NORTHFIELD — The Norwich University men’s ice hockey team earned its sixth straight victory to close out the regular season with a bang Saturday.
Senior Jordan Hall notched two goals and two assists to lead the Cadets to a 6-0 victory over Suffolk at Kreitzberg Arena in New England Hockey Conference action.
Senior goalie Tom Aubrun recorded his 10th shutout of the season and 17th of his career. He made 16 saves to set the NCAA Division III record by holding opponents scoreless for 392 minutes, 40 seconds. Brett Ouderkirk had three assists, while Gabriel Chicoine and Taeron Lewis each had one goal and one assist.
Hall scored the game-winning goal for the second straight night, tucking away his eighth goal of the season at 13:03 of the first period. Lewis and Ouderkirk recorded assists.
Ouderkirk created the scoring chance with a hard forecheck, poking the puck away from a Suffolk player. Lewis corralled the puck at the bottom of the right face-off circle and centered to Hall, who was all alone in the slot and easily slipped the puck past the stick of Suffolk goalie Jarrett Bovarnick.
Norwich (21-2-2, 16-1-1 NEHC) extended the lead to 2-0 at 4:50 of the second period Chicoine scored his fifth goal of the season, thanks to assists from Hall and Felix Brassard.
Bovarnick made two saves on Hall and then robbed Brassard with a full-split pad save as the NU junior crashed the net on the weak side. The second rebound kicked out to Chicoine, who fired the puck through a crowd and into the open net before Bovarnick could recover.
Lewis scored his ninth goal of the season on a breakaway. Ouderkirk set him up after a Suffolk player couldn’t control the puck with his glove. Ouderkirk fed a pass to Lewis, who skated in down the middle and beat Bovarnick with a wrist shot that bounced off the inside of the goalie’s pad and deflected into the back of the net.
Christian Thompson and Coby Downs combined for a shorthanded goal at 16:01 of the second period to make it 4-0. After Downs was denied twice on shots by Bovarnick, Thompson cleaned up the rebound by firing the puck into an open net for his second goal of the season.
Hall capped the second-period scoring with his ninth goal of the season at 17:35. Ouderkirk created the scoring opportunity by going coast to coast with the puck and then dropping it back to Hall from the goal line after evading three Suffolk players. Hall fired the puck into the far corner to finish off a power play. Chicoine notched the secondary assist.
Philip Elgstam redirected a pass from the half boards by Alex Monteleone for his fourth goal of the season to make it 6-0 at 17:58 of the third period. Hall picked up the second assist after a cross-ice pass to Monteleone. Norwich outshot Suffolk 46-16. Bovarnick made 40 saves in the loss.
The Cadets had already clinched its 20th NEHC regular season title in the last 22 seasons. They have secured the No. 1 seed for the NEHC Tournament and will host Castleton at 7 p.m. Saturday in the quarterfinal round.