The Gustavus men’s hockey team fell to #12 Norwich University 4-3 on Saturday night in the championship game of the Norwich Holiday Tournament in Northfield, Vermont. The Cadets never trailed due in part to the play of tournament MVP goaltender Ryan Klingensmith as he made 38 saves in the contest. Joe Welch registered two goals for the Gusties, while James Leathers assisted all three scores. David Martinson and Brad Wieck represented Gustavus on the all-tournament team.
Norwich’s DJ Fimiani scored the first goal of the game on a power play at 7:32 in the first period as Nikita Kashirsky and Emmond Bell earned the assists. The 1-0 score stood at the first intermission.
After the Cadets took a 2-0 lead two minutes into the second period, Joe Welch cut the Gusties’ deficit in half to 2-1 at 11:36 when he scored his second goal of the season as James Leathers and Eric Bigham were credited with assists. Norwich went back on top by two goals at 3-1 when Kashirsky managed to get a piece of a clearing attempt by Swartout on a Gustie power play for the short-handed goal 2:05 later. Gustavus regained some momentum before the end of the period when Bigham put in a rebound over the shoulder of Klingensmith after a shot by Leathers to pull within one goal at 3-2 on a power play at 18:38.
Both teams went back-and-forth to start the third period until Emmond Bell put the Cadets ahead 4-2 at 8:40. Gustavus was not finished though, as it capitalized on a Norwich tripping penalty when Welch scored his second goal of the game with five seconds remaining in the power play. Assists were awarded to Leathers and Ross Ring-Jarvi as the Gusties trailed 4-3 with 9:07 left in the game. Gustavus continued to pressure the Cadets and Klingensmith, and had a golden opportunity to even the score as the Gusties had a skater advantage during the last 1:35 after another Norwich penalty. Head Coach Brett Petersen pulled Swartout with :45 left, but Klingensmith came up with key saves as time expired to preserve the 4-3 victory.
Josh Swartout made 23 saves for Gustavus, while allowing four goals, as his record dropped to 4-3-0. Klingensmith, who improved to 5-1-2, stopped 38 shots and gave up three goals. The Gusties were 2-of-7 on the power play compared to the Cadets who were 1-of-2 with a skater advantage.
Gustavus, which fell to 8-5-0 overall, continues non-conference action next weekend as the Gusties host UW-Superior on Friday and St. Scholastica on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in Don Roberts Ice Rink.