GORHAM, Maine -- Rookie Cooper Norton (Williston, Vt.) scored the first three goals of his collegiate career, and junior goaltender Matt Pompa (Palm City, Fla.) stopped 23 shots, as the visiting Babson College men's ice hockey team shut out the University of Southern Maine, 4-0, in a New England Hockey Conference game Saturday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.
The win was the second straight for the Beavers who improved to 3-2-0 overall, and 3-1-0 in league play. The Huskies, still searching for their first win, slipped to 0-3-1 overall and in NEHC play. Since sweeping three games from the Beavers in the 2011-12 season, the Huskies have dropped 12 consecutive games to the Beavers.
With Pompa providing steady goaltending at the back, the Beavers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the first period. Down a skater due to a minor penalty, senior Bobby Hall (Westwood, Mass.) flipped an innocent looking clear into the Huskies' defensive zone that took an unusual bounce and eluded USM sophomore goaltender Paul Léger (Blainville, Quebec) for a short-handed tally. The goal was the third of the season for Hall.
Norton took over from there scoring the lone goal of the second period with a top-shelf wrist shot under the crossbar at 10:31. Rookie Patrick Flynn (Framingham, Mass.) earned the lone assist on the play.
The rookie forward added two insurance goals in the first nine minutes of the third period to complete his first collegiate hat trick. Flynn picked up another assist on the goal at 1:53 along with senior Zach Phelps (Manorville, Penn.). Rookies Nick Rosa (Birmingham, Mich.) and Brendan Casey (Glastonbury, Conn.) collected the helpers on the goal at 8:14.
Babson had a 26-23 edge in shots on goal. Pompa's shutout was the sixth of his career. Léger recorded 22 saves. Both sides went 0 for 3 on the power play.
Southern Maine hits the road next weekend for NEHC games at Castleton University on Friday (7:00 p.m.) and nationally-ranked Norwich University on Saturday (4:00 p.m.). Babson will be at home entertaining Skidmore College on Friday (7:00 p.m.) and nationally-ranked NEHC newcomer Hobart College on Saturday (4:00 p.m.).