BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Kevin Salvucci (Plymouth, Mass.) scored three times, including the go-ahead goal at 14:28 of the third period as No. 12 USCHO.com/No. 13 D3hockey.com Norwich University defeated Babson College, 5-3, in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action on Friday night at the Babson Skating Center.
Babson, which entered the night just two points behind the Norwich, falls to 10-8-2 overall and 8-4-1 in league play, while the Cadets improve to 13-5-1 overall and 10-2-1 in the NEHC.
Senior Matt McMorrow (Pearl River, N.Y.) finished with a goal and an assist, while classmate Ryan Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass.) and sophomore Connor Dahlman (Stamford, Conn.) each scored once for the Beavers. Seniors Rob Devaney (Reading, Mass.), Jake Donahue (Groveland, Mass.), Bobby Hall (Westwood, Mass.) and Charlie Ackerman (Bradenton, Fla.), and junior Tommy Munichiello (Weymouth, Mass.) all produced an assist in the loss.
Junior netminder Bryan Botcher (Mequon, Wis.) made 27 saves in his first defeat of the season for the Green and White.
Senior Connor Evangelista (Wakefield, Mass.) and first-year Kale Kane (Kahnawake, Quebec) each scored, while senior Payton Baldillez (Arlington, Texas) chipped in with two assists for the Cadets. Senior goaltender Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) turned away 32 shots to earn his ninth win of the season.
Babson got on the board first on McMorrow's goal 9:29 into the contest. Ostepchuk made back-to-back saves on Munichiello but McMorrow poked home the rebound for his fourth goal of the season.
Norwich pulled even on Salvucci's rebound goal on the power play at 18:23 of the first, and then took the lead just 45 seconds into the second period when Kane beat Botcher with a wrist shot from the right face-off circle. The visitors extended the margin to 3-1 at 3:03 of the third as part of a five-minute power play when Evangelista notched his second goal of the season with a blast from the right point.
The Beavers responded though, taking advantage three straight penalties by Norwich to tie the game with a pair of power play tallies. Dahlman scored on a 5-on-3 power play with a blast from the top of the left circle to make it 3-2 at the 8:50 mark, and Gouveia beat Ostepchuck with a wrist shot from right circle at the end of another power play to pull even at 11:15 of the third.
The Cadets went back in front for good just over three minutes later on Salvucci's second goal of the night. First-year Carter Cowlthorp (Boissevain, Manitoba) won an offensive-zone face-off and fed Salvucci, who beat Botcher with a one-timer for a 4-3 lead.
Babson, which pulled Botcher for an extra skater with 1:55 remaining, narrowly missed a chance to tie the game again when Munichiello's shot from the slot hit the right post with less than 30 seconds to go before Salvucci completed his hat trick with six seconds left.
Both teams return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. as Babson hosts Castleton, while Norwich visits UMass Boston.
• The Beavers are now 24-41-7 all-time against Norwich.
• Friday's loss marks just the third time in 13 games this season that Babson has lost when scoring at least three goals.
• The Green and White is now 4-2-2 against nationally-ranked foes at home going back to 2016.
• Prior to Friday, the Beavers had not allowed two power play goals in a game since a 3-3 OT tie at Hobart on October 29, 2016.