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Herons hold off #8 Norwich for 3-2 upset win

The William Smith College ice hockey team scored twice in the second period and held on to upset eighth-ranked Norwich, 3-2, in a New England College Hockey Conference contest at The Cooler this evening. It was William Smith’s third win over a ranked opponent in program history.

With the victory, the Herons are now 9-14-1 overall this season and 7-9-1 in NEHC play. William Smith will be the sixth seed in the NEHC conference tournament and travel to Southern Maine next Saturday, Feb. 19, for a quarterfinal contest. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Gorham, Maine.

On Senior Day, William Smith was led by its junior class, which accounted for all three goals. Amanda Aalto played all 60 minutes in goal and made 30 saves as she picked up the win.

The Cadets (17-7-0, 14-3-0) were led by Ann-Frederique Guay, who had a pair of assists late in the third period. Alexa Berg made 14 saves in 59:06 minutes in the Norwich goal.

Norwich controlled the play in the first period, finishing with a 9-4 edge in shots on goal. Guay had the game’s first two scoring chances, but her shots from the low slot were stopped by Aalto. Just past the midway point of the period, Julianna Gong broke into the offensive zone and fired a shot on goal that was turned aside by Berg. In the middle stages of the period, the Cadets had a sustained attacking zone shift but were stymied by a strong defensive effort from the Herons. Morgan Teft had a shot from point stopped by Aalto. In the final minute of the period, Mackenzie O’Neil fired a shot off of the goal post.

The Herons opened the scoring at the 3:26 mark of the second period on Emma Faso’s fourth goal of the season. She one-timed a centering pass from O’Neil past Berg into the back of the net. Three minutes later, William Smith doubled its lead when Izzy Friedman collected her first goal of the season. Standing on the right goalpost she banged home a loose puck. Marykate Martino and Emily Cataldo were awarded assists on the goal. Less than two minutes later, Melianne Reynolds fired a shot off of the goal post. A minute later, Kenady Nevicosi had a shot from the slot stopped by Aalto.

Just under five minutes into the third period, Alisa Canney extended the Herons lead to three goals. She chipped a shot from the low slot over Berg for her fourth goal of the season. Elizabeth MacMurray and Emily Martino were awarded assists on the goal.

Norwich, however, would not go quietly. Mikah Baptiste ended the shutout bid at the 8:21 mark of the third period. She slipped a wrist shot past Aalto for her 14th goal of the season. Guay and Taylor Tom were credited with assists on the tally. At the 16:31 mark of the period, Julia Masotta made it a one-goal game with her 13th goal of the season. She picked up a rebound and tapped the loose puck across the goal line. The power-play goal was assisted by Ingrid Holstad-Berge and Guay.

Norwich finished the game with a 32-17 edge in shots on goal. The Cadets were 1-for-2 on the power play and William Smith was 0-for-1 with the extra attacker.

Prior to today’s game, the Herons honored the six members of the William Smith Class of 2022. Amanda Aalto, Emma Duffey, Taylor Ettore<>, Anna Krajewski, Emily Martino and Marykate Martino played in their final regular season game at The Cooler this evening.