Southern Maine Falls at #8 Norwich in Regular Season Finale
NORTHFIELD, Vt. -- Rookie Brett Ouderkirk (Monkland, Ont.) scored two goals and sophomore Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) dished out four assists to lead the eighth-ranked Norwich University Cadets to a 6-2 New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) win over the visiting University of Southern Maine Huskies in the teams regular-season finale Saturday at Kreitzberg Arena.
With the win, the Cadets closed the regular season winning their last 10 games and a 14-game unbeaten streak (12-0-2), improving to 18-4-3 overall and 13-4-1 in the conference. The Huskies, coming off a big 8-4 win over Castleton University Friday night, finished the regular season at 5-17-3 and 4-13-1 in NEHC play.
The visiting Huskies got the jump on the Cadets outscoring the hosts in the first period 2-1. Rookie Adam Withers (Kenora, Ont.) gave USM a 1-0 lead at 4:05 with an unassisted marker. Ouderkirk equalized five minutes later off assists from Downs and freshman Maxime Borduas (Saint-Césaire, Que.). Junior Mark Tomaschek (Toms River, N.J.) regained the lead for the Huskies at 16:51 with a power-play goal assisted by junior Colin Merrill (Portland, Maine).
Norwich came out quickly in the second to gain the lead for good with a pair of goals 1:17 apart before the period was three minutes old. Junior Taeron Lewis (Winnipeg, Man.) tied the game with an unassisted goal at 1:01. Sophomore Carter Cowlthorp (Boissevain, Man.) gave the Cadets the lead with his fifth goal of the season at 2:18. Freshman Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Que.) made it 4-2 at 17:44 off a feed from Downs.
Downs and Borduas set up sophomore Felix Brassard (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.) for a power-play goal in the opening minute of the third period. Ouderkirk completed the scoring lighting the lamp for a power-play goal, assisted by Chicoine and Downs, at 3:59.
Junior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) improved his record to 15-3-3 making 15 saves. USM sophomore Anthony D'Aloisio (Frisco, Texas) stopped 31 shots.
Norwich finished the game with a 37-17 advantage in shots on goal and converted 3 of 4 power-play chances. Southern Maine was 1 for 3 with the man advantage.
Both teams will advance to next weekend's quarterfinal round of the NEHC championship tournament. Pairings and game times will be announced Sunday by the conference office.