NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's ice hockey team opened the 2019 portion of its season with a 4-1 victory over Neumann University on Friday night in the ninth annual Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament opening round at Kreitzberg Arena.
Freshman defenseman Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec) had two assists as well for Norwich (7-4-1, 4-4-0 NEHC) as it advanced to its holiday tournament championship game for the 20th straight season. Norwich has won 12 of its 19 holiday tournament titles.
After a scoreless first period, junior Jordan Hall (Anchorage, Alaska) got the Cadets on the board at the 12:40 mark of the middle stanza. Hall scored on his own rebound as he kept driving the net and found a loose puck after Lewis won the faceoff over to him on the right circle.
Sophomore Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) scored his fourth goal of the season with a wrist shot from left half boards off assists from Downs and Chicoine to make it 2-0 Norwich at the 2:40 mark of the third.
Downs made it 3-0 at the 8:36 mark of the third period with pretty individual effort taking the puck with speed in the neutral zone to split the defense off a pass from Chicoine. Downs drove down the center of the ice and slammed the puck in on his forehand for his third goal of the season. TJ Dockery (Lockport, N.Y.) picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Neumann (0-11-2) got on the board at the 16:03 mark of the third period with a pretty tic-tac-toe passing set-up on a 3-on-2 rush. Zac Boyle tapped home his fourth goal of the season into a wide open net on the left side of the net off passes from Chris Caldwell and Joe Mitchell.
Norwich added an empty-net goal at the 17:58 mark of the third period with Lewis scoring an unassisted goal from center ice to cap the scoring.
Junior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) made eight saves for Norwich to improve to 5-3-1 on the year.
Norwich will move on to face No. 13-ranked Endicott College, who scored three unanswered goals in the third period to rally from a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 victory over Buffalo State. Josh Bowes scoring the game-winning goal with 4:27 left in the game to cap the comeback.
Norwich and Endicott will meet for the third time in the two program's histories. They tied 3-3 earlier this season at Endicott and also tied 3-3 at Kreitzberg in the 2016-17 season opener. Puck drop for the championship will be 7 p.m. following the conclusion of Buffalo State and Neumann game at 4 p.m.