Skidmore Skates to .500 from the Weekend: Skidmore moves to 5-3-2 after competition from Norwich and St. Michael's

Posted by Katie Peverada

Despite jumping out to an early lead just one minute and two seconds into the game, the Thoroughbreds fell to the nationally ranked Norwich University Cadets to the tune of 7-3.
Skidmore looked ready to produce an upset when Ondrej Krajnak '16 fired the first shot of the game past Norwich's Matic Marinsek to get the scoring started. This was followed up by a few nice saves from Spencer Sodokoff '15, who fought off a slap-shot from the top of the circle, stoned a Norwich skater who had blown by the defense, and stuck his leg out to prevent a wrap-around goal.
Norwich finally fought back when, 12:29 into the period, their own Travis Janke took a rebound from a Tory Allan shot and lofted it over Sodokoff's head. Norwich's Dean Niezgoda followed this up with a goal of his own when he won the puck on the sideboard, took it to the net uncontested and backhanded it in. The final goal of the first period came from Norwich's Pier-Olivier Cotnoir, whose slap shot from the top of the circle beat Sodokoff.
Skidmore overcame its three-goal lapse and quickly tied the game up at the beginning of the second period. David Limoges '15, assisted by Erik Nilsson '15 and Zach Menard '13, scored on the power play 2:44 into the period. Just 12 seconds later, Dave Dupuis '14 was fed in front of the net by Limoges and Brendan Cottam '13.
Dupuis calmly roofed the puck into the top right corner with a well-placed shot. That would be the final Thoroughbred tally, though, as the Cadets went on to score four unanswered goals. With 8:06 into the period, Norwich's Kyle Thomas took the puck in on a two-versus-one and fired the shot past the outstretched legs of Brad Cray '15, who was in for Sodokoff.
Norwich's Cotnoir would add his second goal of the game when teammate Chris Duszynski stole the puck from Skidmore near the hash mark and fed him in front of the net. The final two Norwich goals came at 14:40 and 18:45, when Norwich's Janke deflected a shot from teammate Corey Hale and when Niezgoda walked in and ripped a short-handed shot from above the circle that nicked the crossbar and went in. No. 2 Norwich moved to 6-0 in the league and 8-0 overall.
While Skidmore as a team failed to create quality-scoring chances, there were a couple of key plays to keep the Thoroughbreds in the game. Phil Buonocore '14 played a hard and physical game with some thundering body checks. Midway through the third period, Cray had a series of close-range saves to keep the game close.
On Saturday, Sodokoff led the Thoroughbred charge, stopping 19 shots to earn the first shutout of his career against the Purple Knights of St. Michael's College. Sodokoff faced two SMC power plays in the second, but a series of nice saves and timely defending helped preserve the lead. The lone goal came in the closing seconds of the first period when Menard scored the only goal Skidmore would need. Jack Even '16 and Vlad Gavrik'14 started the play with a series of quick passes, and eventually found Menard who put it past St. Michael's Dave Donzanti. Despite Donzanti's 20-save effort, the Purple Knight's fell to 1-6 in the league and 2-7 overall.
Skidmore now stands at 5-3-2 overall and 4-3-1 in the ECAC East, good for second place. The Thoroughbreds return to action away on Dec. 7 against Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont.

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