BABSON PARK, Mass. – Senior forward Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.) of the Norwich University men's ice hockey team returned to the lineup in a big way, scoring his second collegiate hat trick to lead the Cadets to a huge 5-3 victory over Babson College on Friday night.
Salvucci scored the game-winning goal at the 14:28 mark of the third period to break a 3-3 tie for his second goal of the night off an assist from freshman Carter Cowlthorp (Boissevain, Manitoba). He then added an insurance tally at the 19:54 mark of the third period to cap the scoring and seal the victory.
Senior Payton Baldillez (Arlington, Texas) tallied two assists for Norwich (13-5-1, 10-2-1 NEHC) as the Cadets maintained their lead in the league standings with 21 points. UMass Boston and Hobart moved into a tie for second place with 18 points following each team winning on Friday. Babson dropped from second to fourth with the loss with 17 points.
Babson (10-8-2, 8-4-1 NEHC) took a 1-0 lead at the 9:29 mark of the first period with Matt McMorrow scoring off assists from Tommy Munichiello and Rob Devaney.
Salvucci scored his first of the night at the 18:23 mark on the power play with Baldillez and Christian Thompson (Windham, N.H.) picking up the assists.
Evangelista increased the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal off an assist from Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu).
Babson came back strong with two power play goals to tie the game up at 3-3 with goals at the 8:50 and 11:15 mark from Connor Dahlman and Ryan Gouveia.
Senior goalie Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) made 32 saves to improve to 9-5-1 on the season and picked up his 48th career victory. Bryan Botcher made 27 saves to fall to 3-1-0 on the season.
Norwich faces UMass Boston at 4 p.m. on Saturday in another crucial league showdown with the Beacons. The Cadets beat UMB 5-0 earlier this season at Kreitzberg Arena.