MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The Norwich University men's ice hockey team lost to Plattsburgh State for the first time ever in an opening round game at the 20th annual PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut on Friday afternoon.
Norwich got a goal from senior forward Payton Baldillez (Arlington, Texas), but it wasn't enough as Plattsburgh State scored four unanswered goals to take the 4-1 victory in the Lake Champlain rivalry game.
Baldillez scored his first of the year off an assist from Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Manitoba) beating Plattsburgh's goalie with a shot up top from the slot at the 2:36 mark of the first period.
However, that's as good as it got for Norwich (4-3-1, 4-1-1 NEHC) as the Cardinals scored a late shorthanded goal in the second period and then added three more in the third to cruise to the win and end Norwich's chance at a repeat.
Ayrton Valente scored the shorthanded goal with an assist from Cam Owens, who had three points on the night to lead the Plattsburgh offense.
Plattsburgh (3-4-0, 2-3-0 SUNYAC) dominated the third period with two goals before the midway point and then added an empty netter in the final minute to seal the win.
Plattsburgh outshot Norwich 27-24. Ostepchuk made 23 saves in the loss. Lawson Fenton made 23 saves as well for Plattsburgh, including multiple key saves late in the third period to preserve the victory.
Norwich will face the loser of Lawrence and host Middlebury College in the consolation game at 4 p.m. at Kenyon Arena on Saturday.