NORTHFIELD, Vt. — No. 1 Plattsburgh State women's ice hockey overcame an early 2-1 deficit to defeat No. 3 Norwich University, 6-3, in the 10th annual East-West Hockey Classic on Sunday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena.
With the victory, Plattsburgh State (11-1-0) advances to face the winner of No. 6 Adrian College and No. 8 Elmira College in the championship game of the East-West Hockey Classic tomorrow at 4 p.m. inside Kreitzberg Arena. Norwich (10-2-0) will play either Adrian or Elmira in the consolation game tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Norwich would score first on the afternoon at 5:50 of the first period. Mikah Baptiste stole the puck from a Cardinal by the left side of the Cardinal net and passed the puck across the front of the net to Amanda Conway, who finished into the right side of the goal.
Plattsburgh State's sophomore forward Taylor Whitney (Livonia, Mich./Little Caesars) tied the game at 1-1 as she scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season at 18:17 of the first period. Sophomore defenseman Sierra Benjamin(Palm Coast, Fla./Northwood School) made a pass from below the left face-off dot to find Whitney all alone at the back door and Whitney tapped in the pass for the power-play goal. Sophomore forward Nicole Unsworth (Milwaukee, Wis./East Coast Wizards) tallied the secondary assist.
However, Norwich answered with a goal less than 20 seconds later to go back in front, 2-1. After a neutral-zone turnover led to a rush for the Cadets, an initial shot by Conway was saved, but Sophie McGovern banged in the rebound at 18:36 of the first period. Mikah Baptiste garnered the secondary assist.
Plattsburgh State turned up its level of play in the second and third periods as the Cardinals scored five consecutive goals to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 6-2 lead.
In the second period, the Cardinals scored three goals within 1:01 of game time. Junior forward and team captain Madison Walker (Denver, Colo./Lansing Spartans) finished off a 3-on-1 rush for her third goal of the season, with Kaitlin Drew-Mead (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Buffalo Bisons) assisting, to tie the game at 2-2 at the 9:18 mark. Junior forward Abby Brush (Mount Prospect, Ill./Chicago Young Americans), who took a pass from junior defenseman Emma Killeen(Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) in the neutral zone, entered the right side of the offensive zone and cut to the front of the Norwich net where she slid a shot through the goaltender's five-hole for her fifth goal of 2019-20. Unsworth finished off the offensive flurry with her fourth goal of the season to make the score 4-2 at the 10:19 mark. After Norwich won a face-off, Unsworth intercepted a pass in front of the Cadets' net and used a deke to tally the unassisted goal.
In the third period, sophomore Sara Krauseneck (Saginaw, Mich./Northern Cyclones) scored on a rebound through the Norwich netminder's five-hole on the power play at the 2:18 mark. Junior forward and alternate captain Annie Katonka (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) and junior forward Erin McArdle (Macomb, Mich./Belle Tire) tallied the assists on the goal that made the score 5-2. Plattsburgh State's final goal of the day was a power-play tally scored by freshman forward Ivy Boric (Newport Beach, Calif./Anaheim Lady Ducks) at 5:55 of the third period. A slap shot from the point by senior defenseman Hannah Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz./Northern Cyclones) was kicked out by the goaltender, but Boric got to the rebound at the bottom of the left circle and scored with a wrist shot over the netminder's right shoulder to make the score 6-2. Kiraly and McArdle assisted on the play.
Norwich scored the final goal of the game at 9:21 of the third period to make the score 6-3. A Cadet skated the puck into the right side of the Cardinal zone and was challenged by a Cardinal. The puck went towards the front of the net where Brynn Whopperer was first to it and she scored on a wrist shot from just outside the crease. Kayla Goleniak and Conway assisted on the play.
Plattsburgh State's penalty kill was key as the Cardinals held on for the 6-3 come-from behind victory. The Cardinals went 3-of-4 on the power play, while holding the Cadets to 0-4 with the man advantage.
Sophomore goaltender Ashley Davis (Winterville, N.C./Northwood School) improved to 6-0-0 for Plattsburgh State as she made 28 saves on the afternoon. Emily Lambert (3-1-0) stopped 35 shots for Norwich.
Plattsburgh State held a 41-31 advantage in shots on goal, including a 15-5 edge in the third period.