Amherst Drops Heartbreaker to No. 11 Norwich, 3-2

Jack Baer scored in the third period to tie the game at 2-2.

Courtesy Norwich University

NORTHFIELD, VT - Nikita Kashirsky scored the game-winning goal with 40 seconds remaining in the third period to lift the 11th-ranked Norwich men's ice hockey team past Amherst College, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon in front of 1,500 fans at Kreitzberg Arena.

The Cadets, who improve to 4-2-0 (3-1-0 ECAC East), squandered a 2-0 third period lead before rallying to win the game in the closing minute. The Lord Jeffs (3-2-1, 2-1-1 NESCAC) did not produce much offense through the first two periods, but came alive in the third, tying the game at the 8:38 mark of the period.

Just when it looked as though the game would go into overtime, Kashirsky took a pass near center ice, beat his defender to the right side of the net and flipped the puck past Amherst rookie goaltender Cole Anderson (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) to send the Kreitzberg Arena crowd into a frenzy.

Norwich appeared to be in control of the game, leading 2-0 early in the third period after Rick Cleaver scored a power play goal less than one minute into the stanza. To its credit, Amherst did not go away quietly, as the Lord Jeffs came back with a power play goal of their own at the 2:57 mark before netting the equalizer just minutes later. Junior Brendan Powers (Walpole, MA) tallied the first Amherst goal, while sophomore Jack Baer (Edina, MN) tied the game at 2-2.

Norwich scored the only goal of the first period at the 11:05 mark when senior defenseman Phil Sbrocchi blasted the puck past Anderson from the right point on the power play. Sbrcochi's goal was set up by passes from Rick Cleaver and Eric Ouellette. Norwich enjoyed several additional scoring chances in the first stanza, as the Cadets put 11 shots on goal in the period.

After a scoreless second period, the action started heating up in the third stanza as both teams scored twice. David Thompson earned the victory for NU between the pipes, turning away 24 of the 26 shots that he faced, while Anderson made 32 stops for Amherst.