Game Preview: Ice Hockey at Norwich--NCAA Quarterfinals--3/9/13

ICE HOCKEY at NORWICH—NCAA QUARTERFINALS
Saturday, March 9
Kreitzberg Areana—Northfield, Vt., 7:00pm

WHAT'S AT STAKE: Babson and Norwich will meet on Saturday night with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. The Beavers are in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the first time since 2007 and are seeking their Frozen Four appearance since 1991. Norwich is a win away from earning its 11th trip to the Frozen Four and its fifth in the last six seasons. The winner of Saturday night's contest would meet either Adrian College or Oswego State University next Friday in Lake Placid, N.Y.

THE SERIES: Norwich and Babson will meet for the 59th time on Saturday, and fourth time this season, with a trip to the Frozen Four on the line. The Cadets hold a 31-21-6 advantage all-time but the Beavers are unbeaten in their last four games against Norwich (2-0-2) and are looking for a third win in Northfield this season.

POSTSEASON HISTORY: Saturday's contest will mark the 11th postseason meeting between the two teams and the third in NCAA Tournament play. Babson is 3-7 against Norwich in the postseason which includes a 2-1 triumph last Saturday night in the ECAC Tournament Championship Game. Both of the previous NCAA Tournament meetings came in 1983, when the two squads split a two-game first-round series before Babson scored in an extra overtime session to advance to the National Semifinals.

LAST MEETING: Senior Trevor Hines and first-year Jared Wiedemann scored 90 seconds apart midway through the first period and senior Zeke Testa made 20 of his 39 saves in the third period as Babson earned its first ECAC East title since 2009 with a 2-1 win last Saturday in Northfield, Vt. Testa was selected as the ECAC East Tournament Most Valuable Player after making 69 saves in two games on the way to the championship. 

LAST NORWICH WIN: Sophomore Andrew Bonazza scored just 6:24 into the opening period but after Shane Gorman tied the game just under six minutes later the Cadets broke the deadlock, scoring three times in the second period, including a pair of Doug Lindensmith power play goals, to claim a 4-1 win on January 13 at historic Fenway Park in Boston.

SCOUTING THE CADETS: Norwich (No.2 USCHO.com/No.2 D3hockey.com) is making its sixth NCAA Quarterfinal appearance in the last seven years after winning the ECAC East regular season title and earning an at-large bid to this years championship. The Cadets are led by senior Colin Mulvey, the ECAC East Player of the Year, and junior Travis Janke who have each scored 37 points this season. Mulvey has scored a team-high 19 goals, including nine game-winners, and is second on the team with 18 assists while Janke has scored 15 times to go along with a team-high 22 assists. Senior Tory Allan is third in scoring with 10 goals and 21 assists, classmate Kyle Thomas has scored 10 times to go along with 15 assists, and another senior, Pier-Olivier Cotnoir, is third on the team with 12 goals while chipping in with 11 assists. Junior goalie Chris Czarnota leads the Cadets with 14 starts, going 12-1-1 and posting a .915 save percentage while leading the nation with a 1.57 goals against average. Norwich leads the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 1.63 goals per game and is ranked seventh nationally in offense scoring 4.04 goals per contest.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS: Babson (No. 10 USCHO.com/No.9 D3hockey.com) stormed into the quarterfinals with a 6-1 win over Wentworth in the First Round on Wednesday night. Senior Jay Haseley and junior Troy Starrett each scored twice, junior Matt Furey, classmate Connor Berto, and Bonazza all chipped in with a pair of assists and Testa stopped 19 shots to help the Beavers earn their first NCAA Tournament win since 1992. Senior PT Donato leads the Green and White with 23 assists and 27 points while Berto has scored a team-high 16 goals and is second on the team with 24 points. Sophomore Mike Driscoll and senior Ryan Smith are tied for second on the squad with 11 goals, followed by Starrett with 10, and junior Ben Kravitz is second behind Donato with 17 assists on the season. Testa, the ECAC East Goalie of the Year, has made 16 starts this season going 10-2-4 with one shutout. He is currently tied for third nationally with a .935 save percentage and his 1.84 goals against average is ranked eighth nationally. Babson ranks 12th in scoring defense, allowing just 2.17 goals per game and is third in the country in penalty killing at 89.4 percent (84-of-94).

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: By allowing just one goal in Wednesday night's win the Beavers moved to 14-0-3 this season when allowing two goals or less in a game…Babson, who is making its third trip to Northfield this season, has gone 7-0 in the state of Vermont this season.

TICKETS: Admission for the game will be $6 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and students with a valid college ID. In order to purchase tickets or reserve your seats, contact the Norwich Sales & Marketing Manager Kevin Reed at kreed1@norwich.edu or at 802-485-2880 by 4:30p.m. on Friday March, 8.

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