March 14, 2009

 

Courtesy of Elmira Athletics

ELMIRA, N.Y. - Kayla Coady scored a pair of goals, and Allison Cubberley stopped 31 of the 33 shots that she faced as No. 2 Elmira knocked off Norwich, 3-2, in an NCAA women's ice hockey tournament quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at the Murray Athletic Center.

Norwich ends its magical 2008-09 campaign with a 19-9-1 record. The Cadets established program benchmarks for overall victories and conference wins this year. Norwich capped the season by capturing its first ECAC East Tournament title. NU earned the league's automatic bid to the national tournament in just its second season competing at the varsity level.

Norwich took an early penalty as Cadet junior forward Sophie Leclerc was whistled for holding the stick just 18 seconds into the first period. The Cadets were able to kill Elmira's ensuing power play, and they earned their first man-up opportunity just moments later. Norwich was unable to cash in on its power play, though, and the game remained scoreless five minutes into the contest.

The Cadets received another power play chance midway through the first period, but they were again unable to convert on it.

Elmira (23-4-1) got its second power play of the first period late in the stanza, and Coady gave the Soaring Eagles a 1-0 lead when she scored at the 18:45 mark. The goal was assisted by Jamie Kivi. Coady took a long up-ice pass from Kivi and got around a Cadet defenseman in the slot before snapping a wrist shot past NU sophomore goaltender Cindy Fortin.

Both teams fired 12 shots on goal during a very entertaining first period.

The Soaring Eagles took advantage of another power play opportunity early in the second period when Coady netted her second man-up marker of the afternoon off an assist from Lindsay Mitchell at the 1:37 mark. It was Coady's 18th goal of the season.

Norwich answered Elmira's second goal less than four minutes later when freshman defenseman Amanda Wilks scored a short-handed tally at the 5:35 mark. Wilks corralled the puck in the neutral zone and skated into the Soaring Eagles' zone before ripping a shot from the left faceoff circle. Cubberley got a piece of Wilks' shot, but was not able to keep it out of the net as Wilks recorded her 16th goal of the season.

Elmira recaptured its two-goal advantage late in the second period when Catherine Shears netted a power play goal at the 18:56 mark. Lauryn DePaul and Jenna McCall picked up assists on the marker, which was Shears' third of the season.

The Soaring Eagles seemed to have the better of play during the second period, outshooting the Cadets 17-11 in the frame. Norwich got into trouble by taking penalties in the stanza as they were whistled for four minor infractions during the period. Elmira continued to take advantage of its opportunities, potting two more man-up goals.

Norwich came out firing on all cylinders to start the third period, and it did not take long for the Cadets to cut into the Elmira lead. Less than two minutes into the stanza, Kelsey Cone fed Brittane Michaud for her eighth goal of the year at the 1:20 mark.

Norwich continued to pressure Elmira, and the Cadets were able to draw consecutive penalties on the Soaring Eagles. NU was unable to score on a two-man advantage, though, and the score remained 3-2 near the midway point of the period.

Elmira had a golden opportunity to double its lead with about 4:30 to play when McCall got in behind the Norwich defense and skated in all alone. But McCall's shot glanced off the right post and Fortin was able to cover up the rebound.

Norwich called its timeout with 1:26 to play. It was at this time that NU head coach Mark Bolding elected to pull Fortin in favor of the extra attacker. The Cadets had three or four legitimate shots on Cubberley in the final moments, but they were unable to score and Elmira held on for the victory.

Elmira outshot Norwich, 11-10, in the third period. For the game, the Soaring Eagles held a 40-33 edge in shots. Fortin finished the contest with 37 saves, while Cubberley stopped 31 shots.