The Norwich University men's hockey team skated to a 1-1 draw with Castleton State on Friday night at Spartan Arena in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East action.
Castleton (10-10-3, 6-7-3 ECAC East) held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the game, but couldn't hold off No. 9-ranked Norwich to complete the upset.
The Cadets (14-5-3, 10-3-2 ECAC East) outshot the Spartans 36-18 over the course of the game, but Castleton goalkeeper Thomas Shelley stood on his head all night to preserve the point for the home team. Shelley finished with 35 saves for the Spartans while Chris Czarnota (Wakefield, Mass.) made 17 saves for Norwich.
In the first period, the Spartans jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a laser beam from Ben Bauer. The rookie defenseman received the puck at the right point on a power play and fired a cannon at the net, beating Czarnota over his right shoulder to put Castleton ahead 5:18 into the game.
Castleton struggled to stay out of the penalty box in the second period, taking four infractions for eight penalty minutes. The Spartan penalty kill was up to task though, killing off every chance that the Cadets had on the man-advantage.
In the third, Shelley continued to stump the Cadets, making 14 saves in the frame, but it was one shot that did him in. Junior defenseman Bryce Currier (Essex Junction, Vt.) ripped a heater from the point that Shelley turned away with his blocker, but freshman forward Anthony Flaherty (South Boston, Mass.) came streaking through the slot and dove to sweep the puck into the net tying the game at 1-1 with just under nine minutes left. The goal was Flaherty's second of the year.
In the overtime period, each team had an opportunity to score, but neither could finish off a winning goal. With 23 seconds remaining the Spartans took a major penalty and played the final ticks of the game a man down. Castleton was able to clear the zone and run off the remainder of the clock without allowing a shot on goal, earning the 1-1 draw.
The Spartan special teams proved to be a key to the result. Castleton went 1-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill, combining for a 6-for-8 night.
Courtesy: Norwich Athletic Department
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