Men’s Hockey: Norwich tops Saint Michael’s 4-1

Men’s Hockey: Norwich tops Saint Michael’s 4-1

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's hockey team closed out the first semester with a 4-1 victory over Saint Michael's College on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action. 

Norwich (10-1-1, 8-1-0 NEHC) scored two goals in the first period and added two more in the second period to breeze to the victory. The Cadets haven't lost to Saint Michael's since 1951 and now hold a 46-5 lead in the all-time series. 

NU struck first blood at the 11:54 mark of the first period on a delayed penalty after Austin Surowiec (Louisville, Ky.) made a terrific individual effort, throwing the puck off the boards to himself and then beating Saint Michael's goalie Chris Johnson with a strong power move to the net. 

Surowiec chipped the puck off the boards in the neutral zone and then skated in from the right wing, he drove to the net and snuck a quick wrist shot past Johnson and just inside the left post with a defender draped all over him to put the Cadets up 1-0. 

The Cadets added to the lead with just nine seconds left in the period when Alec Brandrup (Rochester, Minn.) blasted a one-timer from the left faceoff dot bar down off the cross bar for his second goal of the season. 

Ian Williams won a battle along the boards and dropped the puck back to Cody Smith (Hudson, Mass.) at the point. Brandrup then unloaded on a slap shot that clanged off the cross bar and into the back of the net leaving Johnson no chance. 

Norwich increased the lead to 3-0 at the at the 1:33 mark of the second period with Nick Pichette (Massena, N.Y.) breaking a mini-scoring slump with his seventh goal of the season off assists from Payton Baldillez (Arlington, Texas) and Anthony Flaherty (South Boston, Mass.).

 Pichette whistled a backhand wrist shot off the far post and into the back of the net to tie Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.) for the team lead. 

Nic Hermary broke up the shutout for Saint Michael's at the 15:39 mark of the third period, potting a goal off a rebound scrum in front of the net with an assist from Josh Dickman. 

Johnson made 36 saves for Saint Michael's to drop to 4-8-1 on the year, while Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) stopped 17 of 18 shots to improve to 6-0-0 on the season. 

Norwich closed the first half of the season on a six-game winning streak and sits all alone atop the NEHC standings with 16 points. The Cadets return to action on Dec. 30 and 31 when they host the seventh annual Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament. NU will play Nazareth at 7 p.m. on Friday, while No. 1-ranked Oswego State meets Williams in the other game at 4 p.m.