NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Sophomore forward Travis Janke (Swift Current, Sask.) scored his first career hat trick and added an assist to lead the No. 1-ranked Norwich men's ice hockey team to a 5-2 win over Saint Anselm on Saturday afternoon in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East action at Kreitzberg Arena.
Trailing 1-0 after the first period, Janke sparked Norwich (4-0-0 overall, 4-0-0 ECAC East) with two goals at the 3:37 and 18:10 mark of the second period to give the Cadets a 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
Janke scored his first goal by beating Saint Anselm goalie Nick Dries five-hole off assists from Shane Gorman (Trumbull, Conn.) and Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) to tie the game at up at one.
Janke struck again at the end of the period when he took a pass from Corey Hale (Montreal, Quebec) and wheeled out from the half boards through the slot. Janke waited out Dries until he finally saw an opening through the five hole and promptly wristed the puck through Dries' legs to give Norwich a 2-1 lead.
Cotnoir notched the eventual game-winning goal when he blasted a shot from the point on the power play that found its way through traffic and beat Dries without the Saint Anselm goalie ever seeing the puck. Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass) and Alec Thieda (Rochester Hills, Mich.) picked up assists on the goal at the 14:38 mark of the third to make it 3-1 Cadets.
Less than a minute later Janke completed his hat trick to make it 4-1 when he followed Thomas into the zone after Cotnoir sent a home run pass down the ice from inside the Norwich defensive zone. With a defender draped all over him Thomas faked a shot and then dropped the puck back to Janke who slid the puck home with Dries out of position after buying Thomas' fake.
Saint Anselm (2-3-1 overall, 2-3-1 ECAC East) cut the deficit back to two though after Sean Jenkins tallied his second goal of the game off assists from Tucker Mullin and Tyler Savage.
Jenkins' first goal came at the 16:31 mark of the first period when he tipped an initial shot from Alex Pascal past Norwich goalie Parker Carroll (West Chester, Pa.) to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Thomas capped the scoring for the game by tallying an empty-net goal with five seconds left off assists from Shawn Baker (Mont-Laurier, Quebec) and Janke.
Carroll recorded nine saves to improve to 3-0-0 on the year. Dries made 23 stops for Saint Anselm including an incredible point blank save with his leg to rob Doug Lindensmith (Sterling Heights, Mich.) of a goal in the third period. He fell to 0-3-1 on the year.
Norwich outshot Saint Anselm 28-11 and both teams were 1-for-3 on the power play.
The Cadets return to action next Friday when they travel to Middlebury for the prestigious PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut. NU will take on rival Plattsburgh State at 4 p.m. while Middlebury hosts Elmira in the other opening round game. The winners advance to the championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m., while the losers meet in consolation game at 4 p.m.
Plattsburgh is the defending champion after the Cardinals downed Norwich 3-2 in the 2011 PrimeLink Championship at the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
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