Courtesy Norwich and Vermont Sports Information
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NORTHFIELD –– Senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) tied the Norwich University men’s ice hockey program record for career shutouts with a 28-save performance for his 12th career shutout in a 3-0 victory over No. 6-ranked Hobart College on Saturday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena.
Aubrun tied Braeden Ostepchuk ’18 with his sixth shutout of the season, buoyed by an incredible team defensive effort in the final five minutes to help preserve the clean sheet. Norwich blocked 10 shots in a three-minute span in the final four minutes of the game to help stymie the Hobart offense that came in averaging 4.61 goals per game, sixth best in NCAA Division III.
The Cadets won their fifth straight game vs. Hobart dating back to the 2018 New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Championship loss at Kreitzberg Arena. Norwich (16-2-2, 11-1-1 NEHC) extended its unbeaten streak to 10 straight games with the victory. The Cadets will face the only team that is hotter in the country than them next Friday, Jan. 31 in second-place Babson College, who is on a 14-game unbeaten streak.
Norwich junior forward Ryan Boucher (Fitchburg, Mass.) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at the 6:20 mark of the first period for his seventh goal of the season. Boucher beat Hobart sophomore goalie Liam Lascelle between his glove and his body with a snapshot from the left wing off assists from Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) and Scott Swanson (Wheaton, Ill.).
The 1-0 lead would hold up until the 5:25 mark of the third period when Jordan Hall (Anchorage, Alaska) took advantage of a fortuitous bounce off a Hobart defender’s skate to be left all alone in front of the net and cash in for his fifth goal of the season. Brett Ouderkirk (Monkland, Ontario) brought the puck into the zone and skated behind the net before circling around to the corner. He dropped the puck back to Josh Cronin (Langley. British Columbia), who sent the puck in towards the net. The puck bounced off a Hobart player’s skate right onto the stick of Hall, who shoveled the puck top shelf and past a sprawled out Lascelle who tried to recover from the surprise change of direction.
Senior forward Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) capped the scoring with his fourth goal of the season, sliding the puck through Lascelle from the bottom of the right faceoff circle off assists from TJ Dockery (Lockport, N.Y.) and Ouderkirk.
The Norwich team defense put in a yeoman’s effort in the final four minutes to preserve the shutout. The Cadets blocked 10 shots in a three-minute span, including having a tired group out on the ice for a full two minutes during that span. Norwich blocked 25 shots in total in the game.
Hobart outshot Norwich 28-21. Lascelle made 18 saves for Hobart in the loss.
Norwich continued its hot streak on the power play, scoring its fourth power-play goal in the last two games with Lewis’ goal in the third period.
Norwich remains in first place in the NEHC standings with five more games to play in the regular season. The Cadets have 23 points, while Babson trails in second place with 19 points, but has played one less game. New England College sits in third with 16 points, while Hobart is fourth with 14 points.
NORTH ANDOVER, MA. –– The Merrimack Warriors (6-16-3, 4-8-3 HEA) tied the game with 9.7 seconds left in regulation and added the overtime winner with 1:29 left on the clock to stun the Vermont Catamounts (3-16-4, 0-12-2 HEA) Saturday night at Lawler Rink.
“Clearly we are shooting ourselves in the foot when defending a lead,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “Credit to Merrimack for coming back to earn three points this weekend.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Merrimack senior Sami Tavernier scored the night’s first goal at 7:04 of the first period, firing a wrist shot from the top of the slot past Stefanos Lekkas (24 saves). A review confirmed the call on the ice.
Carter Long tied the game at 14:11 of the opening frame, finding a loose puck rebound on a delayed Merrimack penalty and beating Troy Kobryn (20 saves). Matt Alvaro and Andrew Lucas picked up assists on the goal.
Kobryn kept the game tied at 1-1 early in the middle period, robbing Matt Alvaro of a goal on a 2-on-1 Catamount rush.
Bryce Misley and Dallas Comeau teamed up for a give-and-go play to spring Misley on a breakaway halfway through the second period. Misley rifled a five-hole shot through Kobryn for his second goal of the season and 2-1 lead.
Thomas Beretta pushed the UVM lead to 3-1 at 15:14 of the second on another odd-man rush. Beretta finished the scoring play after passes from Max Kaufman and Matt O’Donnell set the senior up alone in the slot for his second tally of the season.
Lekkas stood tall early in the third, making a critical save against Mac Welsher on the penalty kill at 1:52 of the frame. He stoned Ryan Nolan at the top of the crease at 3:43 of the period to preserve the two-goal lead.
Welsher brought Merrimack within a goal with 6:06 to play in the third, deflecting a blue line shot from Patrick Holway past Lekkas on the power play.
Logan Drevitch tied the game with 9.7 seconds remaining in regulation, blasting a one-timer from Declan Carlile from the top of the right circle. Merrimack’s goal came after a Vermont penalty with 2:13 remaining and an extended 6-on-4 chance for the Warriors.
Welsher scored the game-winning goal with 1:29 remaining in overtime to give the Warriors the victory.
Merrimack was 1-for-5 on the power play while Vermont went 0-for-5 on the night.
The Cats went 39-for-62 at the faceoff dot. Misley led the Catamounts with a 14-for-22 effort.
UP NEXT | Tickets
Vermont closes the season series with Boston University at Gutterson Fieldhouse this Friday (Jan. 31). The puck is slated to drop at 7:05 p.m. on Handy Toyota Night at the Gut.