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Green Knights Claim at Least Share of NCHA Regular-Season Title

From Sports Information Director, February 19, 2016 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College claimed at least a share of its 15th Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship in 22 seasons with a 4-0 win over Milwaukee School of Engineering at Cornerstone Community Center.

The Green Knights (21-2-2, 17-2-1 NCHA), ranked No. 1 in the USCHO.com and D3hockey.com Division III polls, can still win the Peters Cup outright if Adrian College ties or loses at College of St. Scholastica Saturday. If Adrian wins, the Bulldogs will share the regular-season crown with the Green Knights and claim the No. 1 seeding for the upcoming NCHA Harris Cup Playoffs.

St. Norbert will host a Harris Cup Playoffs semifinal series next weekend at the Cornerstone. The Green Knights, who have earned a first-round bye, will find out its opponent late Wednesday night. The series is a best-of-two-games affair, with the winner advancing to the Harris Cup championship game March 5.

Following a scoreless first period, the Green Knights took the lead for a good on a historic play early in the second frame. While on the power play, a St. Norbert flurry led to a pile of bodies in front of the net. MSOE's Zach Simpson was assessed a delay of game penalty for covering the puck in the crease and St. Norbert was awarded a penalty shot 31 seconds into the period.

Michael Hill converted the penalty shot to give St. Norbert a 1-0 lead. It was the first penalty shot ever attempted in a men's collegiate game in the 16-year history of the Cornerstone Community Center, a span of 254 games.

St. Norbert went on a five-minute power play at the 7:31 mark of the second period, with Erik Cooper cashing in at 8:09 for a 2-0 lead. It was Cooper's 17th consecutive game scoring a point, matching the St. Norbert record set by Maris Ziedins in 2001. Cooper scored in 24 of the 25 regular-season games this season.

The Green Knights put the game out of reach in the third period. Ross Pavek scored a power-play goal at 10:52 and Pijus Rulevicius scored at 19:15 for the game's final markers.

Hill added an assist on Cooper's goal for a two-point game.

St. Norbert outshot MSOE 28-12, including a 16-5 margin in the second period. Tony Kujava made all 12 saves to earn the shutout for the Green Knights, while Nick Kohn made 24 stops for the Raiders.

St. Norbert was 2-for-8 on the power play, while MSOE was 0-for-2.