NORTHFIELD, Vt. – For the 13th time in the last 14 years the Norwich men's ice hockey team will host the ECAC East Men's Hockey Championships this Friday and Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena.
Norwich (21-2-2) wrapped up its unprecedented 14th straight ECAC East regular season title and then shutout the Univ. of New England last Saturday 5-0 in the quarterfinal round to earn home ice this weekend as they try and win their 10th ECAC East Tournament title.
The Cadets are led by junior forward Pier-Olivier Cotnoir, who was just named the ECAC East Player of the Year. Cotnoir has 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points. Cotnoir was joined on the ECAC East First Team by classmate Kyle Thomas (14-18-32).
Sophomore Travis Janke (9-26-35), freshman Doug Lindensmith (14-8-22), sophomore Chris Duszynski (9-10-19) and junior Tory Allan (10-9-19) round out Norwich's offensive leaders. Lindensmith was named to the ECACâ€ˆEast All-Rookie team along with Alec Thieda (5-8-13).
In goal, sophomores Parker Carroll and Chris Czarnota have split the time. Carroll picked up his second shutout of the year with a 14-save performance against UNE's last time out and is now 13-1-1 on the year with a 2.07 GAA and a .881 save %. Czarnota is 8-1-1 with a .939 save % and a 1.15 GAA.
Southern Maine (10-10-6) punched its ticket to the final four by upsetting No. 3 Babson 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Junior defenseman John Grandinetti and freshman forward Ryan Seward share the team lead with seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points each. Grandinetti was named to the ECAC East First Team and Seward was named the league Rookie of the Year.
Senior Dan Rautenberg leads the team with 10 goals to go along with six assists for 16 points. Junior David Nies (8-9-17) and freshman Brad McGovern (5-12-17) round out the top five offensive leaders for the Huskies.
In goal, sophomore Braely Torris is 10-8-6 with a 2.74 goals against average and a .909 save percentage to go along with two shutouts. NU leads the all-time series 19-3-0. USM last won 8-3 in 2007.
Castleton (18-6-2) returns to the final four for the second straight season after edging New England College 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
The Spartans are led by sophomore Nick Lazorko (23-17-40) along with junior forwards Justin Alonzo (10-27-37) and Dan Bell (16-20-36). Lazorko nabbed the final forward spot on the ECAC East First Team while Bell was named to the Second Team.
Junior Ben Schoeneberger (15-10-25), sophomore Colin Murray (11-11-22) and Tyler Atkins (1-21-22) round out the top six scorers.
In goal, sophomore Erick Cinotti has played the majority of the minutes for the Spartans. He has compiled an 8-4-2 overall record to go along with a 2.45 goals against average and a .919 save percentage with one shutout.
Norwich leads the all-time series with Castleton 8-3-0. The Cadets swept both meetings this season by scores of 3-2 and 7-5.
Skidmore (12-12-2) returns to the final four after a one-year absence and for just the third time in program history. The Thoroughbreds are led by sophomore forward Tony Giacin who has 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points.
Senior defenseman and ECAC East First Team selection Nick Dupuis has seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points. Junior defenseman Zach Menard (5-15-20), sophomore forward Aaron Beck (7-10-17) and freshman forward Tim Colvin (6-10-16) round out the top-five offensive leaders for Skidmore.
Senior goalie Colin Bessey was named to the ECAC East Second Team after posting a 11-10-0 record with a 3.15 goals against average and a .895 save percentage to go along with two shutouts.
Skidmore beat Norwich for the first time ever on Feb. 10 by a score of 3-2 in Saratoga Springs. NU holds a 15-1-1 advantage in the all-time series.
The men's tournament kicks off on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. when No. 1 Norwich hosts No. 6 Southern Maine, followed by No. 2 Castleton taking on No. 4 Skidmore at 7 p.m. The two semifinal winners will advance to the ECAC East Championship game to be played on Saturday at 7 p.m., following the two ECAC East women's semifinal games.
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