Men’s Ice Hockey: Norwich Set to Host NSB Holiday Tournament for the First Time in Two Years


Men’s Ice Hockey 12/28/2022 11:59:00 AM

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – For the first time in two years Kreitzberg Arena is gearing up to host the annual Northfield Savings Bank Holiday Tournament. Last year’s edition featuring Norwich, Hamilton, Williams, and the University of New England was cancelled due to COVID-19. Meaning the most recent Holiday Tournament took place in January 2020 when SUNY Cortland defeated the Cadets in a shootout in the championship game.

The first matchup on Dec. 30 will be at 4 PM between Trinity (Conn.) and Curry. The two sides have not faced off since Nov. 27, 2010, a 6-1 Curry victory in their only meeting to date. 2010 was also the last time Curry appeared in the Holiday Tournament, while Trinity last appeared in the January 2016 edition where they took home the championship.

It’s been an up and down season for the Bantams. ranked them eleventh in their preseason poll after winning the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) last season. After a hot start to conference play, Trinity has gone 1-3 in their four games before the end of semester break, with their lone victory coming against twelfth ranked Babson on Dec. 6. Soon after, the Bantams took top ranked Hobart to overtime before ultimately falling 2-1 to close out the first half. In his first season in Hartford, sophomore forward Jax Murray has made an impact by leading the team in scoring with nine points (four goals, five assists) in their first eight games.

Unlike their opponents in the tournament opener, the Colonels have been consistent throughout the first half of Commonwealth Coach Conference (CCC) play, as they sit in third behind 7th ranked Endicott and 15th ranked University of New England. Curry split their two meetings with the Nor’easters prior to splitting two meetings with Western New England, before closing out the semester with decisive wins over Salve Regina and Nicholls. The Colonels sport a deep attack as five players average a point per game or better, headlined by senior forward Timmy Kent whose 12 assists and 17 points are both second in the CCC. Also among conference leaders is goaltender Reid Cooper who is third in both goals against average (1.89) and save percentage (.929).
The backend of the Friday doubleheader will involve eighth ranked Norwich taking on SUNY Canton. It will be the first time the two programs will do battle in addition to SUNY Canton’s first appearance in the annual event.

The Cadets last won the Holiday Tournament in December 2016 and have been a mainstay in the national rankings all season, beginning the season 11th and are currently at their highest position through this point of the season. Over the past month, Norwich has split two meetings with Plattsburgh State, tied Babson, and thrashed Southern Maine. The Cadet offense is spread throughout the lineup and play sound team defense while anchored by one of the top netminders in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) in Drennen Atherton (Winter Haven, Fla.).

Canton is unique due to their standing as one of the four Division III independent programs. This season the Kangaroos have amassed a 4-7 record. To round out the first half, they defeated SUNY Potsdam 5-2 to split the season series with the Bears, their lone victory in their last month of action. Canton’s top scorers are three forwards: sophomore Zac Sirota, sophomore Brendan Morrow, and senior Nic Herringer who all average close to a point per game.

The winners of the Friday games will face each other in the Championship game on Dec. 31 at 5 PM, while the third-place game will take place at 2 PM.