Tuesday, January 8th
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The No. 1-ranked Norwich University men's ice hockey team rebounded from its first loss of the season with a hard-fought 3-1 win over arch-rival Middlebury on Tuesday night at the Chip Kenyon '85 Arena.
Senior forward Tory Allan scored with 7:57 left in the third period to break a 1-1 tie with what proved to be the game-winning goal to lift the Cadets to the season sweep of the Panthers.
Sophomore forward Gerard McEleney provided an insurance tally with 2:16 left in the game to cap the scoring and continue Norwich's streak of recent dominance over Middlebury. The Cadets are now 9-2-1 in the last 12 meetings with Middlebury. Tuesday's game marked the 145th meeting in the two programs' storied rivalry. Middlebury holds the lead in the all-time series 80-58-7.
Norwich (12-1-0, 7-0-0 ECAC East) struck first blood at the 7:51 mark of the first when senior captain Pier-Olivier Cotnoir tallied his team-leading 11th goal of the season by one-timing a pass from Kyle Thomas into a wide-open net to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead.
Thomas and Cotnoir criss-crossed as they entered Middlebury's zone with Thomas streaking down the left wing and Cotnoir crashing the net on the right wing. Thomas drew the defense to him and then slid the puck over to a wide open Cotnoir on the right side of the cage. Cotnoir slammed the puck into the net leaving Middlebury goalie Liam Moorfield-Yee no chance to slide across.
The Cadets carried the lead into the first intermission, despite getting outshot 7-5.
Middlebury (5-6-2, 4-2-2 NESCAC) responded less than four minutes into the second period when Zach Haggerty scored his first career goal off an assist from Matt Silcoff. Haggerty slipped the puck past a diving Chris Czarnota on the left post after Silcoff's initial shot bounced hard off the end boards.
Not only did Norwich lose the lead in the second period, it also lost its captain in Cotnoir when he left the game and did not return after being checked hard from behind into the boards early in the period.
The senior leadership that has carried the Cadets all season continued though, this time with Allan stepping up with the big goal to provide the late-game heroics. Allan slammed the puck into a wide-open net off a pass from Colin Mulvey to give NU the lead for good.
McEleney scored in a similar fashion to put the game on ice taking a pass from Gorman and Niezgoda to slam the puck into the net with authority while Yee was left scrambling.
Norwich edged Middlebury 27-24 in the shots on goal. Czarnota stopped 23 shots to pick up his third straight win against the Panthers in the net. Yee made 24 saves for Middlebury.
--- Norwich Sports Infomation
PO Box 4508