Three-Goal Second Period Lifts #10 Norwich Over Men’s Hockey

Zach Haggerty scored the first Panther goal on Tuesday at Norwich.
Zach Haggerty scored the first Panther goal on Tuesday at Norwich.

Norwich tallied three power play goals as a part of a 5-3 victory over Middlebury in men's hockey action Tuesday evening in Kreitzberg Arena. The game was the 150th all-time meeting between the two long-time intrastate rivals, as the Panthers hold an 80-62-8 advantage. Middlebury (4-5-4) returns home to Kenyon Arena on Friday evening when it hosts third-ranked Plattsburgh State at 7:00 p.m.

The visitors took a 1-0 lead at the 4:05 mark of the first period when Zach Haggerty scored on the power play off assists from Max Greenwald and Kamil Tkaczuk to give the Panthers the early lead.

Norwich (11-5-0) answered at the 12:57 mark of the first period when Brian Rowland notched his third goal of the season via a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the net to tie the game up at 1-1.

The 10th-ranked Cadets took the lead for good at the 1:47 mark of the second period when Kevin Salvucci potted his team-leading 13th goal of the season by knocking a loose puck past Middlebury goalie Stephen Klein.

The Cadets added to their lead at the 11:37 mark of the second period, when Pelletier scored a shorthanded goal on a rebound off an assist from Niezgoda after Klein made an initial save on a breakaway.

Middlebury responded less than a minute later pulling to within one (3-2) when Evan Neugold scored his fourth of the season with assist from Vincent Gisonti. Neugold wristed a high, hard shot over the shoulder of NU goalie Braeden Ostepchuk.

Norwich's Mitch Byrne answered less than a minute later to give the Cadets a two-goal lead again with his first career goal. Byrne one-timed a slap shot from the high slot that beat Klein low-glove side off a pass from Pelletier.

Norwich increased its lead to 5-2 early in the third period at the 4:05 mark when Niezgoda tipped home a beautiful set-up from Robertson and Cody Smith. Pelletier won a face-off back to Robertson, who fed Smith before he ripped a low shot toward the net that Niezgoda deflected into the top right corner of the net.

Middlebury closed the scoring at the 5:55 mark when Jake Charles tallied his fourth goal to cut the deficit back to 5-3.

Ostepchuk made 19 saves for Norwich to earn the victory, while Klein made 20 saves for Middlebury. The Cadets held a narrow 25-22 advantage in shots.