Double triumph sends both hockey teams to national tournament play
This past weekend brought twin victories for the women’s and men’s hockey teams, catapulting both into their national quarterfinals.
The Green Knight victories concluded in fine style the men's team's career in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). Their trophy-winning performance came in their final game as members of the league.
And, to cap off a great weekend of Green Knight athletics, Nicole Vanderlin ’16 qualified for the upcoming national high jump championship. Vanderlin, a first-year student, will compete at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Furious rally leads Green Knights to NCHA O’Brien Cup Championship
The Green Knight women pulled off one of the most stunning rallies in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association O’Brien Cup playoff history on Saturday with a pulsating 3-2 overtime win over UW-River Falls in the championship game of the league’s post-season tournament at Hunt Arena.
The Green Knights (18-9-2) clinched the NCHA’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The team will head east to face Plattsburgh State University (25-0-2) at Stafford Ice Arena in Plattsburgh, N.Y., in a national quarterfinal game set for 4 p.m. EST this Saturday.
St. Norbert trailed 2-0 with 2 minutes left in regulation. With 1:25 remaining, St. Norbert Coach Rob Morgan pulled goaltender Kaley Gibson ’14. Four seconds later, Stephanie Slinde ’14 tallied the extra-attacker goal with Zoe Kurth ’14 assisting. Gibson reentered the game and then left again for the extra attacker with 52 seconds left.
The Green Knights registered the equalizer with just 11 seconds remaining, when Henriette Ostergaard ’14 scored her 15th goal of the season with Slinde assisting to force overtime.
River Falls had most of the possession in overtime, but Gibson stood tall to make seven saves in the extra session and 31 for the game. St. Norbert tallied the game-winning goal on a drive by Karissa Anderson ’14 with 12:38 elapsed in the extra session, with Tarraneh Dadgar ’14 assisting.
Saturday’s victory is the first playoff win for the team and comes in just the third year of women’s hockey at St. Norbert College. The Green Knights have now won nine straight games and 13 of their last 14.
Men’s hockey closes out NCHA with 11th Peters Cup Championship
The Green Knight men’s hockey team closed out its final game in the current NCHA alignment by accomplishing a program first – winning the league’s Peters Cup championship on the road.
The team (23-5-1) won the Peters Cup Championship for the 11th time by topping UW-Eau Claire 3-0 in front of a record crowd at Hobbs Ice Center.
The Green Knights, the two-time defending NCAA Division III national champions, clinched the NCHA’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament, its 14th overall and 11th trip to the tournament in the last 12 years. The team earned the top seeding in the West Region of the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament for the 11th time in 12 years, and will receive a first-round bye in the 11-team tournament as a result.
St. Norbert (23-5-1) will host a national quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cornerstone Community Center. The Green Knights will face either UW-Eau Claire (20-5-2) or St. John’s University (16-7-4). The winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal will advance to the NCAA Division III Frozen Four on March 15-16 at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Meanwhile, in track and field success ...
St. Norbert first-year Nicole Vanderlin earned her high-jump berth at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championship with a leap of 5 feet 6 1/2 inches at Carthage College last Friday.
Vanderlin, one of only two freshmen to qualify for the championship meet, is one of 15 qualifiers overall. She is tied for the fifth-highest seeding at the event.