NORTHFIELD, Vt. – After nearly a month off, the Norwich men's ice hockey team picked up right where it left off with a 4-2 win over SUNY Morrisville in the opening round of the 2012 Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
Junior Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) scored two goals to lead the Cadets (9-0-1, 6-0-0 ECAC East) and break his three-game pointless streak. Sophomore Travis Janke (Swift Current, Sask.) and freshman Doug Lindensmith (Sterling Heights, Mich.) also chipped in a goal each to round out the NU goal scorers.
Thomas opened the scoring at the 14:47 mark of the first period when he corralled a long outlet pass from Lindensmith after it bounced off a Morrisville defender's skate. Thomas sped in from the right wing, circled behind the Morrisville net and slid the puck inside the far post to beat Morrisville goalie Christopher Azzano on a wraparound before the Mustangs' goalie could get his skate to the other post.
Norwich took advantage of a delayed penalty with an extra attacker on the ice just 3:11 later when Lindensmith increased the lead to 2-0 by tipping a puck past Azzano off a shot from the point by Owen Carpino (Nashua, N.H.).
Janke stretched the lead to 3-0 at the 17:07 mark of the second period by sliding home his seventh goal of the season into a wide open net after Azzano came out of his crease to make an initial save on Pier-Olivier Cotnoir's (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.) shot.
The Cadets held a commanding 27-6 advantage in shots heading into the second intermission.
However, Morrisville (2-10-1, 1-6-1 SUNYAC) fought back in the third period and finally got on the board with an unassisted goal from Todd Hosmer at the 6:42 mark. Hosmer picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skated in from the left wing and beat Norwich goalie Parker Carroll (West Chester, Pa.) with a wrist shot glove side to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Mustangs scored again with their goalie pulled when Kevin Gaughran beat Carroll at the 18:50 mark of the third period off a pass from Alex Tillaart to make it 3-2.
However, Thomas sealed the deal with 15 seconds left by chasing down a shot from Lindensmith and shoved the puck into an open net while diving at full extension to cap the scoring on the night with his eighth goal of the season and second of the night. Senior captain Shawn Baker (Mont-Laurier, Que,) also picked up an assist.
Norwich outshot Morrisville 35-17. Carroll made 15 saves to improve to 7-0-1 on the year while Azzano took the loss after turning aside 31 shots.
Norwich will look to capture its first Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament title in three years on Saturday night when the Cadets take on Fitchburg State at 7 p.m. at Kreitzberg Arena.
Fitchburg advanced the finals after defeating Elmira 2-1 in a shootout after the two sides skated to a 1-1 draw through 65 minutes. Elmira takes on Morrisville at 4 p.m. in the consolation game.
For all the latest Norwich Athletics news go to www.norwichathletics.com, become a fan on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/NUCadets, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/madkins11100, or follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NorwichCadets