NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich men's ice hockey team kept to its winning ways with a dominant 6-0 win over the University of New England on Saturday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena in ECAC East action.
The Cadets (16-1-1, 11-1-0 ECAC East) took advantage of UNE being whistled for 14 penalties by scoring five power-play goals and upping their conversion rate to 31.8 percent on the season. NU's power-play unit now ranks second in all of Division III behind only Castleton State.
Freshman defenseman Alec Thieda (Rochester Hills, Mich.) continued his sensational rookie campaign by scoring two goals and adding an assist to lead the Cadets' offense. He now has four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 15 games played.
Junior forward Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) also kept up his recent hot streak with a goal and two assists. He now has seven goals in his last six games and took over the team lead from Doug Lindensmith (Sterling Heights, Mich.) with 13 goals on the season.
Junior Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) opened the scoring at the 14:49 mark of the first period when he skated in from the right wing and beat UNE goaltender Ian Edwards with a wrist shot to the far post.
Norwich struck again just 1:20 into the second period when Colin Mulvey (Worcester, Mass.) netted his ninth goal of the season off assists from Tory Allan (Davidson, Saskatchewan) and Chris Duszynski (Okotoks, Alberta).
Mulvey took a pass in the slot, faked a shot on the forehand before flipping it over to his backhand and roofing the puck top shelf over a sprawled out Edwards to make it 2-0 Norwich.
Thieda notched his first goal of the night 2:53 later when he slid the puck into a wide open net after Cotnoir's initial shot banged off the post and bounced right to Thieda who was all alone in the right faceoff circle.
Just 52 seconds into the third period, Cotnoir ripped a shot from the point that bounced off Thieda's chest and into the back of the net for the Cadets' third power play tally on the night. Travis Janke (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) also picked up his team-leading 22nd assist on the goal. He is the first Cadet to break the 30-point threshold this season and now has 69 points in just 49 career games.
Cotnoir made it 5-0 at the 2:44 mark of the third when he took a pass from Thomas and let go a blast from that point that Edwards never even saw.
Allan capped the scoring at the 14:52 mark of the third with his eighth goal of the season. He skated behind the net and waited for Edwards to go down before going top shelf over the UNE goaltender's shoulder.
Sophomore goaltender Chris Czarnota stopped all nine shots he faced before being pulled for the final 5:08 to let freshman Matic Marinsek (Ljubljana, Slovenia) see the first game action of his career in the Maroon and Gold. Marinsek stopped the only shot he saw in the final five minutes to preserve the team shutout for the Cadets.
Czarnota picked up the win to improve to 6-0-0 on the season and stretched his consecutive shutout minutes streak to 221 minutes and 55 seconds. He hasn't surrendered a goal since the first period of the Fitchburg State game on Jan. 7.
Edwards made 36 saves for UNE and dropped to 3-10-1 on the year.
Norwich hits the road the next two weekends before returning to Kreitzberg Arena for the regular season finale weekend on Feb. 17 and 18 against UMass-Boston and Babson. The Cadets travel to Saint Anselm next Friday, Feb. 3 for a 7 p.m. faceoff with the Hawks. They then follow up with New England College on Saturday at 4 p.m.
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