PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Junior forward Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) scored his first collegiate hat trick to lead the No. 1 ranked Norwich University men's ice hockey team to a 5-1 victory over Plattsburgh State in the consolation game of the 22nd annual PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut.
Norwich (8-1-0, 6-0-0 NEHC) rebounded well from its first loss of the season to take down the host Cardinals and claim third place in the PrimeLink ShootOut.
Downs scored Norwich's first goal of the game and then added the Cadets' third goal and the fifth goal on an empty net to seal the victory and relegate Plattsburgh to its second straight fourth-place finish in the PrimeLink. He also earned a spot on the PrimeLink All-Tournament team for his efforts.
Sophomore defenseman Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec) tallied a goal and two assists, while senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) made 26 saves for the Cadets in goal to pick up his eighth win of the season.
Downs opened the scoring at the 7:05 mark of the first period off assists from Chicoine and Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) to give Norwich the early lead.
Plattsburgh (3-5-1, 3-3-1 SUNYAC) knotted the game at 1-1 at the 14:54 mark of the first period with Rich McCartney scoring his second goal of the season.
Plattsburgh initially though it had taken a 2-1 lead just before the midway point of the second period, but the goal was waved off because of the net being dislodged before the puck crossed the line.
Chicoine scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at the 9:02 mark of the second period off assists from Matt Burchill (Marshfield, Mass.) and Noah Williams (Cortland, N.Y.). Chicoine's goal marked the first goal by a NU defenseman this season.
Downs scored a shorthanded goal at the 12:55 mark of the second period to increase the Cadet lead to 3-1.
Downs capped the scoring to complete his hat trick with an empty-net goal at the 15:07 mark of the third period.
Norwich will return home to Kreitzberg Arena to play its final game of the first semester when it hosts Castleton University at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 in the second annual Darn Tough Sock Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring their own new pair of socks to throw out onto the ice after Norwich scores its first goal of the game. In addition to what fans bring, Darn Tough is donating 1,500 socks that will be given out to five local community partners to help keep Vermonters warm this winter.