Sullivan's game-winning goal sends Middlebury past Norwich in overtime
Katie Sullivan scored the game-winning goal in overtime to earn the hat trick as Middlebury advanced to the semifinals with a 3-2 overtime win at Norwich in an NCAA quarterfinal game. The lead was the first of the game for the Panthers 74:28 into the game and they advance to the final four for the seventh time.
After a back-and-forth first 14 minutes of overtime with both teams having chances, Norwich (22-4-3) was whistled for a checking penalty. Middlebury (19-7-2) needed just 20 seconds of the player advantage to capitalize as Sullivan pounced on a loose rebound in front of the net and slipped the puck by an outstretched Kelly Fisk to send the Panther bench pouring onto the ice to celebrate.
Fisk made an initial save on Katie Mandigo’s shot but she wasn’t able to get to the rebound in time despite sprawling across the crease from the left post to get a piece of Sullivan’s shot. Heather Marrison also picked up an assist on the game-winning goal.
Norwich struck first just 1:35 into the game as Kaycie Anderson caused a turnover in the neutral zone, skated down the left wing and beat Middlebury goalie Annabelle Jones five-hole with a quick wrist shot from just inside the faceoff dot.
Just before the midway point of the period, Sullivan scored her first of the day by banging home a one-timer off a pass from Lauren Greer from behind the net to tie the game up at one.
Just five minutes later at the 14:55 mark of the first period, Vanessa Champagne regained the lead for Norwich by slapping a shot from the point past Jones after the Middlebury goalie made the initial save on Anderson’s shot from the top of the left faceoff circle.
Middlebury came out flying in the third period and took the play to Norwich while the Cadets desperately clung to the one-goal lead. Finally the Panthers broke through with 4:28 left in the game when Greer and Sullivan hooked up again in nearly identical fashion with Sullivan poking the puck past Fisk off a feed from Greer from behind the net.
The Panthers outshot Middlebury 12-4 in the stanza and then 8-3 in the overtime session. Anderson nearly won the game for Norwich early in overtime but she rang a wrist shot off the right post.
Jones finished with 27 saves for Middlebury, while Fisk made 25 saves for Norwich. Jones improved to 11-3-2 on the year, while Fisk finished her senior season with a 10-3-1 record.
Saturday’s loss snapped Norwich’s run of four consecutive trips to the national semifinals.