Nor'easters deny #11 Norwich, 1-0, as unbeaten run reaches nine

More news about: University of New England

NORTHFIELD, Vt. -- For a third straight outing, the University of New England men's ice hockey squad knocked off a nationally-ranked opponent, this time defeating No.11 Norwich University by a 1-0 tally in the title game of the Northfield Savings Bank Tournament played Saturday evening (Jan. 6) at Kreitzberg Arena.

Ben Churchfield backstopped the shutout of the host Cadets with 42 saves, earning the Most Valuable Player distinction and improving his rookie-season ledger to 6-1-2.

Norwich gave the most efficient power-play squad in the country just one try all night, and a mere 14 seconds with the extra man was enough for Jeff Eppright to deposit the game's only goal in the waning moments of the 2nd period. Dimitris Jones fed it along the blue line to Ryan Bloom, whose shot from the point was stopped, but Eppright was right on the doorstep to scoop up the rebound and curl it around the goalie at the 18:44 mark.

Bloom and Jones both landed spots on the All-Tournament Team.

The defense surrounding Churchfield put their bodies in harms way throughout the contest, blocking a total of 21 shot attempts that didn't reach the cage. UNE also killed off all three of the Norwich power-play chances, including 42 seconds of a 6-on-4 with the goalie pulled at the finish.

After five victories against ranked programs over the first eight seasons of Big Blue hockey, the Nor'easters (10-3-2) now have three in the last five days (#6 SUNY Geneseo, 9-5 & #14 Colby, 5-3). UNE is riding a five-game winning streak and remains unbeaten (8-0-1) since mid-November.

The Nor'easters dropped the initial 14 all-time meetings with Norwich, but have come out on top in the last two -- both at Kreitzberg (also 4-3 in 2015-16).

For the reigning NCAA champions, Braeden Ostepchuk and TJ Dockery received all-tournament recognition. Ostepchuk logged 17 saves between the pipes for the Cadets (8-4-1).

UNE, which was out-shot by a combined 102-44 spread in the tournament, returns home to face Bowdoin College on Tuesday (7 p.m.).

No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.