Craig Norwich

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Craig Richard Norwich (born December 15, 1955 in Edina, Minnesota) is a retired professional ice hockey player. Norwich led the Edina East High School hockey team to the prestigious Minnesota State High School League Hockey Tournament three times, including captaining the 1974 championship team. In college, Norwich became the first (and only) defenseman in NCAA history to lead his team in scoring and win the NCAA Championship in the same season. As a professional he played in 145 games with the Cincinnati Stingers of the World Hockey Association and 104 games in the National Hockey League with the Colorado Rockies (NHL), Winnipeg Jets, and St. Louis Blues.

Norwich played three years at the University of Wisconsin. After scoring 45 points in 38 games as a freshman in 1974-75, Norwich was chosen 142nd overall by the Montreal Canadiens at the Amateur Draft. He finished with 168 career points during his college career and was named to the WCHA second all-star team in 1976 and the first team the next year. After helping the Badgers win the NCAA title in 1977, he was named to the championship tournament all-star team.

The talented blueliner opted to join the Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA where he could play regularly rather than try to break into the Habs' deep roster. He scored 87 points in two years for Cincinnati and was a member of the US team that finished sixth at the 1978 World Championships.

On June 9, 1979, Norwich was claimed by the Winnipeg Jets in the WHA Dispersal Draft. He remained with the team when it joined the NHL in 1979-80 and was an offensive force from the blueline. A highlight for him that season was scoring two goals when the Jets earned their first NHL win, 4-2 over the Colorado Rockies. Norwich registered 45 points and scored seven power play goals on the fast-skating Jets. Prior to the 1980-81 season, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues for defensive forward Rick Bowness. He scored 16 points in 23 games for his new club then was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies. He averaged over a point per game in Denver then joined the US squad that finished fifth at the 1981 World Championships.

Norwich battled injuries and played exclusively in the AHL during the 1981-82 season. He then chose to explore his options in Europe with the Gardena Finstral club of Italy where he averaged over three points per game. He later suited up for Lausanne in Switzerland before returning to Italy with Groden and HC Fassa and played with Innsbruck, Austria in 1987-88, then Lake Como in Italy retiring in 1990 after winning the Italian Championship with Como.

From 1990 to 1996, Norwich was the Director of Hockey and Head Coach at Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, MN. After leaving Shattuck, he moved to Vail, CO to become the Director of Hockey and Head Coach of the Vail AAA Hockey Program. Norwich was the Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach of the boys Varsity hockey team at St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, MN, from 2005 until he resigned in January 2010. Norwich has also coached with the LA Junior Kings, the Minnesota Rockets AAA, and Team Midwest Tier One Hockey Program.

Career stats:

Selected by Houston Aeros round 13 #213 overall 1974 WHA Amateur Draft

Selected by Montreal Canadiens round 8 #142 overall 1975 NHL Amateur Draft

                                           --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM


1974-75 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 38 11 34 45 24 1975-76 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 32 13 27 40 66 1976-77 U. of Wisconsin WCHA 44 18 65 83 70 1977-78 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 65 7 23 30 48 -- -- -- -- -- 1978-79 Cincinnati Stingers WHA 80 6 51 57 73 3 0 1 1 4 1979-80 Winnipeg Jets NHL 70 10 35 45 36 -- -- -- -- -- 1980-81 Fort Worth Texans CHL 8 0 4 4 6 -- -- -- -- -- 1980-81 St. Louis Blues NHL 23 4 12 16 14 -- -- -- -- -- 1980-81 Colorado Rockies NHL 11 3 11 14 10 -- -- -- -- -- 1981-82 Springfield Indians AHL 28 5 9 14 26 -- -- -- -- -- 1984-85 Adirondack Red Wings AHL 16 4 7 11 16 -- -- -- -- --


        WHA Totals                        145   13   74   87  121   3   0   1   1   4
        NHL Totals                        104   17   58   75   60

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
All-WCHA Second Team 1975–76
AHCA West All-American 1975–76
All-WCHA First Team 1976–77
AHCA West All-American 1976–77
All-NCAA All-Tournament Team 1977 [1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NCAA Frozen Four Records". NCAA.org. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 

External links[edit]