Top-ranked Norwich scored two goals in the game’s final 7:57 to pick up a 3-1 road win at Middlebury’s Kenyon Arena on Tuesday night. The Cadets improve to 12-1 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 5-6-2. Middlebury returns to action on Friday night when they visit 10th-ranked Plattsburgh on Friday night.
After holding Norwich without a shot for the game’s first 7:50, the Cadets struck first at 7:51 with the 11th of the year from Pier-Olivier Cotnoir. Kyle Thomas carried the puck up the ice and made a nice toe-drag move before finding Cotnoir for a quick redirect on the doorstep.
Middlebury had its second power play opportunity of the period at the 14:48 mark, with Norwich’s Colin Mulvey having the best chance to score shorthanded. The period ended with Middlebury having the better of much of the play, owning a 7-5 shots advantage.
Middlebury threatened less than a minute into the period when Matt Silcoff was denied by Chris Czarnota right in front after a bad bounce off the back boards. The Panthers broke through and tied the game at the 3:55 mark with the first of his career for Zach Haggerty. Silcoff’s shot was just tipped by Czarnota before bouncing off the back boards to Haggerty who stuffed it home.
Czarnota came up with two more saves eight minutes in, stopping a blast from Chris Brown from the right point before denying Max Greenwald on the rebound. Middlebury’s George Ordway snapped a wrister just wide minutes later, nearly taking advantage of a turnover. Panther netminder Liam Moorfield-Yee denied a great chance for Travis Janke on the power play at 12:01, diving to his right to make the save. Middlebury held a slim 9-8 shots advantage in the period, leaving the game tied at 1-1.
Norwich peppered Middlebury early in the third period, before the teams settled in. The Cadets took a 2-1 lead at the 12:03 mark when Corey Hale’s shot from the point was gathered down low by Mulvey just to the left of the goal. After a quick skirmish, the puck squirted to Tory Allen who banged it home on the far side for his 27th of the year. The Cadets gained some breathing room with 2:16 remaining with the fourth of the year from Gerard McEleney. Dean Niezgoda’s original shot was blocked before Shane Gorman got a touch to McEleney for the goal.
Norwich held a 14-8 shots advantage in the third period, holding a slim 27-24 lead in the contest. Czarnota finished with 23 saves to earn the win, while Moorefield-Yee made 24 stops for the Panthers.