George Commo’s Blog – Sunday 2-16-14
“I can’t believe they bleepin’ did it” …. that somewhat colorful comment from their play by play voice … you know the guy, he often writes in this space … describes it about as well as anything can. The Norwich University men’s hockey team won their 16th consecutive ECAC East regular season championship over the weekend. Norwich went into the final two games of the season trailing first place Babson by three points. They needed to beat the Beavers head to head on Friday night … beat UMass-Boston on Saturday … AND get some help from their travel partners, the St. Michael’s Purple Knights. Well all three elements happened. Norwich played a near perfect game in beating Babson and their goaltender Jamie Murray on Friday night 1-0 in a classic . Then on Saturday they came out a little tired and flat, fell behind 2-0 to UMB, but rallied to win 5-3 … learning in the third period that St. Mike’s had scored late in the third at Cairns Arena and had tied Babson. And there it was … just like they drawn it up on the board. Technically Norwich shares the title with Babson … both teams finish with 28 points … but the Cadets beat Babson twice … 1-0 at Fenway Park …. 1-0 at Kreitzberg…. so they get the top seed in the upcoming playoffs. Those playoffs will be a new challenge. This year unlike any time before in the 16 year run, the league is really balanced. There will be upsets in the playoffs, and Norwich will need to be fully aware of that going in. But what this very young Norwich team … a speedy and skilled club but also one not filled with the natural goal scorers they have often had in the past … was able to accomplish this weekend, was really amazing.
Oh, and they owe a big thank you to St. Mike’s! After a horrible start the Purple Knights ended the regular season 5-3-2 over their last ten games and gave Norwich they point they needed yesterday. It will be fun to see what the Knights can do in Northeast-10 tournament.
… I hope UVM Hockey fans are not burying the Catamounts after getting swept by BC over the last two nights … Hey no one else has beaten BC since November either…. meanwhile congrats to Jim Plumer and the Vermont women for securing their first ever home Hockey East playoff game with their win yesterday over UNH.
… Another blowout win for the Hoop Cats yesterday at Patrick Gym … this is an exciting club and they are packing them in at Patrick Gym and deservedly so … but I still think it is too bad some of those hoop fans haven’t found their way over to the Ross Sports Center where the St. Michael’s men are now 17-6 after rallying from 13 down yesterday to win against always tough Bentley.
… And while I was as excited as any American hockey fan watching T.J. Oshie go off for all those shootout goals in Team U-S-A’s win over Russia yesterday in Sochi, I’ve got to say I don’t like the idea of you being able to use the same shooter over and over AND over in a shootout. But I’ll still take the win.