BABSON PARK, Mass. – The Norwich University men's ice hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to 17 straight games with a 2-2 tie against arch-rival Babson College on Friday night at the Babson Skating Center.
Freshman Todd Jackson (Holly Springs, N.C.) and senior Cody Smith (Hudson, Mass.) each scored goals for the Cadets in their first game as the consensus No. 1 ranked team in the country for the first in two years.
Senior Ty Reichenbach (Billings, Mont.) made 30 saves for Norwich to bring his record to 8-1-3 on the season.
Norwich (19-1-3, 14-1-1 NEHC) took a 1-0 lead just 39 seconds into the second period with Todd Jackson (Holly Springs, N.C.) rifling a shot over the shoulder of Babson goalie Bryan Botcher for his fifth tally of the season. Paul Russell (Andover, Mass) and Ty Piacentini (South Weymouth, Mass.) picked up the assists on the goal.
The Cadets continued to keep up the pressure in the second period, however they couldn't extend the lead despite carrying the play.
Babson leveled the score at the 15:09 mark of the second period with his sixth goal of the season, beating Reichenbach from the middle of the right faceoff circle with a wrist shot. The Beavers took their first lead of the game at the 18:27 mark with Casey notching his second of the game off an assist from Bill Seligman while shorthanded.
Casey beat Reichenbach with a low wrist shot from the left wing that deflected off the NU goalie's blocker and trickled into the back of the net.
Smith scored the equalizer for Norwich at the 9:46 mark of the third period with a slap shot from the point that beat Botcher glove side. The goal was Smith's first of the season as the senior blue liner leads all of Division III hockey with 26 assists. Jackson and Piacentini picked up the assists on the goal.
Babson had the best chance of overtime with Casey ringing a shot off the left post in a bid for the hat trick.
Botcher made 45 saves for Babson and is now 7-2-2 on the season.
Norwich is now winless in its last three trips to the Babson Skating Center. The Beavers swept both meetings last year. Friday marked the 70th all-time meeting between NU and Babson. Norwich holds a 39-24-7 lead in the all-time series.
The Cadets wrap up their Boston road trip with a 4 p.m. meeting against the Beacons of UMass Boston on Saturday. NU has lost four of its last five at UMass Boston.