St. Norbert Breaks Out Offensively, Grabs Series Lead

From Sports Information Director, February 20, 2009 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GREEN BAY - St. Norbert College enjoyed a breakout offensive performance, scoring seven goals in the final two periods, to top UW-Stevens Point 8-3 in a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Peters Cup Quarterfinal Series at Cornerstone Community Center.

The 11th-ranked Green Knights (18-7-1) now just need a tie in Saturday's game to advance to the semifinal round. The Pointers (15-9-2), ranked 15th nationally, must win Saturday's game as well as a mini-game after in order to keep their season alive.

St. Norbert claimed a wild game after seeing a 2-0 second-period lead disappear. The Pointers grabbed a 3-2 lead midway through the second period before St. Norbert scored three times in the final five minutes of the frame for a 5-3 lead after two.

The Green Knights scored 55 seconds into the game when Dustin Walz would up from the high circle and found the far post for a 1-0 lead, which held up the rest of the period.

A fractured second period would see seven goals scored and a combined 4-for-6 on the power play. Sam Tikka's power-play goal 30 seconds into the period gave the hosts a 2-0 lead. Stevens Point would cash in on a pair of power-play opportunities, with Russel Law scoring at 8:28 and Travis Erstad at 10:40. Law rang one in off the post at 13:25 for a 3-2 Pointers lead.

St. Norbert charged back immediately. Steven Pratt finished off a tic-tac-toe power-play chance at 15:19 to pull even at 3-3. Jason Nopper then fired in a blast 1:10 later from just inside the blue line to beat Stevens Point goaltender Thomas Speer clean for a 4-3 lead. Tyler Allen then scored with 1:03 left in the period for a 5-3 advantage.

The Green Knights scored three more times in the third period. Matt Boyd hit Shane Wheeler on a beautiful drop pass to in front of the crease at 12:09. Allen added his second goal of the game at 12:34, and Nick Tabisz capped off the scoring at 17:17 with a backdoor finish.

Scott Pulak finished with four assists on the night for St. Norbert, while Steven Sleep, Ryan Petersen, Matt Boyd and Taylor Langford all had two helpers apiece.

St. Norbert outshot Stevens Point 34-17. The Green Knights were 2-for-5 on the power play, while the Pointers were 2-for-7.

B.J. O'Brien made 14 saves for St. Norbert. Speer made 22 saves in 52:34 of work for the Pointers, while Steve Hamilton made four saves to finish up.