Men's Hockey: ECAC East Championship Preview
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – For the 12th time in the last 13 years the Norwich men's ice hockey team will host the ECAC East Men's Hockey Championships this Friday and Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena.
The Cadets (18-5-3) wrapped up their 13th straight regular season title and then defeated the University of New England 10-2 in the quarterfinal round to earn home ice this weekend as they try and win their eighth ECAC East Tournament title.
The Norwich offense is led by sophomore All-Conference First Team selection Scott Schroeder, who has an even 17 goals and 17 assists on the season for a team-best 34 points. Classmate Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (18-15-33) has been on a tear over the last three weeks, tallying two hat tricks in his last five games.
Freshman Travis Janke, who was named the league Rookie of the Year, has 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points. Senior team captain Chad Anderson (9-18-27) and senior defenseman Greg Eskedjian (4-21-25) round out the top-five scorers for the Cadets.
Sophomore forward Kyle Thomas ranks third on the team with 14 goals and leads the team with six power-play markers.
In goal, freshman Parker Carroll remains unbeaten with a 10-0-2 record since joining the team for the second semester. He also has a 1.99 goals against average and a .886 save percentage to go along with three shutouts.
Southern Maine (8-12-5) punched its ticket to the final four by upsetting No. 3 UMass-Boston 4-1 in the quarterfinals.
The Huskies' offense is led by sophomore defenseman Paul Conter's 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points on the year. Senior Zach Joy leads the team in goals with 11 to go along with eight assists for 19 points.
Junior Dan Rautenberg has seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points, while Senior Jon Rutt (6-11-17) and sophomore David Nies (7-6-13) round out the top-five offensive leaders.
In goal, freshman Braely Torris was named to the conference All-Rookie Team after posting a 7-10-5 record with a 2.94 goals against average and a .918 save percentage. Torris made 60 saves in the quarterfinal win over UMass-Boston and has two shutouts this season.
Castleton (22-3-1) makes its first trip to the final four since 2007 after beating New England College 5-1 in the quarterfinals.
ECAC East Player of the Year Josh Harris leads the Spartans and the nation with 15 goals and 34 assists for 49 points.
Senior captain Stuart Stefan leads the team with 19 goals to go along with 26 assists for 45 points, but he will miss this weekend due to an injury.
Sophomore forward Justin Alonzo ranks third with 15 goals and 22 assists for 37 points. Sophomores Ben Schoeneberger (8-15-23) and Dan Bell (8-14-22) round out Castleton's top-five offensive leaders.
In goal, freshman Erick Cinotti has asserted himself as the No. 1 goaltender and was named to the ECAC East All-Conference Second Team last week. He has compiled a 12-1-1 record with a 1.86 goals against average and a .925 save percentage to go along with two shutouts.
Babson (10-13-3) returns to final four for the third straight season after shutting out Skidmore 5-0 in the quarterfinals.
The Beavers are led by sophomore forward PT Donato's 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points. Junior Mike Hoban has eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points, while freshman defenseman and Second Team All-Conference selection Ryan Heavey has five goals and 15 assists for 20 points.
Senior forward Jason Schneider has 10 goals and six assists for 16 points. He reached the 100-career-point mark in a 4-4 tie at Norwich earlier this season.
Sophomore forward Ryan Smith has nine goals and six assists for 15 points to round out the Beavers' offensive leaders.
In goal, sophomore Zeke Testa has received the bulk of the work and has compiled a 5-10-3 record with a 3.00 goals against average and a .907 save percentage to go along with one shutout.
The men's tournament kicks off on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. when Norwich hosts Southern Maine, followed by Castleton taking on Babson at 7 p.m. The two semifinal winners will advance to the ECAC East Championship game to be played on Saturday at 7 p.m., following the two ECAC East women's semifinal games.