Men’s Hockey: Cadets Take Ninth Primelink Title, Top Concordia 3-0

Courtesy Norwich Sports Information

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The Norwich University men’s ice hockey team avenged a 2014 PrimeLink title game loss to Concordia-Moorhead with a dominant 3-0 victory over the Cobbers on Saturday night at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena.

No. 13/RV nationally-ranked Norwich (7-1-1, 5-1-0 NEHC) got goals from junior Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.), as well as freshmen Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Ian Williams (Mileston, Saskatchewan) to cruise to their record ninth PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut title and first since 2012.

Salvucci tallied the game-winning goal on a 5-on-3 power play at the 14:47 mark of the first period to give the Cadets a lead they would never look back from. Salvucci was named the tournament MVP after tallying two goals and an assist on the weekend.

Salvucci scored his fifth goal of the season and third power-play tally of the year off assists from seniorsAnthony Flaherty (South Boston, Mass.) and Cody Smith (Hudson, Mass.). Salvucci took a pass from Flaherty, skated out from the wall and went top shelf, short side over the Concordia goalie’s glove.

Junior goalie Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) made the lead stand up from there with his third straight superb effort between the pipes for the Cadets. He stopped all 19 shots he faced to earn his second shutout in the last three games and was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts. Payton Baldillez (Arlington, Texas), Salvucci and Alec Brandrup (Rochester, Minn.) joined him on the All-Tournament team.

 Norwich added two more insurance tallies in the second period to get some breathing room for the rest of the way with Lewis and Williams both scoring their first collegiate goals.

Lewis scored short side over the glove from the faceoff dot off an assist from Trent Dillinger (Gillette, Wy.), who picked up his second point of the weekend with the primary assist at the 10:36 mark of the second period.

Williams pushed the lead to 3-0 at the 14:58 mark of the second period with Evangelista hitting a slap pass from the point from Lewis that Williams got a tip on from the left slot that hit the left post and trickled over the line.

Norwich kept the pedal to the floor in the third period, never allowing Concordia-Moorhead a chance to mount a comeback, dominating the shots 12-4 in the final frame to leave no doubt in the 2014 rematch. Concordia-Moorhead (4-4-0) beat NU in a shootout in the 2014 title game after they tied 2-2 after regulation and overtime.

Norwich outshot Concordia 38-19. Jacob Stephen made 35 saves for the Cobbers to fall to 2-2-0 on the year. Ostepchuk improved to 4-0-0 on the season and picked up his ninth career shutout.

Norwich returns home to Kreitzberg Arena after a six-game road trip to host one of its biggest weekends of the year as the Cadets will take on UMass Boston and Babson at 7 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3.