NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The No. 5/6 nationally-ranked Norwich University men's ice hockey team rebounded from a loss in its season opener in a big way with a 5-0 victory over UMass Boston on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena in the Cadets' New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) opener.
Freshman Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) scored twice, while Jordan Hall (Anchorage, Alaska) and Kale Kane (Kahnawake, Quebec) each scored a goal as well to lead the Norwich (1-1-0, 1-0-0 NEHC) offense on the day with four goals by newcomers.
Senior goalie Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) made 27 saves, including 13 in a stellar first-period performance while the Cadets were thoroughly outplayed by UMass Boston.
After a scoreless first period, Norwich didn't take long to seize momentum in the second period with Jackson scoring just 1:25 into the period. Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.) got a stick on a puck on the fore checked that kick out to Jackson and he buried the puck over the shoulder of UMass Boston goalie Anthony D'Urso from the middle of the slot to make it 1-0.
The Cadets increased the lead to 2-0 at the 10:01 mark of the second period with Hall notching his first at Norwich after transferring from Southern Maine on a tip in front on a power play. Hall deflected the puck from the top of the crease past D'Urso after Erickson ripped a shot from the point. Carter Cowlthorp (Boissevain, Manitoba) picked up the second assist on the goal.
NU made it 3-0 at the 13:04 mark with Downs scoring his first goal off an assist from Matt Burchill (Marshfield, Mass.). Burchill sent an in direct pass off the boards and then Downs did the rest, skating in from the right and beating D'Urso with a wrist shot for the first of his Norwich career.
Kane got in on the scoring at the 2:34 mark of the third period with the first of his collegiate career with a goal on a rebound off an initial save on Ryan Boucher (Fitchburg, Mass.). Kane's goal ended D'Urso's night as UMass Boston pulled him for Jordan Bustard.
Downs scored his second of the night on the power play again at the 11:40 mark with a blast from the point that beat Bustard through traffic off a pass from Erickson.
Norwich went 2-of-3 on the power play, while UMass Boston was 0-for-4. The Cadets were outshot 27-23 in the game.
The Cadets return to action on Saturday when they host Babson College at 4 p.m. in Kreitzberg Arena in another NEHC matchup.