Norwich NCAA Championship Weekend Recap

Release courtesy of Norwich University Athletics' Communication

ADRIAN, Mich. The Norwich University women's ice hockey team fell 3-1 to Gustavus Adolphus College on Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship Third Place Game at Arrington Arena.

The Cadets (23-7-1) got a second period goal from senior Adelle Murphy (Roseau, Minn.), but it wasn't enough as Gustavus Adolphus handed NU its second straight loss to close the 2016-17 season.

Norwich finished fourth in the country for the second time in its 10-year history. The Cadets have also finished second in 2010, 2012 and 2014, as well as winning it all in 2011. Overall, NU has reached the final four an impressive six times since becoming a varsity program in 2007.

After a scoreless first period, Gustavus Adolphus (19-7-3) opened the scoring at the 2:45 mark of the middle frame with Erica Power scoring a power play goal with a shot from the high slot that beat NU senior goalie Celeste Robert (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) low to right side of the net. Kirsten Cash and Emily Gustafson notched assists on the goal.

Murphy briefly tied the game up with her eighth goal of the season at the 18:06 mark of the second period with a beautiful redirection of a point shot from Maddie Tasha (North Falmouth, Mass.) to beat Gusatvus Adolphus goalie Amanda DiNella to the inside of the left post.

Junior defenseman Kim Tiberi (Raleigh, N.C.) picked up the second assist for her 26thhelper of the season and 39th overall point. With the assist, Tiberi tied Sarianne Lynn '12 for the most points in a single season by a NU defenseman.

However, the tie game was short lived as just 10 seconds after Murphy's goal, Gustavus Adolphus re-took the lead with a goal by Diana Draayer. Gustafson won a battle behind the NU net and found Draayer all alone in front of the net. Draayer redirected the pass into the net catching Robert off guard.

Power added her second goal of the game and 10th of the season at the 11:38 mark of the third period with a shorthanded breakaway goal. Power capitalized on a NU player losing control of the puck near the blue line and then took off to the races all alone on the Cadet net. She made a move to her left before bring the puck back to her forehand and tucking it behind Robert to make it 3-1 Golden Gusties.

Norwich had a chance later in the third to cut it to a one goal game with just under three minutes left with Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) making a terrific move to split two Gustavus Adolphus defenders. She cleared them and then tried to go on her back hand and slide it behind DiNella, but the GAC goalie made a great move across the crease to get her left skate on the puck and keep it out.

Gustavus Adolphus outshot Norwich 38-23. Robert made 35 saves in her final appearance in a NU uniform to finish the year 4-4. She holds the NU career shutout record with 17 career shutouts.

DiNella made 22 saves for Gustavus Adolphus to finish 14-4-2 on the year. She was named a CCM West Region First Team All-American at the Championship banquet on Thursday night.

Gustavus Adolphus picked up its first-ever win over Norwich. The Cadets were previously 2-0 against the Gusties with victories in the 2011 and 2012 NCAA Semifinals.

Murphy closed her career with 27 goals and 51 assists for 78 career points in 121 games played. She played in every game that the NU women's hockey team played over the last four years and finishes having played the second most games in NCAA Division III women's hockey history by an individual player.

In Friday's semifinal matchup against Plattsburgh State University the Cardinals defeated the Cadets 4-0 to advance to the National Championship game.

Norwich got a career-high 46 saves from Laurie King (Waddington, N.Y.), but it wasn't enough to stave off the powerful Plattsburgh State offense as the Cardinals extended their unbeaten streak vs. the Cadets to 13 straight games.

Senior defenseman Erin Brand scored twice, while junior forwards Melissa Sheeran and Kayla Meneghin each tallied a goal to lead the Plattsburgh State offense in their third victory over Norwich this season.

Sheeran gave Plattsburgh State the lead at the 9:25 mark of the first period with a power play goal for her nation-leading 32nd goal of the season. Brand picked up the primary assist after she sent the puck towards the net and it deflected out to the right faceoff circle. Sheeran collected the puck and sent a wrist shot through traffic to beat King five-hole and give the Cardinals a lead that they would never look back from. Megan Crandell picked up the secondary assist.

The Cardinals capitalized again on the player advantage at the 13:47 mark of the second period with Brand rifling a wrist shot over King's shoulder from the top of the left faceoff circle off assists from Jordan Lipson and Sheeran.

Meneghin provided the proverbial dagger with nine seconds left in the second period with spin-o-rama shot that beat King under her left pad from the middle of the slot just after Norwich had a power play expire. The goal was Meneghin's 19th of the season with Ashley Songin and Crandell notching assists.

Brand capped the scoring at the 3:48 mark of the third period with Brand ripping a slap shot from the point that deflected off a NU player's stick and kicked up over King's pad to make it 4-0 Plattsburgh State. Melissa Ames and Muna Fadel picked up the assists on the goal.

Plattsburgh State outshot Norwich 50-21, including a 22-10 advantage in the second period and a 16-7 edge in third period.