|University of New England||Norwich University|
NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Amanda Conway broke a 2-2 tie at 13:26 of the final period, and Norwich University added an empty-net goal with just over a minute remaining for a 4-2 win over the University of New England in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Championship semifinal-round game Friday afternoon (Mar. 3) at Kreitzberg Arena.
The top-seeded and fourth-ranked Cadets (21-5-1) advance to Saturday’s title game and will face the winner of No. 2 Manhattanville College and No. 3 University of Massachusetts Boston. The fifth-seeded Nor’easters conclude their season with a record of 11-14-2.
In addition to the game-winner, Conway notched the first goal of the game to finish as the lone multiple goal-scorer of the day. Adrieana Rossini and Sarah Schwenzfeier had the other Norwich markers. For UNE, seniors Mary Wirth and Gabby Crugnale tallied power-play goals.
Norwich built a 2-0 advantage in the opening 8:19 of the contest behind goals from Conway and Rossini. The Nor’easters would cut their deficit in half late in the first frame when Mary Wirth scored on UNE’s first power-play opportunity of the afternoon. Julianne Sheehan and Kierra Wright assisted on the play.
UNE once again took advantage of a one-player advantage to tie the score with 16:46 elapsed in the second period. Wirth sent a shot toward the Norwich cage that deflected off the body of a Cadet defender and dropped to the ice. Crugnale then poked home the puck for her team-best 11th goal of the season.
Conway’s deciding goal was her 19th of the year, and Schwenfeier’s empty-netter pushed her season total to 17.
Winning goaltender Laurie King needed 19 saves to improve her record to 17-2-1. Sydney Helmbrecht offered a strong performance in her final game, totaling 38 stops.
“I have never been prouder of a group of young adults than I was today,” commented UNE head coach David Venditti after the game. “It was a total team effort, and our senior class have certainly left an amazing footprint on our program.”