NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich men's ice hockey team scored on its first shot in Tuesday night's game against Middlebury and then added three more goals before the end the first intermission as the Cadets shutout their in-state archrival 5-0 at Kreitzberg Arena.
After missing the last three games, junior forward Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) scored just 1:02 into the game to give Norwich (14-1-1, 9-1-0 ECAC East) the only lead it would need on the night.
Thomas skated in from the left wing and flicked a soft back hand toward the Middlebury net. The puck crossed up the Panthers' goaltender Dan Fullam, who was hugging the near post and slid between his legs into the far side of the net.
Just past the midway point of the first, the Cadets broke the game wide open with three goals in a span of 3:12 to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Junior forward Colin Mulvey (Worcester, Mass.) made it 2-0 when he pounced on a loose rebound in the right circle and beat Fullam five-hole after Owen Carpino's initial shot was blocked by traffic in front of the net.
Mulvey notched his second of the game and seventh of the season when he picked the pocket of a Middlebury defender right in front of the net and then wristed a shot past Fullam to make it 4-0 Norwich.
Sophomore goalie Chris Czarnota (Wakefield, Mass.) picked up his second straight shutout and third in his last four starts to earn his fifth win of the season for the Cadets. He turned aside all 15 shots he faced to improve to 5-0-0 on the year. He now has a 0.44 goals against average and a .980 save percentage. Fullam made 19 saves for Middlebury to fall to 0-2-0 on the year.
Norwich is now 7-2-1 against Middlebury (7-7-2, 6-4-0 NESCAC) in the last 10 meetings and has shutout the Panthers in two of the last three.
With the win, Norwich coach Mike McShane is now at 599 career victories and will have a shot at the 600-win milestone on Friday when the Cadets host Southern Maine at Kreitzberg Arena. Faceoff set for 7 p.m.
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