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Glory, heartbreak for Norwich in ECAC East Championships - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Glory, heartbreak for Norwich in ECAC East Championships

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NORTHFIELD, Vt. -

Men's Recap

The second-seeded Babson University men's ice hockey team stunned the top-seeded Cadets of Norwich University with two third-period goals en route to the 2-1 win in the ECAC East men's ice hockey championship game.

With the win, the Beavers claim their second straight ECAC Championship title. Babson goaltender Jamie Murray registered 38 saves in the win and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Babson also placed forward Nik Tasiopoulos and defenseman Ryan Heavey on the All-Tournament team, while Norwich forwards Dean Niezgoda (Brewster, Mass.) and Tyler Piacentini (South Weymouth, Mass.) and defenseman Erik Lyrval (Falun, Sweeden) were also All-Tournament selections.

Norwich tallied the first goal of the game, as Travis Janke (Swift Current, Sask.) passed the puck from behind the net to Piacentini, who fired the slapshot past Murray at the 12:42 mark. The Cadets had 13 other shots on net in the first period, but Murray made the stop in every other instance. Norwich held a 14-3 shots-on-goal advantage entering the first intermission.

After a scoreless second period, the Beavers wasted no time striking in the third, as Troy Starrett scored just 12 seconds into the period. Ryan Heavey and Shayne Anderson were credited with assists.

The game was evenly matched for the next 10 minutes, until Norwich's Anthony Flaherty (South Boston, Mass.) was called for a tripping penalty. With the momentum swinging in the Beavers' favor, the visitors needed just 19 seconds of the extra-man advantage to net what would prove to be the game-winning goal. Andrew Bonazza fed the puck to Tasiopoulos, who netted his 12th goal of the season.

Babson's Max Franklin took a penalty at 14:12 of the period to give Norwich a power play opportunity. Norwich called timeout to set up the offense, but the Cadets managed just two shots on net during the two-minute extra-man advantage.

Norwich would pull goaltender Chris Czarnota (Wakefield, Mass.) with 50 seconds remaining in the game and Norwich's Janke peppered Murray with three quick shots on net, but the Babson goaltender denied all chances for a Norwich equalizer.

Czarnota recorded 14 saves in net for the Cadets. Norwich outshot the Beavers 39-16 on the evening, including an 11-6 advantage in the third period.

Babson (22-4-2) is guaranteed a slot in the NCAA tournament due to the ECAC East's auto-bid. The Cadets (19-6-3) will await word on an at-large bid.

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Women's Recap

Norwich University women's ice hockey forwards Tori Charron (Tecumseh, Ontario) and Emily MacKinnon (Kirkland, Quebec) both scored a pair of goals to lead the top-seeded Cadets to a 4-0 shutout win against the third-seeded Spartans of Castleton State College in Saturday afternoon's ECAC East Championship game.

With the win, the Cadets win their third-straight ECAC East postseason title and qualify for their sixth-straight NCAA tournament appearance.

Charron was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. With two scores today, she wrapped up the league tournament with four goals and two assists. MacKinnon and Kayla Parsons (Fairbanks, Alaska) were named to the All-Tournament team, alongside Cadets' goaltender Taylor Fairchild (Overland Park, Kan.).

The Spartans had three All-Tournament selections in Samantha Pion, Nocoline Jensen, and Taylor Steadman.

Castleton goaltender Paula Stephens had a strong first period in net, as she totaled 11 saves, including a three-shot pepper by the Cadets during a Norwich power play. Norwich saw quick shots from Madison Gallagher (Kirkland, Quebec), Brittany Sharman (Ayer's Cliff, Quebec) and Vanessa Champagne (St. Nazaire, Quebec), but Stephens managed to stop all three and cover the puck to end the play. Norwich would prove to be unsuccessful on the power play, and the game would remain scoreless through the first period of action, despite a quick shot off a faceoff by Castleton's Jensen with seconds remaining in the frame.

The Cadets needed just a nine-second span to take a two-goal lead in the second period. Charron started things off by blocking a Castleton shot just inside the blue line and carrying the puck to the crease, besting Stephens' glove-side.

Nine seconds later, MacKinnon collected a pass from Kaka McComber (Kahnewake, Quebec) off the faceoff and shot. Her first shot was saved, but she collected her own rebound and poked it on for the 2-0 lead.

Castleton had a chance to score three minutes into the third period when Steadman had a one-on-one point-blank shot from inside the hash marks, but Norwich goaltender Fairchild made the sliding save.

Two minutes later, MacKinnon scored off the faceoff to give the Cadets the 3-0 advantage, and Charron followed that 4:13 later with a slapshot from inside the left face-off circle. Adelle Murphy (Roseau, Minn.) fed the puck the Charron from behind the net for the assist.

Both teams had two power play opportunities, but neither team was able to convert with the advantage.

Fairchild made 13 saves in net through almost three-quarters of the game before giving way to Loren Carrier (Chandler, Ariz.) who stopped two shots in the final 13:33 of the combined shutout. Stephens registered 31 saves for the Spartans, who were outshot 35-15 on the afternoon.

Courtesy: Norwich Athletics

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