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.
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.