Junior forwards Travis Janke (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) and Shane Gorman (Trumbull, Conn.) each scored while junior goalie Chris Czarnota (Wakefield, Mass.) made 16 saves to propel the top-seeded Norwich University men's hockey team to a 2-0 win over Southern Maine in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East action on Saturday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
The two teams battled for nearly 40 minutes without a goal before Janke beat Southern Maine goalie Josh Hillegas at the 19:08 mark of the second period for his 13th goal of the season in a four-on-four situation.
Senior forward Colin Mulvey (Worcester, Mass.), who was named the ECAC East Player of the Year late Friday night picked up the assist on the goal after he left the puck behind the net for Janke and then let his line mate do the work from there.
Janke scooped up the puck along the wall and then circled out to the front of the net from the left side of the cage. Janke waited for Hillegas to make his move and then roofed the puck over the Huskies' goaltender's right shoulder to beat him short side and give Norwich (22-2-1, 16-1-1 ECAC East) a 1-0 lead that it would never relinquish.
Gorman added to the lead just past the midway point of the third period when he flipped a loose rebound in the crease over a sprawled out Hillegas after the USM goalie made an initial save on freshman forward Dean Niezgoda (Brewster, Mass.) on a breakaway.
Gorman sprung Niezgoda on the break by shoveling the puck up to him after he had a stride on two Southern Maine defenders. Niezgoda tried to jam the puck past Hillegas on the forehand but the USM goalie stuffed him. Gorman trailed the play though and found the puck sitting in the crease long enough to lift it over Hillegas for his sixth goal on the year.
Southern Maine (7-19-0, 4-14-0 ECAC East) didn't go away quietly though and they had two glorious chances to get on the board late in the game when they had a full 2:00 5-on-3 advantage after Norwich's Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) and Niezgoda were whistled for minors.
The Huskies worked the puck around efficiently and ended up hitting two posts within 15 seconds with one by Ryan Seward and the other by Garrett White. However, that's as close as Southern Maine would get as the Cadets held on for the shutout and advance to the ECAC East semifinals for the fourth straight season.
Czarnota picked up his second shutout of the season and improved to 11-1-1. Hillegas made 18 stops to finish the year at 7-14-0.
Norwich will host rival fourth-seed Castleton State at 4 p.m. in the first of two semifinal games next Friday at Kreitzberg Arena. No. 2-seed UMass-Boston will play No. 3 Babson in the other semifinal to follow at 7 p.m. The two semifinal winners will meet in the ECAC East championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Norwich University women's ice hockey team jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period en route to cruising to a 6-0 win over Plymouth State on Saturday afternoon in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East Tournament quarterfinal action at Kreitzberg Arena.
Junior forward Tori Charron (Tecumseh, Ontario) and senior co-captain Jillayne DeBus (Howell, Mich.) each scored twice to lead the Cadets' offense as they advanced to the ECAC East semifinals for the fifth straight season.
Norwich (20-3-3) also earned hosting rights for the ECAC East final four weekend for the third straight season with Saturday's victory. The Cadets will host either Southern Maine or UMass-Boston on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals depending on the result of the Southern Maine/Salve Regina game set to be played at 7 p.m. tonight.
Despite controlling the play from the opening faceoff, Norwich wasn't able to register its first shot on goal for over 7:30 minutes. However, once the Cadets finally broke through they went on to pepper Plymouth State goalie Ali Ponte with 15 shots by the end of the first period.
Three shots found their way past Ponte with two coming on the power play after Plymouth State (5-17-4, 4-10-4 ECAC East) was whistled for a flurry of penalties near the midway point of the stanza to help the Cadets pad their shot total and time of puck possession.
DeBus finally got Norwich on the board at the 13:27 mark of period when she jammed home a rebound in front after Ponte made an initial save on Marie-Philip Guay's (Longueuil, Quebec) shot from the point. DeBus crashed the net from the left faceoff circle and just beat Ponte to the loose puck to slip it past the Panthers' goalie and give Norwich a 1-0 lead that it would never look back from.
Under two minutes later sophomore forward Tyne Gove (Berwick, Ontario) netted her sixth goal of the season by tapping home a rebound in front of the net. Gove snuck in from the right side of the cage after Ponte got a pad on junior forward Emily MacKinnon's (Kirkland, Quebec) tip in front of the net to slam the puck into a wide open net and make it 2-0 Cadets.
Charron capped the first period scoring at the 16:48 mark with her first of the game and 28th of the season off assists from Renee Lortie (Cornwall, Ontario) and DeBus.
Norwich didn't take long to make it 4-0 as junior forward Meghan Papagno (Wakefield, Mass.) re-directed a shot into the top right corner of the net off a feed from Gove on a 2-on-1 break 49 seconds into the second period.
Charron notched her second of the day and Division III-leading 29th tally of the season at the 16:22 mark of the second off an assist from Lucie Manhartova (Prague, Czech Republic) to make it 5-0.
DeBus capped the scoring at the 14:11 mark of the third by redirecting a shot while crossing in the middle of the slot off a pass from Guay that tucked just underneath the crossbar to make it 6-0 Norwich. Junior defenseman Kayla Parsons (Fairbanks, Alaska) also picked up an assist for her second helper of the game.
Norwich outshot Plymouth State 53-3 for the game and held the Panthers without a shot for nearly a full two periods. PSU finally registered its first shot with just over two minutes left in the second. Ponte made 47 saves for Plymouth State while senior forward Kelly Fisk (Hannibal, N.Y.) picked up her eighth win of the season in net for NU. Sophomore Loren Carrier (Chandler, Ariz.) came on in relief for the final 28:53 of the game and stopped all three shots she faced.
Plymouth State was making its first appearance in the ECAC East Tournament and concluded its best season in program history. Head coach Ashley Kilstein was named the ECAC East Coach of the Year after doubling PSU's all-time win total in the program's seventh season.
No. 2-seeded Manhattanville and fifth-seeded UMass-Boston will join the top-seeded Cadets in Northfield next weekend for the final four. Manhattanville beat New England College 5-0 and UMass-Boston upset No. 4 Castleton State 5-3 on Saturday.
Norwich has won three out of the last four ECAC East Tournament titles with Manhattanville claiming the other one in 2011.
Courtesy: Norwich Athletic Department
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