By Dave Leaderhouse
It is often said defence wins championships and the NCAA’s Division III Norwich Cadets can thank the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for their strong blueline brigade as a quartet of former rearguards from the SJHL helped them win their fourth national championship on the weekend.
Throw in a solid forward and a top-notch netminder and the Cadets had a bevy of SJHL talent on their roster.
Patrolling the Cadets’ blueline this season were David Robertson (Estevan 2012-15), Alec Brandrup (Melville 2013-14), Josh Cronin (Weyburn 2014-16) and Jake Erickson (Battlefords 2013-15).
Up front, long-time Notre Dame player Ian Williams (2012-16) played a key role in helping secure the title as he scored the overtime winner in the Cadets’ semi-final victory over Adrian College on Friday.
Williams’s teammate in Wilcox in 2012-13, netminder Ty Reichenbach, also had a prominent role in securing the title as he stopped 35 of 36 shots in the 4-1 victory over Trinity College in the championship final on Saturday.
Enroute to the championship the Cadets won 25 straight games, a program record, and it was their first title since 2010.