Men's Hockey: Norwich survives for 5-3 victory over UMass Boston

Brett Ouderkirk men's hockey action
Michael Menn '19

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - Despite being out shot 35-14, the Norwich University men's ice hockey team showed resiliency in a 5-3 victory over UMass Boston on Saturday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action.

Sophomore Brett Ouderkirk (Monkland, Ontario) scored his first goal of the season after leading the Cadets in goals last season with what proved to be the game-winning goal at the 12:21 mark of the third period. Junior Scott Swanson (Wheaton, Ill.) created the scoring chance with a terrific forecheck to ride a UMass Boston player off the puck and feed Ouderkirk crashing on the back door. Ouderkirk shoveled the puck past a sprawled out Beacon goaltender to make it 4-3 Norwich. Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec) picked up his second of three assists on the night for the secondary helper. 

Junior Felix Brassard (St. Jear-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) scored twice, while Maxime Borduas (St. Cesaire, Quebec) had a goal and two assists. 

Norwich (7-0-0, 6-0-0 NEHC) opened the scoring at the 3:50 mark of the first period with Brassard scoring his seventh goal of the season on a power play rocket blast from the left face off circle on a one-timer off assists from Chicoine and Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.).

UMass Boston (3-3-1, 2-2 NEHC) leveled the score at 1-1 with Chris Peters sniping a shot past Norwich senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) at the 10:07 mark off an assist from goalie Sam Best.

The Beacons took their first lead of the game at the 17:28 mark with Nolan Redler roofing a shot over the shoulder of Aubrun off a pretty pass from Daniel Nachbaur. 

Norwich knotted the score at 2-2 with Brassard scoring his second of the game and eighth of the season with another power play goal with just three seconds left in the first period. Brassard shoveled the puck home blocker side off assists from Ouderkirk and Borduas.

Sophomore Noah Williams (Cortland, N.Y.) gave Norwich the lead at the 6:56 mark of the second period, beating Best five-hole off assists from Borduas and Philip Elgstam (Stockholm, Sweden).

UMass Boston leveled the score again just 3:41 into the third period with Ethan Nitkin scoring on the power play off assists from Peters and Davis Browning. Nitkin caught Aubrun cheating off the near post and fired a shot past him from a low angle on the left side. 

Borduas capped the scoring at the 18:52 mark of the third period with Chicoine and Downs picking up assists on Norwich's third power play goal of the game. 

Norwich has now won seven straight games to start the season and defended its No. 1 ranking in the country for the second straight week. The Cadets will now head to the prestigious PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut, hosted by Plattsburgh State next Friday and Saturday. NU will take on Middlebury (3-1-0) in the 157th all-time meeting between the two long time rivals at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. The Cadets are 14-1-2 in the last 17 meetings. Plattsburgh State (3-3-1) will take on UW-Eau Claire (6-0-1) in one of the strongest fields in recent PrimeLink history. 

The Cadets have won a record 10 PrimeLink ShootOut titles, including last year's crown at Kreitzberg Arena.