MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Norwich University women's ice hockey team dropped a 3-0 decision to Middlebury College on Tuesday evening at the Chip Kenyon '85 Arena in non-conference action.
Norwich (16-5-2, 13-0-1 NEHC) continued its struggles in non-conference action vs. top-10 ranked teams this year, falling to 1-4-0 in those games in 2018-19.
Sophomore Emily Lambert (Riverview, Mich.) made 28 saves, but it wasn't enough as Middlebury got two goals from Katarina Shuchuk and then an empty net goal from Katherine Jackson to cruise to the win.
Middlebury (13-3-3, 8-2-2 NESCAC) took a 1-0 lead just 2:24 into the game with a power-play goal by Shuchuk. Anna Zumwinkle's intial shot from the left point was denied on a pad save from Lambert. The rebound came right to Shuchuk, who converted for her fifth of the season. Norwich nearly tied the game with just over a minute left in the period, but Amanda Conway's (Methuen, Mass.) breakaway attempt was stopped by Han.
In the second session, Norwich's Maggie Conroy (Batavia, Ill.) had a good look early just after a power play expired, but Han made a nice blocker save on the shot from the left side. A minute later on the other end of the ice, Shuchuk netted her second of the game to put the Panthers up 2-0 at the 4:09 mark. Katherine Jackson carried the puck from behind her own net all the way up the ice before finding Shuchuk, who blasted home a shot from the left wing off the far post. The Panthers nearly went up 3-0 at the 8:30 mark, but Lambert thwarted Rachael St. Clair's effort breaking in on the left wing.
Conway had a chance to cut into the Middlebury lead 5:50 into the final period, but Han was equal to the task, stuffing an attempt from point-blank range. The Cadets looked to get on the board with 6:00 remaining, but the Panther defense stood tall on the penalty kill, as Han denied Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) on the doorstep.
Middlebury sealed the game with 41.4 seconds left when Jackson scored on an empty net from the top of her own right face-off circle.
Norwich held a 34-31 shots advantage in the game, including a 14-7 margin in the third period. Han finished with 34 saves to pick up her 11th career shutout. Middlebury killed all three Norwich power plays, going 1-for-3 with a player advantage.
Norwich will close out the NEHC regular season on Friday and Saturday when they travel to UMass Boston and Johnson & Wales on Friday and Saturday. The Cadets have already clinched the No. 1 seed for the league tournament