‘Frozen Fenway’ brought excitement during winter break

Cadets take the ice at the Frozen Fenway game held over winter break at the historic stadium. The game is equal parts NU alumni reunion, hockey game and fan scene. Norwich beat Babson 1-0 on a goal by senior winger Shane Gorman.

Cadets take the ice at the Frozen Fenway game held over winter break at the historic stadium. The much anticipated game is equal parts NU alumni reunion, hockey contest and fan scene. Norwich beat Babson 1-0 on a goal by senior winger Shane Gorman.

Ben Cohen, a diehard Red Sox fan, found himself in a familiar setting at Fenway Park one chilly Thursday January night – for hockey, not baseball.

The atmosphere of the game was “very very alive, you could say it was almost like you were inside of a chaotic tornado of people,” said the 21-year-old criminal justice senior from Barnstable, Mass.

However, there was only one problem, explained Cohen: There were no Fenway franks. “Having Fenway be the host event, you know, you’d think you’d be able to get a Fenway frank,” he said.

That didn’t matter though as the Norwich University mens hockey team defeated Babson 1-0 for the second time in the past three years at Fenway, thanks to a third period goal from left winger Shane Gorman.

The 22-year-old senior communications major from Trumbull, Conn., has had great success in the past playing at Fenway, as three years ago he scored two goals against the Babson Beavers in a 4-1 win for the Cadets.

According to the Norwich University Athletic page, Gorman’s seventh goal of the season came with 10:11 left in the third period. Whitell took the initial shot, and there was a nice rebound shot by ‘Shano’, said Bryce Currier a 21-year-old junior physical education major from Essex Junction, Vt.

Bryce later joked about Gorman’s success at Fenway as being ironic, because Gorman has always been a diehard Yankees fan.

However, all joking aside, the players were aware how difficult this game could end up being. “We knew it was going to be a one-goal game the whole time,” Currier said.

In the past four years, Gorman has developed into a solid leader for Norwich hockey and has kept them very competitive. “I think in Shane’s case he showed his leadership, and he has been a great leader for this program,” said Norwich University Athletic Director Tony Mariano.

An example of Gorman’s leadership can be seen when he was asked what he has accomplished since playing for Norwich. Rather than focusing on individual awards, the forward was quick to mention the many accomplishments that Norwich has accumulated as a team, such as making it in to the NCAA Division III Final Four three times or the many tournaments and shoot-outs his team has won.

This type of attitude exhibited by Gorman and the entire mens hockey team is what draws fans such as Ben Cohen to support Norwich Hockey. Some fans came all the way from South and North Carolina to watch the game at Fenway, said Mariano.

Mike Kelly, a 20-year-old freshman communications major from Stoneham, Mass., was quick to point out that fans are very supportive at Kreitzberg and not just at Fenway. “Even here at Kreitzberg the fans are unbelievable and we have a lot of support, so to see them all come down for that was pretty cool.”

Zach McMillan, a 21-year-old senior criminal justice major drove all the way from New Brunswick, Maine, which was close to a three-hour drive to meet up with friends and watch the game.

While at the game he noticed how “there was a good showing of alumni.” McMillian thought that it was pretty cool interacting with the people who once attended the same institution as he currently does.

Mariano hopes that the many students in attendance noticed how enthusiastic the many alums were in attempt to keep the tradition of Norwich hockey going strong through ut the years to come.

The Frozen Fenway experience was very different for 21-year-old nursing senior Baylie Lamarre, who is from Tyngsboro, Mass. Lamarre has played hockey her whole life and was quick to point out how separated the fans were compared to a traditional Hockey Arena.

She said although it was a different atmosphere than she was used to, it was still an awesome time hanging out with many of her friends who traveled from very far to support the Cadets.

However, the distance between the fans within the stadium didn’t stop the many fans from cheering for their favorite team.

Cohen actually enjoyed how separated the stands were because it allowed for him and his friends to have the ability to walk around Fenway and socialize with his peers and alumni. “We were walking around, seeing people we knew, and we were able to work our way upstairs and get to see more alumni,” he said.

Not only is the Fenway experience unique to the fans but it is also a lifetime experience, explained Bryce. “It was pretty sweet, I mean it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

For Nick Pichette, a 20-year-old freshman business management major from Siena, N.Y., who plays forward for the team, it was an awesome experience to walk around the historic ballpark. “We got a great tour of Fenway, got to see basically everything except for the Red Sox home locker room.” Pichette even had the opportunity to go up on the “great big green monster” with the rest of his team.

For defenseman Cody Smith, a 21-year-old freshman communications major from Hudson Mass.. it was during the national anthem when he realized how special a moment it really was to play on Fenway. “Just during the national anthem, just looking around you’re getting chills,” he said.

It was even more special for him because his home team Red Sox won the World Series this year he later added.

Gorman got the chills “just thinking about all the Major League baseball teams that have got dressed in that locker room throughout the course of their years.” It wasn’t till after the game that he realized he had used locker number 42, which was the number of fabled relief pitcher Mariana Rivera, who was one of the “best ball players” for the Yankees.

Overall, it was an awesome experience, but “we still have many conference games left,” said Gorman. These upcoming games are going to be very crucial, since the team is “hoping to end up first, which would give us home ice throughout the playoffs.”

Throughout the year, the Cadets have really matured, as they are a younger team compared to others in the conference with 14 freshmen.

For Smith, it has been a long journey but he has achieved a lot already in his first season. “I think the biggest challenge might have been the strength and size, I think speed has been the same as juniors, but I think the strength of opponents might have been a little bit tougher to get used too.”

The future for Norwich hockey is looking very bright, the team says. “In the years to come, we are just gonna get better and better because we have so many freshman,” he said.

In the meantime though, Gorman is focused on this season at hand and thinks they have a shot at returning to the Final Four, although he acknowledges it is going to take hard work as he looks to continue to be a leader for the Norwich Cadets.

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