Furious St. Norbert Rally Leads Green Knights to NCHA O'Brien Cup Championship

From Sports Information Director, March 2, 2013 | Women's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

RIVER FALLS - St. Norbert College pulled off one of the most stunning rallies in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association O'Brien Cup Playoffs history when it claimed a pulsating 3-2 overtime win over UW-River Falls in the championship game of the league's post-season tournament at Hunt Arena.

The Green Knights (18-9-2) clinched the NCHA's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament, which starts Saturday, March 9. Tournament bids will be announced by the NCAA Monday morning. River Falls (21-6-2) lost to St. Norbert for the first time but is expected to receive an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.

St. Norbert trailed 2-0 with 2 minutes left in regulation. With 1:25 remaining, St. Norbert coach Rob Morgan pulled goaltender Kaley Gibson. Four seconds later, Stephanie Slinde tallied the extra-attacker goal with Zoe Kurth assisting. Gibson reentered the game and then left again for the extra attacker with 52 seconds left.

The Green Knights registered the equalizer with just 11 seconds remaining, when Henriette Ostergaard scored her 15th goal of the season with Slinde assisting to force overtime.

River Falls had most of the possession in overtime, but Gibson stood tall to make seven saves in the extra session and 31 for the game. St. Norbert tallied the game-winning goal on Karissa Anderson's drive with 12:38 elapsed in the extra session, with Tarraneh Dadgar assisting.

The historic win comes in just the third year of women's hockey for St. Norbert College. The Green Knights have now won nine straight games and 13 of their last 14.

River Falls held a 33-28 shots advantage, but St. Norbert had a 9-5 edge in the third period. Ashley Kuechle made 25 saves for the Falcons. St. Norbert was 0-for-3 on the power play, while River Falls was 0-for-2.