NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Senior defenseman Cody Smith (Hudson, Mass.) capped a historic weekend with another four-assist performance to lead the Norwich University men's ice hockey team to a 6-1 victory over Saint Anselm on Saturday night.
The four-assist performance was Smith's second in as many games for an eight-point weekend to help the No. 2-nationally ranked Cadets (17-1-2, 12-1-0 NEHC) extend their unbeaten streak to 14 straight games.
Senior Nick Pichette (Massena, N.Y.) also tallied a goal and two assists to help lead the Norwich offense as well as the Cadets kept their eight-point lead on New England College in the league standings.
Freshman Todd Jackson (Raleigh, N.C.) opened the scoring at the 2:48 mark of the first period with an unassisted tally off a defensive miscue between Saint Anselm's goalie and defender. Saint Anselm's Shayne Joyce made a save on a dump from Paul Russell (Andover, Mass.). He then possessed it and played it over to a defender, however the defender didn't realize he was passing it, allowing Jackson a chance to steal it and beat Joyce between his arm and body to make it 1-0 Norwich.
Tyler Piacentini (South Weymouth, Mass.) scored for the fourth time in the last five games with a wrist shot top shelf over the right shoulder to make it 2-0 Norwich at the 18:35 mark of the first period. Smith and Alec Brandrup (Rochester, Minn.) picked up the assists after a defense to defense pass behind the NU net let to a long out let pass that deflected off a Saint Anselm defender and sprung Piacentini on the breakaway.
Brian Rowland (Waltham, Mass.) blasted a 5-on-3 power play goal from the point through traffic to make it 3-0 Norwich off assists from Connor Evaneglista (Wakefield, Mass.) and Pichette.
Pichette increased the lead to 4-0 at the at the 13:17 mark with a goal off assists from Smith and Flaherty for his ninth of the season.
Pelletier made it 5-0 at the 17:18 mark when he took advantage of the Saint Anselm goalie losing his blocker and fired a wrist shot into the top left hand corner of the net for his 11th of the season off assists from Smith and Brandrup.
Payton Baldillez (Arlington, Texas) scored his second of the season at the 5:23 mark of the third period with a sneaky wrist shot that found its way past Colin Soucy through a screen to make it 6-0 Norwich. Flaherty and Smith picked up the assists after Smith hit Flaherty with a breakout pass and then Flaherty skated into the zone and left the puck for Baldillez while taking a defender with him towards the corner.
Saint Anselm broke up Braeden Ostepchuk's (Lethbridge, Alberta) shutout with 1:33 left in the game when Bryan Green roofed a shot past him while falling to the ice off an assist from Jonathon Pallotta.
Ostepchuk improved to 11-0-0 after making 24 saves to pick up the victory. Soucy took the loss for Saint Anselm to fall to 2-3.
Norwich hosts Skidmore and Castleton next weekend at Kreitzberg Arena in its final two regular season home games of the season.