Cadets hope to play this season - Part 2

Norwich men’s hockey open to creative options in hopes of playing this winter.
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 9:15 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Norwich still has its sights set on trying to hold some type of season this winter. The Cadets men’s hockey team held a Maroon and Gold scrimmage this past weekend at Kreitzberg.

Norwich, along with Castleton, plays in the New England Hockey Conference. Cadet’s coach Cam Ellsworth says conference officials are meeting this week. He’s aware that some conference members are likely to choose to sit out the season, but even if there aren’t enough members of the NEHC to hold something close to a full conference slate, he says the Cadets are willing to get creative, so that, if there is a way to do it safely, Norwich will be able to play some games this season. \

“We’re also trying to talk among schools. Plymouth State is a good example. They want to play, Castleton wants to play, we want to play and, all right, is there a way to do that even if NEHC doesn’t exist?”, says Ellsworth. "For me, I want to give these kids any amount of games or anything that we can, if we can do it safely. We’re looking at a lot of options and even if the league doesn’t necessarily move forward we’re still looking for ways to get our kids hockey games. "

Last March, the Cadets were a force. 24-2-2, ranked first in the nation and was fresh off a dominating performance in rolling to the NEHC tournament championship, winning the three conference tournament games by a combined score of 17-0, when the pandemic hit and everything came to a stop.

Norwich was just over a week from opening what they hoped would be a run to a fifth national title in program history, after losing in overtime in the national title game the season prior.

The Cadets return to the ice this fall has been under trying circumstances. Even if there is no season this winter, Coach Ellsworth says the effort already put forth by his team has played a crucial role in maintaining the high standards the program expects of itself.

“At some point, we hope to hang another banner at Kreitzberg Arena, and when and if we are to do that, this group right now that’s pushing this program through this pandemic is going to be as responsible as whoever is playing in those games.”, says Ellsworth.

“Because this is a really trying time, especially for the seniors. Their attitude has been great and I think it just goes back to the culture that I was able to walk into and how important that the program is and the logo is. There’s a real selflessness to the group. I think it’s easy to say that sometimes. I’m seeing it lived in real life right now and it’s incredibly humbling.”

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