Southern Maine Men Fall to #13/#14 Norwich 3-2

F Cody Braga
F Cody Braga

Huskies Host Castleton on Saturday (4:00 p.m.)

            GORHAM, Maine -- Sophomore TJ Dockery (Lockport, N.Y.) redirected a shot from classmate Jake Erickson (Stillwater, Minn.) for a power-play goal with 8:25 remaining in regulation to give the #13/#14 Norwich University Cadets a 3-2 victory over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a New England Hockey Conference game Friday evening at the USM Ice Arena.

            The win was the fifth in the last six games for the league-leading Cadets.  The Cadets improved to 9-4-1 overall and 7-1-1 in the league.  The Huskies dropped to 2-9-3 overall and 2-5-2 in NEHC play.  The two teams will meet one more time this season on February 2.

            Special teams played a big role in the game as Norwich took advantage of the power play, converting on two of five chances, while holding USM scoreless on four chances.

            Southern Maine took a 1-0 lead in the latter stages of the first period as senior Alex Pantalone (Hudson, Mass.) wristed a shot from the left-wing circle into the top corner past Norwich senior goalie Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) for his second goal of the season.  Sophomore Sasha Makarov (Indian Trial, N.C.) and junior Tyler Mathieu (Stillwater Lake, N.S.) picked up the assists.

            Rookie Scott Swanson (Wheaton, Ill.) tied the game at 5:45 of the second period getting the Cadets first power-play marker.  Swanson found the upper half of the net out of scrum in front of USM rookie goalie Anthony D'Aloisio (Frisco, Texas) for his third goal.  Sophomore Todd Jackson (Holly Springs, N.C.) and Dockery picked up the assists.

            Norwich took its first lead of the game at 2:12 of the third period as sophomore Jack Griffin (Duxbury, Mass.) fired home a rebound.  D'Aloisio stopped a shot from the blue line by Erickson, but Griffin was in the right spot to take advantage.

            The lead was short-lived as USM tied the score 70 seconds later as sophomore Cody Braga's (Middleboro, Mass.) one-timer from the left-wing circle beat Ostepchuk.  Sophomore Brendan Murphy (St. Peters, Mo.) made the feed over to Braga.

            Norwich finished the game with a 27-16 advantage in shots on goal.  Ostepchuk recorded 14 saves to earn his seventh win of the season.  D'Aloisio stopped 24 shots before heading to the bench for the extra attacker with 31 seconds remaining.

            Southern Maine returns to ice tomorrow afternoon (4:00 p.m.) hosting Castleton University.  Norwich will travel to New England College on Saturday (4:00 p.m.).