Men's Ice Hockey

1984 NCAA National Champions | 16 NCAA Tournaments | 6 Conference Championships

NEHC Tournament Semifinal Preview: No. 12/13 Men's Ice Hockey at No. 4/4 Norwich

NEHC Tournament Semifinal Preview: No. 12/13 Men's Ice Hockey at No. 4/4 Norwich

NEHC Tournament Semifinal
No. 12/13 Men's Ice Hockey at No. 4/4 Norwich
Saturday, February 23 | 7 p.m.
Kreitzberg Arena | Northfield, Vt.

THE SERIES
• Babson and Norwich will meet for the 75th time on Saturday night in a series that dates back to the 1975-76 campaign. The Beavers are 25-42-7 all-time against the Cadets and the teams split the regular season series.

POSTSEASON HISTORY
• Babson and Norwich will meet for the 13th time in the conference playoffs and 16th time overall in the postseason. The Beavers and Cadets have split 12 previous conference tournament matchups but not have not hooked up in the postseason since 2016.

LAST MEETING
• Junior Jordan Hall scored twice and classmate Tom Aubrun made 19 saves as Norwich defeated Babson, 4-0, on January 18 in Northfield, Vt.
• Sophomore Carter Cowlthorp and first-year Maxime Borduas also scored for the Cadets, while senior Bryan Botcher turned away 18 shots for the Beavers.

LAST BABSON WIN
• Sophomore Nick Rosa scored the go-ahead tally at 7:05 of the third period and the Beavers used four unanswered goals to rally for a 5-3 win over Norwich on November 10 in Babson Park.
• First-years Ryan Black, Zach Richterman, Cam Schmitt and Matt Wiesner all scored for Babson. Junior Todd Jackson and sophomores Ryan Boucher and Felix Brassard had goals for the Cadets.

SCOUTING THE CADETS
• Second-seeded and fourth-ranked Norwich (19-4-3) advanced to its 10th straight conference semifinal with a 1-0 victory over Suffolk last Saturday.
• Hall scored with 1:49 to go in the third period and Aubrun made 13 saves for the Cadets, who have won 11 straight games and are unbeaten over their last 15 outings.
• Brassard (9-17-26) is tied for fourth in the league in points, first-year Brett Ouderkirk (13-11-24) ranks fifth in the NEHC in goals, and sophomore Colby Downs (5-18-23) has produced 11 assists over the last seven games.
• Aubrun, who ranks fifth in Division III with a 1.65 goals against average, has gone 16-3-3 with a .928 save percentage and six shutouts.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
• No. 12 USCHO.com/No. 13 D3hockey.com Babson (17-6-3) edged sixth-seeded Skidmore, 2-1, last Saturday to reach the conference semifinals for the seventh year in a row.
• Sophomore Patrick Flynn scored twice, including the game winner at 7:10 of the third period, and Botcher matched his season high with 39 saves for the Beavers.
• Rosa (13-15-28) is third in the NEHC in points, first-year Mike Egan (12-14-26) leads all conference rookies in scoring, and Black (8-15-22) has a point in three straight outings.
• Botcher is 10-3-1 with a 1.98 goals against average and a .933 save percentage in 14 starts, while fellow senior Matt Pompa has gone 7-3-2 in 12 starts with a 3.21 GAA and a .905 save percentage.

RICE, EGAN HIGHLIGHT NEHC POSTSEASON HONOREES
• Head coach Jamie Rice was selected as the league's coach of the year, while Egan, Rosa and junior Ryan McDougall were all named to the NEHC all-conference teams on Thursday.
• Babson's first rookie of the year since Jamas LaFreniere '06 in 2003, Egan was also collected third-team and all-rookie team accolades. Rosa grabbed a spot on the first team, while McDougall joined Egan on the third team.

KREITZBERG MEMORIES
• Arguably no team in the NEHC has had more success inside Kreitzberg Arena than Babson, which captured back-to-back conference titles inside the Cadets' barn in 2013 and 2014.

COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH
• Flynn has scored five goals over the last four games and has now produced three points in three career postseason contests.
• Senior Matt Brazel contributed an assist in last Saturday's win over Skidmore and has three goals and eight assists for 11 points in eight career playoff outings.

TOURNAMENT IMPLICATIONS
• Entering the weekend, the Beavers are tied for 12th in the Division III PairWise Rankings, which are being used to select and seed the NCAA Tournament this season.
• Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Norwich, Oswego and Hobart are currently in line to receive the four at-large bids to the national tournament, while Babson slots just behind Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Adrian.

WHAT'S UP NEXT
• The winner of Saturday's semifinal clash will face either top-seeded UMass Boston or fourth-seeded Hobart in the NEHC final on March 2.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• The Beavers are 12-0-2 this winter when allowing two goals or less.

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