NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Junior forward Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) scored twice to lead the Norwich men's ice hockey team to a 5-1 win over Southern Maine on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
The win marked the 600th victory of legendary Norwich head coach Mike McShane's illustrious career spanning 31 seasons at St. Lawrence, Providence and Norwich. He ranks ninth on the all-time NCAA college hockey coaching list and is the only Division III coach in the top 10.
Friday's game got off to a slow start with both team's feeling each other out causing a lot of the play to stay bottled up in the neutral zone. The first shot didn't even come until 7:04 into the game.
However, Norwich (15-1-1, 10-0-1 ECAC East) got on the board at the 7:20 mark when Cotnoir banged home a loose rebound at the bottom of the right faceoff circle to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead. Travis Janke (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) and Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) picked up assists on the goal.
After missing three straight games to injury, freshman Alec Thieda (Rochester Hills, Mich.) made it 2-0 at the 2:47 mark of the second period when his slap shot from the blue line found its way through traffic and past Southern Maine goalie Braely Torris.
Senior Emmond Bell (Nepean, Ontario) made it 3-0 at the 13:23 mark of the second with a shorthanded breakaway goal. Bell laid out to block a shot by a Southern Maine defenseman and the puck bounced off him and back out of the zone. He got to his feet and had a step on the Huskies' defender as he brought the puck in on Torris. With the defender draped all over him, Bell flipped the puck on his backhand off the right post and past a sprawled out Torris.
Cotnoir added his second of the night less than a minute into the third period when he blasted a shot from the point that beat Torris five-hole. Thomas and Janke picked up assists on the goal.
Southern Maine's David Nies broke Norwich goaltender Parker Carroll's bid for his second shutout of the season with a goal at 15:27 mark of the third off assists from Jamie Osborne and Dan Rautenberg. The goal also broke Norwich's consecutive shutout minutes at 218:20.
Norwich outshot Southern Maine 33-12. Carroll stopped 11 shots to improve to 10-1-1 on the season. Torris made 28 saves to drop to 6-6-4.
The Cadets return to action Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. when they host the University of New England at Kreitzberg Arena.
PHOTOS COURTESY ADAM HATT
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Norwich's Pier Olivier Cotnoir (14) shields the puck away from Southern Maine's Sean Travis (9) during Friday night's game at Kreitzberg Arena. (Adam Hatt/Norwich University)