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Green Knights Claim No. 1 vs. No. 2 Battle Over UW-Stevens Point

From Staff Writer, November 19, 2016 | Men's Hockey
by Zach Herson, ,

DE PERE - St. Norbert College battled UW-Stevens Point in a showdown of the top two teams in the Division III poll at Cornerstone Community Center, with the No. 2-ranked Green Knights claiming a 5-3 decision over the No. 1 Pointers in a non-conference game.

St. Norbert and Stevens Point met for the NCAA Division III national championship in two of the last three seasons, with the Green Knights winning the 2014 title and the Pointers winning in 2016. The Green Knights are now 3-2 all-time as the No. 2 team playing the No. 1 team and are now 4-5 all-time against No. 1 in the Poll.

The Green Knights (7-1) found themselves down early when Stevens Point scored at the 1:52 mark on a goal by its leading scorer, Jacob Barber. The Green Knights responded quickly to evened it up at the 4:57 mark on a power-play goal by Pijus Rulevicius. St. Norbert took the lead at the 5:29 mark with a goal from Riley Christensen, who finished on an odd-man rush. The Green Knights continued their first-period barrage, scoring their third goal of the frame at the 14:37 mark on another power-play goal, this time from Jeremy Olinyk.

Stevens Point (6-1-1) climbed back into the game in the second period, with the Pointers' Jono Davis cutting down St. Norbert's lead to one just 40 second into the period in a 4-on-4 situation. St. Norbert answered at the 3:04 of the period off of a goal from Brad Pung, who scored by shooting the puck off the back of Stevens Point goaltender Jesse Gordichuk. Stevens Point threatened again when it scored five seconds into a major power play off an Eliot Grauer goal at 16:32.

St. Norbert scored the game's only third-period goal, a power-play goal by Roman Uchyn at 7:47. The Green Knights allowed Stevens Point only one shot on goal in the final 20 minutes.

The game was marred by 30 penalties, including 17 in the third period. Stevens Point committed 18 penalties for 44 minutes, while St. Norbert had 12 for 27. The Green Knights were 3-for-12 on the power play, while Stevens Point was 1-for-8.

Noah Nelson had two assists while Pung and Olinyk each added assists for two-point games.

T.J. Black made 14 saves for St. Norbert. Black saw his consecutive scoreless sequence end at 266 minutes 37 seconds, the third longest mark in NCAA Division III history.

Gordichuk made 22 stops for the Pointers.