Men’s Hockey: Norwich tops Spartans 4-2 in Battle of Vermont

Courtesy Norwich Sports Information

NORTHFIELD –– The Norwich University men’s ice hockey team claimed a 4-2 victory over Castleton University on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena in the first leg of a home and home in the Battle of Vermont rivalry.

Norwich (12-4-3, 8-4-1 NEHC) got points from 10 different players en route to extending its unbeaten streak to eight straight games.

Freshman Sam DiBitetto (Hilton, N.Y.) scored his first collegiate goal, while classmates Noah Williams (Cortland, N.Y.) and Brett Ouderkirk (Monkland, Ontario) also scored goals. Junior Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) rounded out the goal scorers as Norwich improved to 26-5-1 all-time vs. the Spartans.

Junior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) made 14 saves for the Cadets to improve to 10-3-3 on the season.

Norwich struck first blood just 3:20 into the game with Lewis slapping home a rebound in the slot after Maxime Borduas (St. Cesaire, Quebec) sped into the zone around a Castleton defender to create the chance. Matt Burchill (Marshfield, Mass.) picked up the second assist and Borduas extended his point streak to six straight games.

DiBitetto scored his first collegiate goal on a rebound chance at the 12:28 mark of the first period to extend the lead to 2-0. Connor Swystun (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) picked up the assist after his initial shot was saved by Castleton goalie Wyatt Pickrell.

Castleton (3-13-4, 1-10-2 NEHC) worked its way back into the game with two power play goals in the second period, the first coming at the 6:19 mark with Glenn Wiswell scoring on a rebound off assists from Nick Gravina and Troy Taylor.

Just 1:25 later Ouderkirk scored his seventh goal of the season as he sped into the zone off an outlet pass by Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec). Ouderkirk skated through the slot and outwaited Pickrell as he went down and then roofed a shot into the top corner of the net to make it 3-1 Norwich.

Castleton answered again at the 14:24 mark with Andrew Barber scoring on the power play with a wrist shot into the left corner of the net off a feed from across the ice by Wiswell. Taylor notched the second assist for the Spartans.

Norwich capped the scoring at the 2:18 mark of the third period with Williams rifling a wrist shot over the shoulder and into the top left corner of the net for his third goal of the season off assists from Jake Erickson (Stillwater, Minn.) and Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec).

Norwich will finish off the home and home with Castleton on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Spartan Arena in Rutland.