Norwich remained unbeaten on the season at 16-0-4 as the second-ranked Cadets earned a 3-1 win at 10th ranked Middlebury (10-4-4, 6-3-4) on Friday night. The game was played before a crowd of 2,480 in Kenyon Arena, as Norwich held a slim 27-24 shots advantage. Both teams struggled on special teams, as Middlebury went 0/7 and Norwich was 0/5.
Both teams had some chances early on special teams, with Middlebury going 0/1 and Norwich missing out on two power play opportunities. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead at the 16:22 mark, when Charlie Townsend scored his fifth of the year with a wrister from the right side, after an up-pass from Jak Knelman.
Middlebury was not able to increase its second period lead, despite having four power play opportunities. Norwich was the team that was able to capitalize, scoring shorthanded with 30 seconds remaining in the period to tie the game at 1-1. Chad Anderson played the puck up to Pier-Oliver Contnoir, who skated across the zone before falling down and scoring with a sweeping motion of his stick.
Norwich took its first lead of the game at 11:54, with a four-on-four goal. D.J. Fimiani carried the puck in on the left wing, sending a cross-crease pass to Eric Tallent for the quick redirect for his seventh of the year. The Cadets went on a power play shortly after the goal, as a shot from Steve Coon hit the left post.
John Yanchek kept it a one-goal game with a huge save on Norwich's Blake Forkey. The Panthers thought they had tied the game at the 17:12 mark, but a goal was waved off after it was ruled the net had come of its moorings.
Middlebury went on the power play at 18:32 and pulled Yanchek, but Shawn Baker broke in and scored an empty-netter shorthanded. Yanchek ended the night with 24 saves, while Ryan Klingensmith made 23 to pick up the win for Norwich.