Norwich University scored three goals in the second period and the Cadets went on to a 6-2 win against the Hamilton College Continentals in a 2017 NCAA Division III Men’s Hockey Championship quarterfinal at Norwich’s Kreitzberg Arena on Saturday night.
Conor Lamberti ’17 and Jon Carkeek ’17 scored the goals for Hamilton. Evan Buitenhuis ’18 made 30 saves. The Continentals were 1-for-3 on the power play.
Kevin Salvucci led the Cadets with two goals and Ian Williams added a goal and an assist. William Pelletier picked up two helpers and Ty Reichenbach turned away 23 shots. Norwich was 1-for-2 on the power play and held a 36-25 shot advantage.
Hamilton (20-5-4 overall) was making its first appearance in the NCAA men’s hockey championship. The Continentals set a program record with 20 wins this season. Hamilton was ranked ninth in the D3hockey.com Top 15 poll and 11th in the USCHO.com Division III Top 15 poll before the NCAA championship started. The Continentals started the season by going unbeaten in its first 13 games (11-0-2).
Norwich (25-1-3) is ranked No. 1 in both national polls and extended their win streak to six games. The Cadets have an all-time record of 27-14-2 in 17 NCAA championship appearances with titles in 2000, 2003 and 2010. Norwich also reached the final in 2002. The Cadets haven’t lost in 16 home games (15-0-1) this season.
Norwich grabbed a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Christian Thompson at 9:03 of the first period just 3 seconds before the power play expired. Thompson scored his fourth goal of the season on a deflection in the slot off a slap shot taken by TJ Dockery from the blue line above the right circle. The Hamilton penalty — an interference call on Buitenhuis — was the first called on the Continentals in the NCAA postseason and came just seconds after the Cadets killed a second Hamilton power-play opportunity. The Continentals entered the evening third in Division III on the penalty kill at 89.5 percent (85-for-95).
The Continentals received the first power-play opportunity of the night 4:01 into the first when a Norwich player was sent off for slashing. It became a 5-on-3 situation 58 seconds later when another Cadet was sent to the box for elbowing. Hamilton managed two shots during the two-man advantage. The Continentals ended the period on the penalty kill as a Hamilton player was sent off for hooking with 48.6 seconds left. Norwich held a 10-8 edge in shots during the first 20 minutes.
The Continentals had a great chance to tie the score about 7:30 into the second period when a shot by Robbie Murden ’17 from above the left circle was knocked away by Ty Reichenbach’s blocker. Reichenbach was forced to make another save right away on a shot by Sterling Bray ’20 from just outside the crease on the left side.
The Cadets took a two-goal advantage at 12:16 of the second when Brian Rowland’s wrist shot from the high slot sailed high over Buitenhuis’ left shoulder. The puck seemed to be deflected by a defender right after it left Rowland’s stick.
Hamilton cut its deficit in half with 5:11 left in the second on Lamberti’s power-play goal. He took the puck near the blue line, skated around a defender and lifted a wrist shot from the left circle’s faceoff dot that went over Reichenbach’s left shoudler. The goal was the fourth this season and the eighth of Lamberti’s career with the Continentals. Murden picked up the primary assist for his 103rd career point and Neil Conway ’18 was credited with his team-high 21st assist and 29 point.
Norwich took a commanding 4-1 lead on a pair of goals 12.7 seconds apart with less than a minute remaining in the period. Salvucci scored on a wrist shot from above the left circle with 56.6 seconds to go and Williams made it a three-goal cushion on a wrist shot from inside the left circle. The Cadets finished with a 15-10 shot advantage in the second period.
Salvucci notched his second goal of the night with 5:26 left in the third period when he finished off an odd-man rush with a redirect from point-blank range. He leads the team with 20 goals and 36 points.
Hamilton pulled within 5-2 on Carkeek’s fifth goal this season and the seventh of his career for the Continentals with 3:09 remaining after a faceoff win by T.J. Daigler ’18. Anthony Flaherty accounted for the final score on an empty-net goal with 60 seconds left after he stole the puck near the Hamilton blue line and shot it from the left circle.
About the Author: