Nashua – Locked in a terrific battle and tied at eight through three quarters, host Rivier saw Norwich pot five fourth-quarter scores to pull away down the stretch and keep pace in the race for first in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference with a 13-9 victory before nearly 200 patrons at wind-swept Raider Field Wednesday night.
The victory keeps the Cadets (9-5, 6-1 GNAC), now winners of six straight, a half-game in front of both Mount Ida and Lasell while the Raiders, who saw a three-game win streak snapped, slid into fourth with two games remaining.
Both squads host GNAC foes on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. with Rivier taking on Lasell, while Norwich entertains Saint Joseph's, Maine.
Joe Kelland (Watertown, Mass.) led the hosts with three goals and an assist, while Dylan McSparren (Warwick, R.I.) picked up a pair of markers. Sean Brady (Tewksbury, Mass.) chipped in with a goal and two assists.
Josh Jenkins (Centennial, Ohio) led all players with three goals and two helpers for the Cadets while Cody Moore (Canton, N.Y.) picked up four points with two goals and two helpers. Michael Cashman (E. Kingston, N.H.) potted three scores and Jack Dwyer (Shelburne, Vt.) chipped in with a pair and was 19 of 25 in the faceoff circle.
Matt Cloutman (Peabody, Mass.) registered 12 stops for the Raiders. Ian Kriger (Burlington, Mass.) picked up eight saves for the winners.
Rivier held leads of 2-0, 3-2, 6-4 and 7-6 but Norwich never trailed after back-to-back scores from Jenkins and Dwyer eight seconds apart late in the third.
The teams were tied at 2-2 after one period while Norwich led 4-3 at the half.
McSparren netted his second of the night to even things at eight with 1:52 left in the third to lead into the fourth quarter but Jenkins put the Cadets back in front 3:48 into the fourth and then a pair of Cashman goals with 10:26 and 7:14 sparking the pivotal four-goal run to put the game out of reach.
Kelland for Rivier and Dwyer for Norwich traded goals in the final minute for the 13-9 final.
Norwich finished with decisive advantages in both face offs (20-6) and groundballs (35-24) and were 3 for 5 on the man advantage while Rivier converted on 2 of 3 chances.