BOSTON, Mass.—Senior Shane Gorman (Trumbull, Conn.) scored the game's only goal 10:11 into the third period to lift fifth-ranked Norwich University to a 1-0 victory over sixth-ranked Babson College in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East men's ice hockey action at Fenway Park as part of 2014 Citi Frozen Fenway on Thursday night.
With its fifth consecutive win, Norwich is now 10-1-2 overall and 7-0-1 in league play, while Babson drops to 11-3-0 and 5-2-0 in conference action.
After both teams came close to breaking the scoreless deadlock early in the third period it was the Cadets that finally got on the board. Senior Chris Duszynski (Okotoks, Alberta) hit sophomore Ryan Whitell (Calgary, Alberta) with a pass up the right side and Whitell was able to put a shot on net from just above the faceoff circle. Beavers' sophomore goalie Jamie Murray (Scituate, Mass.) was able to kick the puck wide, but Gorman knocked home the rebound to give Norwich the only goal they would need in front of senior goalie Chris Czarnota (Wakefield, Mass.).
Making his first start of the season, Czarnota made 21 saves to earn his 22nd career victory and seventh career shutout. He made 16 of his saves over the first two periods, and he and his teammates were able to escape three Babson power plays unscathed.
Murray was also superb in between the pipes for Babson, stopping a season-high 30 saves in defeat.
Despite being outshot 9-3 to open the first period, the Beavers had three good chances late in stanza. Czarnota denied senior Ryan Heavey (Andover, Mass.) and junior Mike Driscoll (Milton, Mass.), while senior Nik Tasiopoulos (Norwell, Mass.) missed just wide from in between the faceoff circles.
Babson outshot the Cadets 6-0 over the first 4:20 of the second period, and had a golden opportunity to get on the board midway through the frame, but a shot from Driscoll hit the pipe and was cleared out of danger. Late in the period, Murray made back-to-back saves on Gorman to send the game deadlocked at 0-0 to the final period.
Despite generating only a pair of shots on its final power play of the night, senior Ben Kravitz (Huntington, N.Y.) had the Green and White's best chance of the third period as the extra-man opportunity was ending. After gaining control of the puck in the neutral zone, he fired it on net where Czarnota deflected it off the post and away from danger at the 3:39 mark.
Murray followed it up with arguably his best save of the night, sprawling to his right to stop the wrap-around attempt of Norwich sophomore Dean Niezgoda (Brewster, Mass.) at the 7:09 of the third.
The Cadets outshot Babson 31-21 on the night, while also holding a slim 27-26 edge in the face-off circle. The Beavers, which ranked second nationally entering the game in power play efficiency, finished 0-for-3 on extra-man opportunities, while Norwich went 0-for-2 on the power play.
Both teams return to action Friday night at 7 p.m. as Babson hosts Saint Michael's College, while Norwich is at UMass-Boston.
GAME NOTES: Tonight's contest marked the second time in three years that Babson and Norwich have faced off at historic Fenway Park as part of Frozen Fenway. In 2012, the Beavers fell to the Cadets 4-1…The Green and White is now 21-33-6 all-time against Norwich, and the teams have split the last six meetings going back to the 2011-12 season…the Beavers are now 5-2 on the year in games decided by one goal…With tonight's loss, Beavers drop to 10-1 on the year when holding their opponents to two goals or less.
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