NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich freshman forward Kaycie Anderson (Maple Plain, Minn.) had been held scoreless for three straight games coming into Wednesday's showdown with No. 8 Plattsburgh at Kreitzberg Arena.
For 60-plus minutes, Plattsburgh shut down the Cadets' dynamic forward. However, 2:27 into overtime, Anderson finally broke through with her 11th goal of the season and scored the game winner to lift No. 2 Norwich to a big 3-2 non-conference win over eighth-ranked Plattsburgh.
Senior captain Melissa Rundlett (Saco, Maine) won a battle along the boards behind the Plattsburgh net and then fed Anderson who was waiting all alone in the slot. Anderson corralled the pass and then fired a quick shot past the blocker of Plattsburgh goalie Sydney Aveson. Sarianne Lynn (Wethersfield, Conn.) also recorded an assist on the goal.
Although Norwich dominated the possession and shots for a majority of the game, Aveson and the Plattsburgh defense stood their ground to keep the high-octane Norwich offense at bay.
The Cadets (9-1-1, 7-0-1 ECAC East) put pressure on Plattsburgh from the opening faceoff, which ironically was between Norwich freshman Tyne Gove and her older sister, Teal, who is a junior assistant captain at Plattsburgh.
Plattsburgh (7-3-1, 6-0-1 ECAC West) successfully killed off three Norwich power plays in the first period although the Cardinals were heavily out shot, it looked like they were going to able to escape the first period with a scoreless draw.
However, Norwich's Jillayne DeBus (Howell, Mich.) had other ideas though. The junior forward was finally able to put one past Aveson when she beat the Cardinals' goalie from point-blank range on top of the crease after receiving a centering pass from Anderson in the right corner.
The Cadets outshot Plattsburgh 13-3 and carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to DeBus' fourth goal of the season.
Plattsburgh rallied back in the second period to level the score at one when Morgan MacInnis beat Norwich sophomore goaltender Kelly Fisk (Hannibal, N.Y.) five-hole at the 14:39 mark for her third goal on the year. The Cardinals cycled the puck in the Cadets' zone and then Kylie Klassen fed MacInnis, who walked out in front and slid the puck through Fisk's five-hole on the back hand.
Plattsburgh wasted little time taking its first lead of the game as the Cardinals struck again just 1:37 into the third period by capitalizing on a Norwich defensive zone turnover. Plattsburgh's Emma Rutherford took a pass from Jenny Kistner and beat Fisk between the legs to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.
Over the next 10 minutes, Norwich threw everything it had at Aveson to try and find the equalizer but to no avail. Jackie Perez (San Gabriel, Calif.) had a shot bounce off the handle of Aveson's stick on a 2-on-1 with Stephanie Invernizzi (Hingham, Mass.) at the 5:25 mark of the period.
Just over two minutes later DeBus tried to beat Aveson short side from the middle of the circle on a power play, but the Plattsburgh goalie got a blocker on it to turn the chance away. Seconds later Julie Fortier (Saint-Malachie, Que.) chipped a puck into the zone past a Plattsburgh defenseman to create a 2-on-1. Fortier drew the Plattsburgh defender to her and then crossed the puck over to Rundlett who shot the puck back to the far post, but Aveson was quick side-to-side and caught the shot between her body and arm to keep Plattsburgh on top by one.
Finally Norwich was able to tie it up at the 12:09 mark of the period when Tyne Gove (Berwick, Ontario) tapped a puck through Aveson's five-hole while camped out in front of the net on a power play. Norwich freshman Vanessa Champagne (St. Naziere, Quebec) helped set Gove up by lifting a Plattsburgh defender's stick in the high slot and then pushed the puck up to Gove who finished it off from there.
Neither side was able to score again in regulation which set the stage for Anderson's heroics just before the midway point of the five-minute overtime.
Fisk improved to 6-0-0 on the year and made nine saves for Norwich. Aveson suffered her second loss of the season and dropped to 6-2-0 while turning in a brilliant performance in stopping 30 shots.
Wednesday night's win marked the Cadets' first win ever against Plattsburgh at home in Kreitzberg Arena. Norwich's previous two wins both came on the road at Plattsburgh's Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. The Cadets have now won two straight against Plattsburgh, as well as three of the last four and hold a slight 3-2 edge in the all-time series.
The two teams will get to meet again on Feb. 8 in Plattsburgh. Norwich closes the 2011 portion of its schedule on Saturday by hosting Bowdoin at 7 p.m. at Kreitzberg Arena in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the women's side.
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