflected off the stick and over Lindqvist's glove to make it 2-0 and that's how the game would end.
Norwich outshot the Panthers by a 54-10 margin. The PSU penalty kill was great, holding the number two power play in NCAA Division III (30.8%) to just 1-of-7. Plymouth was 0-3 with the extra skater.
The Cadets return to action on Saturday, February 3rd for an NEHC matchup at New England College. Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m.