Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD –– The Norwich University men’s ice hockey team needed a third-period comeback to rally past Assumption College in its first game of 2020 on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena on the opening night of the 10th annual Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament.
Sophomore Brett Ouderkirk (Monkland, Ontario) and junior Carter Cowlthorp (Boissevain, Manitoba) scored 3:30 apart early in the third period to punch the Cadets’ ticket to the championship game. Norwich will face SUNY Cortland after the Red Dragons upset No. 6-ranked Salve Regina 5-4 in the opening game of the tournament.
Ouderkirk redirected a shot from the blue line by Josh Cronin (Langley, British Columbia) to finally tie the game up at 1-1 at the 4:26 mark of the third period. Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) picked up the second assist after dropping the puck back to Cronin from the half boards.
Cowlthorp gave Norwich (9-2-0, 6-1-0 NEHC) its first lead of the game at the 7:56 mark of the third period with his first goal of the season, slapping home a rebound into the left side of the net after Scott Swanson’s (Wheaton, Ill.) initial shot was saved by Assumption goalie David Zulauf.
The Cadets held on from there, including withstanding a late 6-on-4 power play for Assumption after NU was whistled for a penalty with 30 seconds to go.
Senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) stopped 18 of 19 shots to pick up his ninth win of the season.
Assumption (4-6-1) took a 1-0 lead at the 4:10 mark of the second period when Norwich inadvertently deflected the puck into its own net to give the Greyhounds a 1-0 lead. Dante Maribito was credited with his fifth goal of the season after being the last Assumption player to touch the puck.
Zulauf finished with 32 saves for Assumption to fall to 0-4 on the season.
SUNY Cortland got a goal and two assists from Sean Perichak along with a brilliant 53-save performance from Nick Modica as the Red Dragons shocked No. 6-ranked Salve Regina with a 5-4 victory in the opening game of the tournament on Friday. Ethan Homitz scored the game-winning goal at the 1:50 mark of the third period with a power play tally.
Cortland held on from there as Salve Regina scored twice in the third period to cut the lead to 5-4. The Red Dragons also withstood two five-minute major penalties and only surrendered one goal during the 10 minutes to escape with the victory. Louis Felix St. Jean took the loss for Salve after making eight saves in relief. Tony Rehm was pulled after making eight saves on 12 shots.
Norwich will take on SUNY Cortland at 7 p.m. in the championship game on Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena. Salve Regina will meet Assumption in the consolation game at 4 p.m.