Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD – Freshman goalie Ben Churchfield made 42 saves to lead the University of New England to a 1-0 victory over the Norwich University men’s ice hockey team on Saturday night in the 2018 Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament Championship game.
Churchfield was magnificent en route to earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors and improving to 6-1-2 on the season and leading the Nor’Easters (10-3-2) to their second straight victory over Norwich (8-4-1).
Freshman forward Jeff Eppright (Barrington, N.J.) scored the game’s only goal at the 18:44 mark of the second period and UNE hung on from there, withstanding NU outshooting them 16-4 in the final 20 minutes.
Eppright collected a rebound in front of the net and slid the puck past Ostepchuk’s right pad for his fourth goal of the season. Ryan Bloom had the initial shot that was deflected and saved by Ostepchuk but he couldn’t get to the rebound in time. Dimitris Jones also picked up the secondary assist for his third helper of the weekend.
Norwich outshot UNE 42-18, but the Cadets could not solve Churchfield and a stout UNE defense that blocked 21 shots on the night.
Senior goalie Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) made 17 saves for the Cadets and was named to the All-Tournament team after surrendering just two goals on the weekend.
Sophomore defenseman TJ Dockery (Lockport, N.Y.) was also named to the All-Tournament team for Norwich after registering a goal and an assist on the weekend. UNE’s Bloom and Jones were also named to the All-Tournament team along with Northland’s Ty Kraus and Geneseo’s Tyson Empey.
Norwich will look to rebound next weekend when it travels to Southern Maine and New England College to resume New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) play.