NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University men's ice hockey team opened up Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East play with a 4-1 victory on Friday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
Senior forward Gerard McEleney (Canton, Mass.) had a goal and an assist to lead Norwich (2-0-0, 1-0-0 ECAC East) to the victory. Sophomore Cody Smith (Hudson, Mass.), as well as freshmen Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.) and Alec Brandrup(Rochester, Minn.) each scored a goal too.
After a scoreless first period, which featured two highlight reel glove saves by Saint Michael's senior goalie Dave Donzanti, Norwich didn't take long to finally get on the board in the middle stanza.
McEleney scored his second goal in as many games just 2:12 into the second period when he capitalized on a Saint Michael's turnover in its own zone to beat Donzanti with a wrist shot into the right corner of the net to make it 1-0 Norwich.
Smith increased the lead to 2-0 at the 15:31 mark with a snipe into the top right corner of the net and over the glove of Donzanti off assists from McEleney and Nevin Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.)
Norwich increased its lead to 3-0 early in the third period when Salvucci scored his first career goal with a quick wrist shot off a faceoff win by Mitch Byrne (Onaping, Ontario).
Saint Michael's (1-1-0, 0-1-0 ECAC East) got one back at the 10:58 mark when Danny Divis beat NU sophomore goalie Ty Reichenbach (Billings, Mont.) with a wrist shot from the left wing off a pass from John Teulings. AJ Pieprzak also notched a second assist on the goal.
Norwich responded though at the 16:46 mark with a power play goal by Brandrup from the point off an assist from Paul Russell (Andover, Mass.) that gave the Cadets a three-goal lead again that they would hold for the remainder of the game.
Donzanti finished with 31 saves for Saint Michael's. Reichenbach made 17 saves for the Cadets in the sophomore transfer from AIC's debut in the Maroon & Gold.
Norwich improved to 42-5 all-time against Saint Michael's with the victory. The Cadets have not lost to the Purple Knights since 1951.
NU will play on back-to-back nights for the first time this season next Friday and Saturday when they host Southern Maine on Friday night at 7 p.m. in the annual Whiteout Night at Kreitzberg Arena. The Cadets will then follow up with the University of New England at 4 p.m. on Saturday.