Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD –– The Norwich University men’s ice hockey team closed out the regular season with a 6-2 win over Southern Maine on Senior Day at Kreitzberg Arena.
Sophomore Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) notched a career-high four assists, while freshman Brett Ouderkirk (Monkland, Ontario) scored twice to lead the Norwich offense on the day.
Norwich (18-4-3, 13-4-1 NEHC) finished the regular season on a 14-game unbeaten streak and will host a NEHC quarterfinal game on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Kreitzberg Arena.
Southern Maine (5-17-3, 4-13-1 NEHC) took two different one-goal leads in the first period, but Norwich scored five unanswered goals to cruise to the 6-2 victory and the season sweep.
Adam Withers gave USM a 1-0 lead at the 4:05 mark of the first period, capitalizing on a NU defensive zone turnover to beat Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) to the left side of the net with a wrist shot from the top of the slot.
Ouderkirk scored Norwich’s first of three power play goals at the 9:03 mark of the first period with assists from Borduas and Downs. Ouderkirk slammed home a goal on a rebound for his 13th goal of the season.
Mark Tomaschek scored his third goal of the season on the power play off an assist from Colin Merrill at the 16:51 mark of the first period.
Norwich scored three straight goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead. Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) scored an unassisted goal at the 1:01 mark of the second period to knot the score, beating USM goalie Anthony D’Aloisio low for his sixth goal of the season.
Just 1:17 later Carter Cowlthorp (Boissevain, Manitoba) scored his fifth goal of the season with a laser into the top right corner of the net after a textbook cycle in the zone with assists to Sam DiBitetto (Hilton, N.Y.) and Christian Thompson (Windham, N.H.).
Freshman defenseman Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec) scored his fifth goal of the season with a pretty 2-on-1 odd-man rush with Downs picking up the assist at the 17:44 mark of the second period.
Sophomore Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) scored into an empty net for another power play goal after a puck deflected off to him at the left wing. Maxime Borduas (St. Cesaire, Quebec) and Downs picked up the assists on the goal.
Ouderkirk capped the scoring at the 3:59 mark of the third period with a deflection goal off a shot from Chicoine at the point. Downs picked up his fourth assist of the game on the goal.
Aubrun made 15 saves to improve to 15-3-3 on the season in goal. D’Aloisio made 31 saves for USM in the loss.
Norwich will look to try and win its 13th NEHC Tournament title starting next Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena as the No. 2 seed. UMass Boston clinched the No. 1 seed for the tournament. Hobart is the defending NEHC Tournament champion.