NORTHFIELD, Vt. — When the going gets tough, you look to your captain for leadership.
After dropping two consecutive and three of its last four, the Norwich men’s ice hockey busted out of its slump in a big way, downing No. 4 Bowdoin, 5-3, paced by two goals from senior captain, Chad Anderson.
Owen Carpino set the tone for the game between two top-10 ranked teams in the opening minutes by delivering a textbook open-ice check that sent Bowdoin’s Owen Smith sprawling.
Norwich freshman goaltender Parker Carroll came up with a big glove save to keep the game scoreless near the midway point of the first on shot by Kyle Hanson in the slot.
Norwich (7-4-1, 5-0-1 ECAC East) finally got on the board at the 12:49 mark of the first when Anderson showed patience by skating in from the side boards after corralling a pass from Scott Schroeder. Anderson cut across the center of the ice and waited while Bowdoin goaltender Richard Nerland flopped around anticipating a shot. With Nerland out of position, Anderson shot the puck into a wide open net to give the Cadets a 1-0 lead.
Bowdoin (7-2-0, 4-2-0 NESCAC) threatened again with 3:30 left in the period when Colin Downey sent a beautiful saucer pass to Jordan Lalor on an odd-man rush, but Lalor shot the puck wide.
Carroll came up with another big save at the 7:38 mark of the second period when he made another glove save on Downey after Bowdoin had a 2-on-1 odd-man rush.
Bowdoin finally solved Carroll though just 15 seconds later when Timothy McGarry put home a loose puck off a scrum in front of the net with Carroll out of position.
Norwich took the lead back at the 18:24 mark of the second when Tory Allan notched his first goal of the season off an assist from Shane Gorman.
Allan let go of a wrist shot in the high slot and beat Nerland stick side to give the Cadets a 2-1 lead heading into the locker room for the second intermission.
Anderson tallied his second goal of the game at the 8:55 mark of the third off a feed from Schroeder.
Just 40 seconds later, Pier-Olivier Cotnoir scored the eventual game-winning goal after he shot the puck into a wide-open net after Nerland made the initial save on Colin Mulvey’s shot but couldn’t recover to set up for Cotnoir’s shot in time.
Bowdoin cut the deficit back down to two at the 10:01 mark when Harry Matheson scored off assists from Kyle Shearer-Hardy and McGarry.
Mulvey put the game away with an empty-net tally with 30 seconds to go for his first goal of the season as well.
Bowdoin added a late short-handed goal from Daniel Weiniger with 12 seconds left to cap the scoring.
Carroll made 14 stops to pick up his first career win in the maroon and gold in his first start. Nerland turned aside 37 shots for Bowdoin and was saddled with his first loss of the season while dropping to 3-1.
Norwich outshot Bowdoin 42-17. The Cadets were 0-for-6 on the power play, while Bowdoin was 0-for-1.