Women’s Hockey: Norwich sails past Vikings, 3-0 in NEHC Quarterfinals

Alyssa Hulst women's hockey action vs. JWU

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's ice hockey team took its first step towards a three-peat for the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Tournament title with a 3-0 win over Salem State on Saturday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena in the quarterfinal round. 

Junior Alyssa Hulst (Scarborough, Maine) scored two goals, while freshman defenseman Emma O'Neill (Hamburg, N.Y.) tallied two assists to lead the Norwich (19-5-2) offense in the victory. 

Senior Jessica Piracini (Arlington, Mass.) also tallied a goal while sophomore Emily Lambert (Riverview, Mich.) stopped all nine shots she faced to earn her fifth shutout of the season. 

Top-seeded Norwich heavily outshot Salem State (6-15-4) by a 49-9 margin, however the Cadets couldn't solve Isabelle Woodward often as the Viking goalie made 46 saves to keep the score close. 

Norwich took a 1-0 lead at the 7:51 mark of the first period with Hulst scoring on a rebound off an initial shot by O'Neill. Hulst roofed a shot on her backhand after collecting the rebound at the top of the crease for her seventh goal of the season. Maggie Conroy (Batavia, Ill.) picked up the second assist after a defense to defense pass along the blue line to O'Neill. 

Piracini scored her fourth goal of the season at the 5:54 mark of the second period after she tipped a shot from O'Neill in the lower slot past the glove of Woodward.

Hulst capped the scoring with her second of the game and eighth of the season with another rebound goal after Adrieana Rossini (Malden, Mass.) was stuffed on a partial breakaway. However, the rebound was left out in front of the crease and Hulst swooped in to slide it past Woodward for the third goal of the game. KC Herne (Akwesasne, N.Y.) picked up the second assist after pushing the puck over to Rossini in the neutral zone. 

Lambert improved to 12-4-1 on the season with the victory. Woodward dropped to 3-9-3 with the loss for Southern Maine. 

Norwich advances to the NEHC Semifinals where it will host the lowest remaining seed in the tournament. Castleton defeated Plymouth State 2-1 in the quarterfinals to punch its ticket to the semifinals as well. Johnson & Wales upset Southern Maine 5-0 in the 4/5 matchup. If Suffolk holds serve on home ice to beat UMass Boston, Norwich would host Johnson & Wales. If UMass Boston upsets Suffolk, Norwich will face UMass Boston.