St. Norbert in the Frozen Four Again With Shutout of Hamline

From Sports Information Director, March 12, 2011 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GREEN BAY - St. Norbert College advanced to the NCAA Division III Frozen Four for the seventh time in nine years with an impressive 4-0 shutout of Hamline University in a national quarterfinal game at the Cornerstone Community Center.

The Green Knights, ranked No. 1 in the final USCHO.com Division III Poll, improved to 23-4-1 overall. St. Norbert will face Norwich in a national semifinal game on March 25 at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis in a rematch of the 2010 national title game, won by the Cadets 2-1 in double overtime. Hamline saw its season end 17-7-5.

St. Norbert held a 14-8 shots-on-goal advantage in the first period but neither team scored after the first 20 minutes. The Green Knights drew first blood 5 minutes 15 seconds into the second period when Joe Perry banged home a loose puck.

That one goal would hold up for just over 26 minutes of action until St. Norbert took a 2-0 lead when Seth Soley redirected a Mike Bernardy drive for a power-play goal at 11:34 of the third period.

Just 33 seconds after that score, St. Norbert's Taylor Langford was whistled for a major contact-to-the-head penalty. The Green Knights killed off nearly two minutes of the foul when Hamline's Brett Burgau was whistled for slashing in the offensive zone at 14:04. St. Norbert cashed in on the 4-on-4 chance when Nick Tabisz's blast hit the crossbar and went in at 15:27. Scott Pulak's shorthanded empty-netter at 17:02 closed out the scoring.

The Green Knights, whose only multi-point game came from Cody Keefer's two assists, outshot the Pipers 34-21. Hamline goaltender Beau Christian made 30 saves, while St. Norbert's B.J. O'Brien picked up his fourth shutout of the year with 21 stops.

St. Norbert was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Hamline was 0-for-3.

For the second time in three years, the West Region will have two teams in the Frozen Four. Oswego State and Adrian face off in the other semifinal. Oswego joins St. Norbert and Norwich as repeat qualifiers to the Frozen Four.