PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Sophomore forward Renee Lortie (Cornwall, Ontario) scored 45 seconds into overtime to cap off a wild 8-7 win for the No. 2-ranked Norwich women's ice hockey team over fifth-ranked Plattsburgh State on Tuesday night at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.
Lortie crashed the net and tapped the puck past Plattsburgh goaltender Sydney Aveson from the middle of the slot off a pass by junior forward Jillayne DeBus (Howell, Mich.) to notch her 15th goal of the season. The puck beat Aveson low to her right side and sent the Cadets' bench pouring over the boards to rush Lortie behind the net for the celebration.
DeBus was named the first star of the game after tallying a hat trick as well as an assist on the game-winning goal for a four-point night. She tied the game twice and briefly gave the Cadets a 5-4 lead 32 seconds into the third period with a slap shot from the middle of the left face-off circle that soared over Aveson's shoulder.
DeBus completed the hat trick when she tied the game at six at the 10:10 mark of the third period with a wrist shot snipe top corner that bounced off the inside of the far post and into the back of the net.
Norwich (19-2-1, 15-0-1 ECAC East) got on the board just 2:44 into the game when the Cadets capitalized with an extra attacker on the ice due to a delayed Plattsburgh penalty.
Brittany Sharman (Ayer's Cliff, Quebec) took a shot from the blue line that bounced off a player in front of the net and beat Aveson to her right side and gave Norwich a 1-0 lead. The goal was Sharman's second of the season and came off an assist from Sarianne Lynn (Wethersfield, Conn.).
Plattsburgh (15-5-2, 13-1-2 ECAC West) answered back though with two power play goals in a span of 2:24 from Justine Fisher and Morgan MacInnis to take a 2-1 lead with 8:37 remaining.
The Cadets were able to level the score before the end of the opening frame as DeBus followed up her own rebound and beat Aveson with a wrist shot to the lower right corner of the net. DeBus took a pass from Tyne Gove (Berwick, Ontario) and wheeled through the slot before taking a shot that was initially saved by Aveson. However, DeBus collected the rebound and deposited it into the back of the net before the Plattsburgh goalie could recover.
The Cardinals struck back with two quick power play goals coming 1:28 apart from Shannon Stewart and Erika Shaubel to take a 4-2 lead.
However, Plattsburgh opened the door just before the midway point of the period when Schaubel was whistled for a five-minute slashing major.
Norwich made the Cardinals pay as Jackie Perez (San Gabriel, Calif.) redirected an initial shot from Meghan Papagno (Wakefield, Mass.) past Aveson to cut the deficit to 4-3 at the 10:23 mark of the second.
Papagno scored 2:01 later when she finished off a tremendous individual effort by Julie Fortier (Saint-Malachie, Quebec) by slamming home a rebound to knot the score up at four. Fortier gained possession of the puck in the neutral zone and deked her way around three Plattsburgh players before taking a shot that Aveson was able to get a pad on. However, the rebound kicked out to the left side of the cage and Papagno was able to knock it home before Aveson could recover.
After DeBus gave Norwich an early lead in the third period, Plattsburgh answered again with two goals in a span of 2:40 from Stewart and Gove to take a 6-5 lead with 11:01 left in the game.
DeBus tied it 1:11 later only to have Stewart complete a hat trick of her own a little over two minutes later and give Plattsburgh a 7-6 lead with 7:36 to play. Stewart led the Cardinals with three goals and two assists, while her line mate Teal Gove had a goal and three assists to lead the Plattsburgh offense. Teal is the older sister of Norwich freshman forward Tyne Gove.
Junior forward Stephanie Invernizzi (Hingham, Mass.) set up Lortie's heroics by tying the game up once again with 5:45 left in regulation off assists from Fortier and Sharman.
The two teams matched each other goal for goal for the first three periods with six game-tying goals on different occasions. Each team also scored four power play goals as well.
Norwich's Kelly Fisk (Hannibal, N.Y.) picked up her 12th win of the season while turning aside 25 shots to improve to 12-1-0. Fisk made a game-saving stop with 17 seconds left as she robbed Plattsburgh's Emma Rutherford on a backhand with a pad save before falling on the rebound. Aveson made 31 saves for Plattsburgh to drop to 13-4-1.
The Cadets have now won three straight games against Plattsburgh and are a perfect 3-0 at the Stafford Ice Arena. NU downed Plattsburgh 3-2 in another overtime classic earlier this season on Dec. 7 at Kreitzberg Arena. Norwich holds a 4-2 edge in the all-time series between the two schools.
Norwich is off this weekend but the Cadets return to action next Tuesday, Feb. 14 when they wrap up their non-conference schedule by hosting Middlebury. Tuesday's game kicks off a three-game home stand that finishes off the regular season. The Cadets will follow up with home games against Salve Regina on Friday at 4 p.m. and Holy Cross on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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