Parts of this article courtesy of Norwich Athletics Communication. Read the original article here.
NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Norwich University used a five goal third period as they won their fourth straight New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Championship crown and tenth overall on Saturday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena.
Despite trailing 2-1 at the midway point of the second period, Norwich (22-4-2) rattled off eight straight goals to cruise to a 9-2 victory over Suffolk University.
Reigning NEHC Player of the Year Amanda Conway (Methuen, Mass.) recorded four points on a hat trick and an assist while freshmen forwards Julia Masotta (Tewksbury, Mass.) and Ann-Frederique Guay (St. Lambert-de-Lauzon, Quebec) each had two goals. Senior forward Sophie McGovern (Hermantown, Minn.) also chipped in with a goal and two assists to lead the Norwich offense.
Junior defenseman Samantha Benoit (Bow, N.H.) had two assists, while sophomore Alexa Berg (West Fargo, N.D.) made 25 saves in goal for the Cadets.
Conway was named the NEHC Tournament MVP for the second time in her career, while Masotta, Guay, Berg and Benoit were named to the All-Tournament team for the Cadets. Suffolk's Grace Scholz (Lake Bluff, Ill.) also earned a spot on the All-Tournament team as she scored the opening goal of the contest for the Rams.
Suffolk opened the scoring at the 6:59 mark of the first period with Scholz, sniping a wrist shot over the shoulder of Berg from the middle of the slot on a breakaway. Julia Volpe made a great play to chip the puck up off the boards to spring Maddy Burton and Scholz on a 2-on-1. Burton feathered a tape-to-tape pass from the side boards to Scholz alone in front and she took care of the rest, burying the puck for her fourth goal of the season.
Norwich responded at the 14:11 mark with a power play goal by McGovern. McGovern one-timed a cross-ice pass from Guay into the top of the net from the middle of the right faceoff circle for her 19th goal of the season. Benoit picked up the second assist on the goal.
Suffolk took another lead at the 10:12 mark of the second period with a bar down goal from Sydney Tietz. Tietz picked up the puck in the neutral zone and then wheeled through the center of the ice and evaded a Norwich defender before ripping a shot off the cross bar and in for her sixth goal of the season.
However, Norwich finally got its NCAA Division III-leading offense rolling after that, lighting the lamp three times in a span of 1:46 with goals from Mikah Baptiste (Ottawa, Ont.), Guay and Conway.
Baptiste tied the game at 2-2 with a power play goal on a rebound off a blocked shot initially by Benoit at the 13:26 mark of the second period.
Guay made it 3-2 Norwich just 38 seconds later with the eventual game-winning goal for her 17th goal of the season off assists from Morgan Tefft (Redwood City, Calif.) and Carley Sedlar (Howell, Mich.).
Conway scored her first of the game just over a minute later off assists from Kayla Goleniak (Canton, Mich.) and Masotta. Goleniak made a great cross-ice pass to find Conway alone on the right side of the crease and then she fired the puck past Suffolk's Julia McLellan (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) to make it 4-2 Norwich.
The Cadets pulled away in the third period with five more goals to cap their NEHC playoffs scoring nine, 10 and nine goals respectively in each of the three rounds.
Guay scored again on the power play for her 18th goal of the season at the 2:49 mark with a snipe under the cross bar off assists from Baptiste and Berg.
Conway scored her second of the game and 30th of the season at the 4:25 mark off an assist from Masotta at the 4:25 mark.
Masotta scored twice at the 6:43 and 10:57 mark of the third period to increase the lead to 8-2. Conway capped the scoring to complete her sixth career hat trick at the 15:25 mark of the third period off an assist from McGovern.
Berg improved to 10-3-2 on the season, while MacLellan dropped to 6-12-2 and made 37 saves.
Norwich earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament with the victory. The Cadets will await their fate during Monday's selection show at 10 a.m. on www.ncaa.com.