Thursday, March 23rd
On the eve of their NCAA national semifinal, the Norwich men's hockey team landed several major honors Thursday night.
Mike McShane was named national coach of the year for the fifth time, while senior defenseman Cody Smith and senior forward William Pelletier were named first and second team All-Americans respectively. Plattsburgh junior defender Ayrton Valente earned third team All-American honors.
For the Cadet's, Friday night's matchup with Adrian in Utica, New York (6:30pm start) is the first appearance in the Frozen Four for the program since 2013, when Norwich made its fourth consecutive trip to at least the semifinals.
After missing out on NCAA's entirely last year, Norwich has regained its form...going 25-1-3 record and capturing both the NEHC Regular Season and Tournament titles. But when a program has won three national championships since 2000, it's unlikely that just making it to this stage will be enough.
"We look at the banners all the time so that's one of our goals.", says Norwich senior forward Austin Surowiec. "very practice we see those banners so it's good to keep that in the back of our mind going forward even from the first fall practice to now."
"Well they know what's at stake, especially the seniors that have been here for four years.", says McShane. "And they have a taste in their mouth that they'd like to quelch and me too. You know I've been there before, we've won them and it's been 6 or 7 years since we won the last one and we have a good enough team to do it."
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