Men's Ice Hockey

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

Game Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 1/1 Norwich

Game Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 1/1 Norwich

Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 1/1 Norwich
Friday, February 3—7 p.m.
Babson Skating Center—Babson Park, Mass.


Babson and Norwich will meet for the 70th time on Friday night in a series that dates back to the 1975-1976 season. The Beavers are 24-39-6 all-time against the Cadets with the teams having split their last four games.

Senior Tyler Piacentini broke a scoreless deadlock at 16:17 of the third period and then tacked on a late empty net goal to help Norwich defeat Babson, 2-0, on December 3 in Northfield, Vt. Classmate Ty Reichenbach made 18 saves for the Cadets, while sophomore Matt Pompa turned away 23 shots for the Beavers.

Junior Rob Devaney finished with two goals and one assist and Jamie Murray '16 made 24 saves as the second-seeded Beavers defeated third-seeded Norwich, 5-0, in an NEHC Tournament semifinal on February 27, 2016, in Babson Park. Senior Michael Phillips and juniors Charlie Ackerman and Ryan Gouveia all scored once for the Beavers, who broke the game open with three third-period tallies.

No. 1 1 Norwich (19-1-2, 14-1-0 NEHC) extended its unbeaten streak to 16 and captured its 18th league regular season title in the last 19 years with a 7-5 win over Skidmore on Saturday. Senior William Pelletier recorded three assists and was one of seven different players to score for the Cadets, who went 4-for-5 on the power play. Pelletier (12-16-28) is third in the league in scoring, junior Kevin Salvucci (13-13-26) is tied for second in Division III with seven power play goals and senior Cody Smith leads the country with 26 assists. Reichenbach and junior Braeden Ostepchuk have combined to a post a 1.80 goals against average to go along with a .922 save percentage and five shutouts this winter.

Babson (12-7-2, 9-4-1), which is receiving votes in both national polls, extended its unbeaten streak to five with a 2-1 victory at Southern Maine on Saturday. Phillips scored on the power play late in the first period and junior Matt McMorrow notched the go-ahead goal at 12:03 of the second period for the Beavers, who got 22 saves from sophomore Bryan Botcher. Sophomore Tommy Munichiello (8-11-19) has three game-winning goals and has scored four times on the power play, Devaney (6-11-17) has contributed three power play tallies and Phillips (5-11-16) is tied for the team lead in assists. Pompa and Botcher have combined to post a 1.98 goals against average to go along with a .932 save percentage and two shutouts on the year.

Friday's contest marks the seventh time since 2012 that the Beavers will face the nation's top-ranked team with all of the games coming against Norwich. The Green and White is 2-4-0 in the previous six matchups with both victories coming during the 2012-13 campaign.

Babson, which has allowed just five goals over its last five games and recorded three shutouts in eight January contests, enters the weekend ranked eighth in Division III in scoring defense allowing just 2.00 goals per outing. Despite giving up five goals in Saturday's win over Skidmore, the Cadets rank fourth nationally in team defense with a 1.82 goals against average.

The Beavers, who average the second fewest penalty minutes in Division III (8.29) have successfully killed off 25 of their last 26 penalties over the last 10 games. Overall, the Green and White enters the weekend tied for seventh in the country on the penalty kill with a 88.2 percent success rate.

Following a five-game road trip that included games in five different states, Babson returns to the Babson Skating Center, where it has gone 19-3-1 since the start of last season. The Green and White has outscored its opponents 79-36 during that stretch, which a 28-15 margin in nine games this season.

The Beavers are 6-2 this season in games decided by a single goal.