St. Norbert Powers Past Norwich in NCAA Frozen Four Semifinal

From Sports Information Director, March 22, 2008 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - The beat goes on.

The St. Norbert College hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to 28 by posting a strong 3-0 victory over Norwich University in a NCAA Division III Frozen Four semifinal at Herb Brooks Arena.

The Green Knights, now 24-0-4 in their last 28 games, will make their third NCAA Division III championship game appearance. St. Norbert will face Plattsburgh State or Elmira at 4:07 p.m. EDT on Sunday for the national championship.

St. Norbert didn't waste much time taking control of the game. The Green Knights scored just 3 minutes 5 seconds into the game when Tyler Allen rode a rebound off a Steven Sleep shot past a prone Norwich goaltender David Thompspn for the game's first goal.

The Green Knights added another marker at 9:52 of the first. Marc Belanger fed a streaking Sleep in front of the net. Sleep converted the one-on-the-goaltender opportunity when he beat Thompson under his arm for the score.

St. Norbert hung on to its lead despite solid pressure from the Cadets in the second period. Norwich standout Nikita Kashirsky had a chance to cut it to 2-1 midway through the second period, but a wide-open chance at the doorstep was slightly deflected by St. Norbert goaltender Kyle Jones and into the netting to turn away the Cadets.

Norwich's Justin Wissman took a tripping penalty moments later, and St. Norbert converted on the power-play chance for the 3-0 lead. St. Norbert pressured the net heavily, and a Shane Wheeler shot rebounded to Matt Boyd, who poked home the rebound for the score.

The 3-0 lead held up despite four Norwich power plays in the third period. Jones made 11 saves in the third period, including a spectacular pirouette save about midway through the frame.

Jones registered his ninth shutout of the year and the 24th of his career, both extending NCAA Division III records.

Sleep and Allen both finished with one goal and one assist, while Belanger had two assists.

St. Norbert was 1-for-5 on the power play. The Green Knights, who own the nation's top penalty-killing unit at 91.1 percent, held the Cadets to an 0-for-6 on the power play.

St. Norbert's championship game appearance marks the 16th in the 25-year history of the NCAA Division III Tournament a team from the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association will play in the national title game.