St. Norbert Holds On to Tip Gustavus Adolphus

From Sports Information Director, October 31, 2008 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

MANKATO, Minn. - St. Norbert College saw a four-goal lead nearly disappear but hung on to top Gustavus Adolphus College 7-5 in a non-conference contest at All Seasons Arena.

The Green Knights saw their unbeaten streak move to 31 games. St. Norbert, 2-0 on the season, is 27-0-4 since a 4-2 loss to Gustavus Adolphus in Green Bay on Nov. 3, 2007. This game was the Gusties' season opener.

St. Norbert led 6-2 late in the third before the Gusties pulled to within 6-5 with just under 11 minutes left. But Tyler Allen's empty-net goal with 37 seconds left iced the win for the Green Knights, the NCAA Division III's top-ranked team.

Both teams traded the first four goals of the game with St. Norbert taking a 3-2 lead after a while first period. Tyler Allen got things rollwoing at the 8:37 mark of the first with a power-play score, but Gustavus' James Leathers answered 48 seconds later to tie the score at 1-1. Taylor Langford scored at 10:03 for a brief 2-1 lead, with the Gusties' David Martinson scoring a power-play marker at 12:02. Shane Wheeler netted a goal at 16:45 of the first for a 3-2 St. Norbert lead.

Cory Harder pushed St. Norbert's advantage to 4-2 on his first goal of the season at the 6:43 mark of the second. A.J. Gale tallied his third goal of the year at 15:27, with Wheeler scoring on the power play at 16:27 for a 6-2 bulge.

Gustavus would mount a furious comeback, with Martinson scoring his second goal of the game just before second intermission. Ross Ring-Jarvi scored at 6:24 of the third and Eric Bigham followed at 9:12 for a 6-5 count. St. Norbert then had to kill off 28 seconds of a 5-on-3 situation and another 1:32 of a 5-on-4 kill but Gustavus could not draw even. St. Norbert also had to kill another penalty off inside five minutes remaining.

Gale had two assists, while Wheeler and and Allen also had helpers all for three-point nights. Matt Boyd also had two assists for the Green Knights.

St. Norbert outshot the Gusties 29-24, but Gustavus held a 7-5 shots advantage in the third period. The Green Knights were 2-for-4 on the power play while the Gusties were 1-for-8.

B.J. O'Brien made 19 saves for the Green Knights, while Josh Swartout had 22 stops for the Gusties.