NORTHFIELD, Vt. –The nationally-ranked No. 1 Norwich men's ice hockey team enters Saturday night's NCAA Quarterfinal game against Wentworth just one win away from earning its 10th trip to the Frozen Four in the last 16 years. It would also be the fourth trip in the last five years for the Cadets.
Wentworth (21-6-1, 11-2-1 ECAC Northeast) clinched its fifth appearance into the NCAA Tournament with a 1-0 overtime win over Curry in the ECAC Northeast Championship. Freshman forward Sean McLaughlin scored on a penalty shot just past the midway point of the first overtime to punch the Leopards ticket into the 11-team NCAA Tournament field.
Wentworth then beat Plymouth State 3-1 on Wednesday night in the NCAA Tournament First Round to advance to Saturday's Quarterfinal showdown with Norwich.
Norwich (23-2-2, 15-2-1 ECAC East) earned its spot in the NCAA Tournament by routing in-state rival Castleton 11-1 in the ECAC East Tournament championship game last Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena. Coupled with a loss by Oswego to Plattsburgh in the SUNYAC Championship, the Cadets earned the top overall seed for the tournament and a bye to the quarterfinal round.
NU is a perfect 3-0-0 against Wentworth in the all-time series. The first meeting came in 2005 with the Cadets downing the Leopards 10-0. Norwich also beat Wentworth the following year 7-2 at Matthews Arena in Boston. The last time the two clubs met was on Dec. 8, 2007 at Kreitzberg Arena, which Norwich won ended up winning 7-1.
Legendary Norwich head coach Mike McShane is in his 17th year at the helm of the program and has compiled a 364-98-26 record. He won his 600th career game earlier this season on Jan. 27 against Southern Maine. He also recently won his eighth ECAC East Coach of the Year award.
R.J. Tolan is in his sixth year at the helm of the Wentworth program and just recorded his 100th win with Wednesday's win over Plymouth. He currently holds a 100-51-11 career record.
The Norwich offense leads the country averaging 4.81 goals per game and is led by junior forward Pier-Olivier Cotnoir, who has an even 20 goals and 20 assists for 40 points on the year.
Cotnoir was named the ECACâ€ˆEast Player of the Year as well as the ECAC East Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
The Cadets scoring depth however may be their biggest asset as they have seven players with 10 or more goals on the season already and one more at nine.
Sophomore forward Travis Janke (11-28-39), junior forward Kyle Thomas (15-20-35), freshman forward Doug Lindensmith (14-9-23) and sophomore forward Shane Gorman (11-10-21) round out the top five scorers for the Cadets. Juniors Tory Allan (11-9-20) and Colin Mulvey (12-8-20), along with sophomore Chris Duszynski (9-10-19) complete the scoring leaders.
Sophomore Parker Carroll is 15-1-1 so far and has compiled a 2.02 goals against average with an .884 save percentage and two shutouts. Classmate Chris Czarnota is 8-1-1 with a 1.14 goals against average and a .940 save percentage to go along with three shutouts.
Wentworth's offense ranks 14th in the nation averaging 3.82 goals per game and is led by freshman forward Mike Domsodi who has 19 goals and 16 assists for 35 points on the year.
Senior forward Skylur Jameson also has 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. He has amassed an impressive 67 goals and 92 assists for 159 points in his standout four-year career.
Classmate Casey Shade has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points, while junior defenseman Shaun Jameson has five goals and 20 assists for 25 points. Freshman Kevin Crowe rounds out the top five scorers with 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points.
In goal, freshman Alex Peck has received the lion's share of the time. He has posted a 13-2-1 record with a 1.97 goals against average and a .920 save percentage and one shutout in 16 games played. He's played the last two games in net for Wentworth, posting a shutout against Curry and giving up just one goal against Plymouth State on 17 shots.
Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Kreitzberg Arena. The Norwich women's ice hockey team will also be taking on Amherst in a NCAA Quarterfinal at 3 p.m. at Kreitzberg as well.
BY THE NUMBERS
Norwich: 4.81 (1st)
Wentworth: 3.82 (14th)
Norwich: 1.74 (2nd)
Wentworth: 2.46 (14th)
PENALTY MINUTES PER GAME-
Norwich: 7.6 minutes (71st)
Wentworth: 15.5 minutes (38th)
Norwich: 30.5 percent (2nd)
Wentworth: 23.8 percent (13th)
Norwich: 80.5 percent (41st)
Wentworth: 83.6 percent (25th)
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