Men’s Hockey: Middlebury Takes Second, Norwich Third in Primelink

Courtesy Middlebury and Norwich Sports Information

Middlebury’s third period rally came up a goal short as the Panthers fell to Wisconsin-Eau Claire 4-3 on Saturday night in he Championship game of the 22nd annual Primelink Great Northern Shootout in Plattsburgh, NY.
Earlier in the day Norwich took home third place honors with a 5-1 win over host Plattsburgh State.
Game stories on both games follow below.

PLATTSBURGH, NY. — Third-ranked Wisconsin-Eau Claire (8-0-1) held off a furious Middlebury comeback bid during a 4-3 win in the championship game of the PrimeLink Great Northern Shootout. The contest was played in Plattsburgh State’s Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena. The Panthers (4-2-0), who had a four-game winning streak snapped, return to NESCAC action on Friday when they travel to Amherst for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 3:19 into the game with a goal from Matt Danner. Tyler Capello won a faceoff on the left side between his legs to Danner, who wristed a shot over the shoulder of Blugold goalie Zach Dyment for Danner’s second score of the season. UW-Eau Claire tied the game at 1-1 with 12:22 elapsed when Nick Techel had his initial shot blocked from the left side, but he skated onto the rebound and scored past Panther goalie Adam Wisco for his first goal of the season. The Blugolds took the lead 2:18 later when Jarrad Vroman’s rising wrist shot from the left dot caught Wisco’s left shoulder, before trickling over the goal line for his second tally.

In the second period, the Blugolds took a 3-1 lead just 41 seconds in when Derek Hammer scored his second goal of the season on a rebound. UW-Eau Claire made it a three-goal game at the 10:54 mark when Jon Richards sent a wraparound pass to Cole Paskus on the left doorstep for his second goal of the season. The Panthers had a good scoring chance on the powerplay with just under three minutes left, but Zach Shapiro’s wrister from the left dot was saved by Dyment.

In the third period, the Panthers pressed to get back into the contest. With under six minutes gone, Shapiro had his attempt just outside the crease saved by Dyment. Middlebury moved to within 4-2 when Emack Bentley tapped in a rebound at the 13:42 mark on a shot from the right point by Bret Pastor. The Panthers pulled goalie Brian Ketchabaw with 3:40 remaining in favor of an extra skater, as Shapiro scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season 30 seconds later on a rebound off the pads of Dyment. Ketchabaw again came off the ice with 57.9 seconds left, but Middlebury was unable to muster another quality scoring chance for the final 4-3 score.

UW-Eau Claire held a 39-28 shots advantage in the game, including an 18-7 edge in the second period. Both teams went 0-3 on the powerplay. Wisco finished with 24 saves in 30:54 of action, while Ketchabaw stopped all 11 shots he faced in the final 29:06. Dyment made 24 for the Blugolds to earn the tournament’s most valuable player honors.

Danner was named to the all-tournament team for the Panthers. Middlebury was making its 12th appearance in the title game.

PLATTSBURGH, NY. — Junior forward Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) scored his first collegiate hat trick to lead the No. 1 ranked Norwich University men’s ice hockey team to a 5-1 victory over Plattsburgh State in the consolation game of the 22nd annual PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut.

Norwich (8-1-0, 6-0-0 NEHC) rebounded well from its first loss of the season to take down the host Cardinals and claim third place in the PrimeLink ShootOut.

Downs scored Norwich’s first goal of the game and then added the Cadets’ third goal and the fifth goal on an empty net to seal the victory and relegate Plattsburgh to its second straight fourth-place finish in the PrimeLink.

Sophomore defenseman Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec) tallied a goal and two assists, while senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) made 26 saves for the Cadets in goal to pick up his eighth win of the season.

Downs opened the scoring at the 7:05 mark of the first period off assists from Chicoine and Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) to give Norwich the early lead.

Plattsburgh (3-5-1, 3-3-1 SUNYAC) knotted the game at 1-1 at the 14:54 mark of the first period with Rich McCartney scoring his second goal of the season.

Plattsburgh initially though it had taken a 2-1 lead just before the midway point of the second period, but the goal was waved off because of the net being dislodged before the puck crossed the line.

Chicoine scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at the 9:02 mark of the second period off assists from Matt Burchill (Marshfield, Mass.) and Noah Williams (Cortland, N.Y.). Chicoine’s goal marked the first goal by a NU defenseman this season.

Downs scored a shorthanded goal at the 12:55 mark of the second period to increase the Cadet lead to 3-1.

Senior Jordan Hall (Anchorage, Alaska) scored his first goal of the season at the 3:24 mark of the third period off assists from Ryan Boucher (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Chicoine.

Downs capped the scoring to complete his hat trick with an empty-net goal at the 15:07 mark of the third period.

Norwich will return home to Kreitzberg Arena to play its final game of the first semester when it hosts Castleton University at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 in the second annual Darn Tough Sock Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring their own new pair of socks to throw out onto the ice after Norwich scores its first goal of the game. In addition to what fans bring, Darn Tough is donating 1,500 socks that will be given out to five local community partners to help keep Vermonters warm this winter.