NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University women's ice hockey team dominated from start to finish in a statement 6-0 victory in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Championship game on Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena.
Norwich (21-5-2, 15-0-1 NEHC) won its third straight NEHC Tournament title and ninth overall in front of a new women's hockey attendance-record crowd of 1,283 fans on Saturday.
Sophomore defenseman Samantha Benoit (Bow, N.H.) tallied four assists and finished with a +5 plus-minus rating en route to being named the NEHC Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Junior forward Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) notched two assists and became the 11th NU women's hockey player and fourth this season to reach the 100-career-points milestone.
Norwich now advances to the NCAA Division III National Tournament for the 10th time in its 12-year history where it will look to defend its 2018 title. The Cadets will find out who they will face in their first game on Monday, March 4 during the NCAA selection show on NCAA.com.
After nearly 30 scoreless minutes, Norwich finally was able to solve Castleton goalie Rylie Wills with senior defenseman Robyn Foley (Goulds, Newfoundland and Labrador) scoring a power play goal with a shot from the point through traffic that evaded Wills. Bryn Labbe (Calgary, Alberta) and Rossini notched the assists on Foley's second goal of the season.
Labbe increased the lead to 2-0 at the 17:32 mark of the second period with a high wrist shot from the top of the slot off assists from Rossini and Benoit for her eighth goal of the season.
Blauth made it 3-0 just 19 seconds later with a blast from the blue line that Wills got her shoulder on, but the puck deflected up and bounced behind her and into the back of the net for Blauth's ninth goal of the season. Brynn Wopperer (Amherst, N.Y.) and Benoit notched assists on the goal.
Rossini increased the lead to 4-0 at the 11:52 mark of the third period with an unassisted goal, rifling a wrist shot into the corner of the net from the middle of the slot after she picked off a pass at the Castleton blue line to skate in alone. The goal was Rossini's 10th of the season.
Conway capped the scoring with her nation-leading 28th and 29th goals of the season with both of the assists on both goals coming from McGovern and Benoit.
Conway, Rossini and Foley joined Benoit on the All-Tournament team. Castleton's Wills and Aimee Brand were also named to the team.
Norwich sophomore goalie Emily Lambert (Riverview, Mich.) stopped all six shots she faced to pick up her sixth shutout of the season. Wills was incredible all game for Castleton, stopping 51 shots and keeping the Spartans in it for nearly the entire game.