Green Knights Hang On and Advance In NCAA Division III Tournament With First-Round Win Over Adrian

From Sports Information Director, March 10, 2010 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GREEN BAY - St. Norbert College advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament for the eighth time in nine years with a hard-fought 4-3 win over Adrian College in a first-round game at the Cornerstone Community Center.

The Green Knights improved to 22-3-3 with the win, and will face Gustavus Adolphus College (20-6-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday in a national quarterfinal game at the Cornerstone. Adrian, making its first NCAA Tournament appearance, finished 24-4.

St. Norbert built a 4-1 lead but had to withstand a late Adrian flurry to advance. Adrian cut the deficit to 4-2 when Mike Dahlinger put home a rebound on a power play with 10 minutes 47 seconds gone by in the second period. That score held up until there was 3:41 remaining in the game when the Bulldogs' Mike Towns had the puck bounce off his shoulder in front of the net for a goal.

Adrian pulled goaltender Brad Fogal with 55 seconds remaining, but did not get a quality look with the extra attacker. There was a face-off in the St. Norbert defensive zone with 5 seconds left, but the Green Knights won the draw and ran out the clock.

After Adrian's Chris Stansik opened the scoring with a low far post shot from the right circle at 10:14 of the first period, St. Norbert's offense got rolling. Cody Keefer's wrister from the right slot squared the game at 1-1 at the 17:52 mark of the first.

Dustin Walz's blast from the blue line for his first goal of the season put St. Norbert ahead 2-1 at 2:07 of the second. Matt Boyd answered 1:14 later when he finished off a pretty passing combination with assists from Tyler Allen and Shane Wheeler. Brandon Longley then found himself in the right place at the 8:56 mark, when a centering pass from Mike Bernardy found Longley's chest-level stick and was redirected in for a 4-1 lead.

The Green Knights dodged a major bullet midway through the third period when they had to kill off a 5-on-3 Adrian power play. St. Norbert's Dylan Exton was called for elbowing at 8:52, and Dustin Walz followed with a crosscheck at 9:49. The Green Knights killed the first penalty and then Adrian's Dahlinger was slapped with an interference penalty at 11:12 to send the action to 4-on-4.

St. Norbert, which had two assists from Alain Joanette, outshot Adrian 31-19, and held a 4-3 shots edge in the third period. B.J. O'Brien made 16 save for St. Norbert, which was 0-for-3 on the power play.

Adrian was 1-for-3 on the power play. Fogal made 27 stops for the Bulldogs, including 14 in the first period.