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Norwich hockey teams excited for return

Cadets get first chance to chase championships in three years
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:30 AM EDT
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NORTHFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - Norwich has quite possibly the best combined men’s and women’s D3 hockey programs in the country. The Cadets seem to be among the favorites to take home a national title every year. Six times, they have done just that, with the men laying claim to four crowns since 2000 while the women have two since 2011.

But neither group of Cadets has had the opportunity to compete for a national championship over the past two seasons: back in March of 2020, the Norwich women were fresh off a first round NCAA Tournament win and the men were cruising into their tournament as the top ranked team when both tournaments had to be canceled as the COVID pandemic escalated in the United States.

Neither team was able to play a full competitive season last year as COVID tightened its grip. But finally, things are back to some semblance of normalcy in Northfield, and the Cadets are excited to be back on the ice

“The excitement and everything is pretty pretty high I would say,” said Alexa Berg, a senior goalie for the Norwich women. “You know, just getting back into a routine and playing our best game and competing again for an actual title, which is super exciting.”

“As a class, we’ve been through a lot,” added men’s senior forward Noah Williams. “But in saying that, we’re looking at this as a completely fresh start, new year. We’re not focused on that right now, we’re just focused on getting better every day and sticking to our process, and we’ll see what happens from there.”

One thing that should play in Norwich’s favor this year? The fans will be back at kreitzberg, helping to once again create one of the most roucous atmospheres in college hockey.

“I think the community is the best part of this,” said women’s sixth-year forward Maddi Blauth. “That’s why I’m here for another year at Norwich. I can’t wait to have the stands packed. Going back to the 2018 (Natioanl championship) game, I hope every game can be like that this year.”

“You know, every year we get great support from the community and we really appreciate that,” added Scott Swanson, a fifth-year forward on the men’s team. “Last year was a little different not having fans in the stands. We definitely missed all you guys out there and it’ll be awesome to get everyone back at Kreitzberg again.”

The expectations will once again be high for both teams: the Cadet men and women were both picked to finish first in the NEHC this year. The men open their season on the 30th, while the women begin on November 5th.

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