NEHC CHAMPIONSHIP – Saturday, March 3
#2 Hobart at #1 Norwich – 7pm
MARSHFIELD, Mass. – Norwich University and Hobart College each survived thrilling semifinal matchups to earn a spot in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Championship game.
Norwich will host Hobart on Saturday, March 3 with the winner earning the league's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament. Norwich is looking for their 13th tournament title while Hobart is aiming to steal the crown in their first season of NEHC play.
The number one-seeded Cadets defeated University of Massachusetts Boston 6-3 in a high-octane back-and-forth battle. Scott Swanson (Wheaton Ill.) notched his first collegiate hat trick while fellow freshman forward Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) recorded a goal and three assists to pace the Cadets offense.
The Statesmen used a two goal second period to defeat Babson College, 3-2 in the other semifinal matchup. Zach Sternbach (Loudonville, N.Y.) and Jonas Toupal (Vcelna, Czech Republic) each recorded a goal and an assist to lead the Hobart offense. Senior goaltender Frank Oplinger (Sewickley, Pa.) made 25 saves in net to earn the victory for Hobart.
Hobart will take their 10-game unbeaten streak into Kreitzberg arena on Saturday as the two programs square off for the fourth time this season. The Cadets are yet to defeat the Statesmen during the 2017-18 campaign as Hobart holds the 2-0-1 edge.