Photo courtesy of Adam Hatt Photography
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The goals came early and often for the Norwich men's hockey team in Saturday night's ECAC East Tournament Championship game against Castleton at Kreitzberg Arena.
The Cadets scored three goals in the first six minutes of the game en route to an 11-1 rout over the in-state rival Spartans to sweep all three meetings in the budding "Battle of Vermont" rivalry.
Junior forward Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) scored two goals and added three more assists to lead the Cadets with a five-point night on his way to earning the tournament Most Valuable Player.
He tallied the third Norwich goal at the 5:41 mark of the first period after classmate Colin Mulvey (Worcester, Mass.) and sophomore Shane Gorman (Trumbull, Conn.) scored 14 seconds apart at 2:42 and 2:56.
Norwich carried the 3-0 lead into the first intermission, but the Cadets were hardly done as they pumped six more home in the second frame to take a 9-1 lead into the locker room for the second intermission.
Travis Janke (Swift Current, Sask.) scored twice in the second period while Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.), Cotnoir, Tory Allan (Davidson, Sask.) and Igor Martinez (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) each added a goal as well. Castleton's Dan Bell finally put a brief hold on the Norwich scoring spree with the Spartans' first goal of the game at the 15:36 mark of the second period to cut the deficit to 7-1.
Senior defenseman Owen Carpino (Nashua, N.H.) and junior forward Blake Forkey (Boca Raton, Fla.) capped the scoring with two goals near the midway point of the third period to account for the 10th and 11th Norwich goals.
Gorman, Mulvey and Parker Carroll (West Chester, Pa.) were each named to the All-Tournament team for Norwich. Castleton's Bell and Tyler Atkins rounded out the team.
Carroll made 12 saves for Norwich to improve to 15-1-1 on the year. Chris Czarnota (Wakefield, Mass.) came on for the final 8:28 of the game and made one save.
Castleton used all three of its goalies during the game but none of them seemed to have the answer for the Cadets' offensive onslaught. Thomas Shelley started the game for the Spartans before being pulled in the first three minutes after surrendering two goals on four shots. He also came back for the final 20 minutes after Erick Cinotti gave up three goals and Seth McNary let in four.
The 10-goal margin of victory was the team's largest since Norwich beat Southern New Hampshire 12-0 on Dec. 11, 2009.
Norwich has now won 10 ECAC East Tournament titles and three in a row. The Cadets have now earned an automatic berth in to the NCAA Tournament and will now await the NCAA selection show on Sunday night to find out who they will play next.
NCAA.com will be video streaming a live selection show this year starting at 9:30 p.m. EST.
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