Men’s Hockey Falls to Norwich in PrimeLink Consolation Game

Jimmy McKee assisted on the Panther goal during Saturday's game.
Jimmy McKee assisted on the Panther goal during Saturday's game.

Norwich scored three goals in the second period on its way to a 5-1 victory over Middlebury in the consolation game of the 20th Annual PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut on Saturday in Kenyon Arena. The Panthers (0-4-0) return to the ice Friday in a NESCAC contest at Connecticut College, while Norwich (5-3-1) travels to Castleton on the same day. Saturday's contest was the 153rd all-time meeting between the two programs, with Middlebury owning an 80-64-9 advantage.

Norwich got on the scoreboard at 9:05 of the first on a power-play opportunity. Alec Brandrup fed a quick pass from the middle of the ice to Kale Kane inside the right circle, who lifted a wrist shot over the shoulder of Middlebury goalie Brian Ketchabaw. The Panthers evened the score at the 14:38 mark when Michael Fahie tipped in a deflected shot by Jimmy McKee. Norwich nearly took the lead in the final minute on a two-on-one opportunity, but a shot by Coby Downs was saved by the body of Ketchabaw.

Both teams produced early pressure in the middle stanza, but none of the chances found the back of the net. Norwich jumped ahead for good at the 6:31 mark when Jordan Hall skated up the right side and shoveled in an attempt on the right post. A little over three minutes later, Taeron Lewis put the Cadets up 3-1, collecting a loose puck in front and lifting just under the crossbar. David Robertson gave Norwich a three-goal advantage on the power play at 13:32, rifling a shot from the right point that snuck inside the far post.

Scoring chances were hard to come by for both teams in the final period. Norwich added to its lead at the 14:17 mark following a Panther miscue in its defensive zone. Hall jumped on a loose puck, directing a pass toward the blueline that Brandrup wristed inside the left post.

The hosts had a good scoring chance with less than two minutes remaining, but Mark McLellan was denied on the doorstep by Tom Aubrun.

Ketchabaw finished with 13 saves in 33:32 of action for the Panthers, while Stephen Klein had 15 stops in the final 26:28 of play. On the other end of the ice, Aubrun made 26 stops for the Cadets. Norwich held a 33-27 advantage in shots, as Middlebury was 0-3 with the extra skater and Norwich went 2-5 on the power play.

2017 PrimeLink All-Tournament Team
#4 Connor Evangelista - Norwich
#25 Michael Fahie, Middlebury
#19 Nick Felan, Lawrence
#15 Ayrton Valente, Plattsbugh
#21 Austin Frank, Lawrence
#33 Lawson Fenton, Plattsburgh, Top Rookie
#19 Cam Owens, Plattsburgh, MVP