St. Norbert Stands and Delivers to Win at River Falls

From Sports Information Director, December 6, 2008 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

RIVER FALLS - St. Norbert College needed three third-period goals to rally and top UW-River Falls in an important 4-3 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association triumph at Hunt Arena.

The Green Knights, who were in danger of falling three games behind first-place UW-Superior with eight games left to play, remained in a tie for second with UW-Stout and St. Scholastica at 4-2. St. Norbert, ranked fourth in the USCHO.com Poll, has battled a rash of injuries to stand at 10-3 overall heading into the semester break. River Falls dropped to 3-7-1 and 2-4 in the NCHA.

St. Norbert trailed 2-1 entering the third period and picked up its first win when trailing after two periods since a 3-1 win over Amherst on Dec. 30, 2007.

The Green Knights' Sam Tikka scored his first goal of the season 4 minutes 43 seconds into the third period to tie the score at 2-2. Tyler Allen followed at 6:25 with a power-play goal for a 3-2 lead that set up some interesting moments down the stretch.

River Falls knotted the game at 3-3 when Ben Beaudoin's shot hit the crossbar and dropped straight down to the goal line. The goal light did not turn on, but the officials counted the goal at 7:56.

The game continued tied until there was 4:42 left to play when Scott Pulak's drive to the net resulted in the goal light being turned on but not seen by the officials. Following a conference, the goal counted and St. Norbert hung on for a badly needed road victory.

Steven Sleep added his first goal of the season on a first-period power play, while River Falls' two second-period goals came from Derek Hansberry and Tyler Czuba. Shane Wheeler had a pair of assists for St. Norbert.

The Green Knights were whistled for just three penalties and were 2-for-6 on the power play. St. Norbert held a 37-33 shots on goal advantage.

B.J. O'Brien made 30 saves in the the game to improve to 6-1 on the season. Stephen Ritter made 33 saves in the loss for the Falcons.