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St. Norbert Opens NCAA Tournament With Win Over St. Thomas

From Sports Information Director, March 7, 2012 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

GREEN BAY - St. Norbert College won for the 10th time in its last 11 games in the NCAA Division III Tournament with a 3-1 first-round win over the University of St. Thomas at the Cornerstone Community Center.

The Green Knights (18-5-5) will face Gustavus Adolphus College (17-6-5) in a national quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cornerstone. The Gusties, who won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship, topped Milwaukee School of Engineering 3-1 in the other first-round game in the West Region.

St. Norbert survived an early onslaught from the Tommies (18-6-2), who clearly had the jump the first 10 minutes of the game by holding a 7-1 shots-on-goal advantage during that stretch. Included in that flurry was a goal by St. Thomas' Willie Rose at the 8:32 mark. St. Thomas couldn't add to the lead despite having a 5-on-3 power play for just over a minute later in the period.

The Green Knights answered in the second period when Zach McDonald took a drop pass from Cullen Bradshaw and slapped it home near post to knot the game at 1-1 at the 6:48 mark. St. Norbert pulled ahead at 16:33 on a power-play goal by Cody Keefer, who banged home his own rebound. The Green Knights' power-play goal snapped a streak of 41 consecutive killed penalties by St. Thomas.

St. Norbert got a much-needed insurance goal at 10:31 of the third period, when Keefer scored again on a rush into the Tommies' zone. Johan Ryd assisted on both of Keefer's goals to improve his team-best point total to 38.

The teams were even in shots on goal at 24-24. David Jacobson made 23 saves in his first NCAA Division III Tournament game. Drew Fielding made 21 stops for the Tommies. St. Norbert was 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Tommies were 0-for-6.

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