Heartbreaking loss costs men’s hockey team 2013 ECAC title

Hundreds of students and Norwich fans rocked Kreitzberg Arena this past weekend to watch the men’s hockey team face both Castleton and Babson colleges.


On Friday, March 1, the Cadets continued their dominance with another appearance in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship, taking a 6-2 victory over their bitter in-state rival, the Castleton State Spartans.

Junior forward Shane Gorman enjoyed his first career post-season goal during the 2013 playoffs. He said that the win was the resulf of the hard work put in all year, starting from offseason workouts.

Gerard McEleney outraces a defender in the semi-final game against Castleton in the ECAC East tournament playoffs at Kreitzberg. Norwich won the game, 6-2. (Thomas Carson Photo)

Gerard McEleney outraces a defender in the semi-final game against Castleton in the ECAC East tournament playoffs at Kreitzberg. Norwich won the game, 6-2. (Thomas Carson Photo)

“This win was nice but we still have our main goal, to be national champions and we will continue to work and play one game at a time,” Gorman said.

The cadets have skated to the Frozen Four several times in recent years, coming extremely close to the national title. They have won three national championships since 2000, coached by Mike McShane who brings an impressive resume to the ice as one of just nine NCAA hockey coaches to boast over 600 career wins.

“He is a great coach,” said Gorman. Having a great coach is crucial to any sport and having this experience can help propel the Cadets into the national title.

James Cejka, a junior and linebacker in footbale swung by Friday’s game to cheer the Cadets on. “I went to show my support. I have bad taste in my mouth for Castleton from football. They are our clear- cut rivals. I think every Norwich team feels that way, so it was nice to see that we were winning when I went to the arena,” he said.

Senior forwards Blake Forkey and Kyle Thomas, helped guide the Cadets past the Spartans. Thomas had three assists and Forkey scored two goals.

The Cadets hit the ice again on Saturday for the finals against Babson College. Despite Norwich’s better record, during the past four consecutive games versus Babson, Norwich has not taken home a win.

The Babson Beavers relied on stellar goaltending to defeat Norwich once again, winning  2-1. Although Norwich doubled Babson’s shots on goal, the Beavers’ senior goalie, Zeke Testa, made 39 saves, including 20 in the high-intensity third period.

Norwich’s junior forward, Travis Janke, scored the only Norwich goal 3:02 into the game. The Cadets completely dominated, but were unable to get anything further by Testa.

Although the loss broke Norwich’s run of three straight ECAC East Tournament Titles, the season is not over. The Cadets received an at-large bid in the 11-team NCAA Tournament field, and will continue to compete in the national playoffs on March 9, against either Babson or Wentworth.

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