The Norwich men’s hockey team took a hot streak and a number one ranking into the NCAA DIII tournament.
The only problem is they never got to play a game.
The Cadets’ playoff push came to a screeching halt on Thursday, along with so many sports shut down due to Coronavirus precautions.
“You could kind of see the writing on the wall and I don’t think any of us knew exactly where it was. We kind of thought we had a victory on Wednesday, when they announced we’d be playing but with no fans,” Norwich men’s hockey head coach Cam Ellsworth said. “But when the NBA domino fell, we knew it was just a matter of time.”
Ellsworth and his team found had a practice in the morning, and found out later in the afternoon. Norwich women’s head coach Sophie Leclerc found out during practice.
“I blew the whistle, called them in, and I couldn’t get the words out,” Leclerc said. “It felt like time had slowed down, and it was by far the hardest thing I’d ever had to deliver.”
Somber moments aside, both teams made history at various points in the season.
Notably, Norwich senior Tom Aubrun ended the season with nine consecutive shutouts, which is an NCAA record across all divisions. Aubrun finished with Division III bests in career save percentage (.946), career goals against average (1.27), shutouts in a season (13) and consecutive shutout minutes (572:31).
On the women’s side, senior forward Amanda Conway shattered team records for goals (116) and points (188). Conway also finished her career third in DIII history in goals, goals per game (1.04), tied for fourth in points, and sixth in points per game (1.69).