Green Knights Close Out NCHA In Style With 11th Peters Cup Championship

From Sports Information Director, March 2, 2013 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

EAU CLAIRE - St. Norbert College closed out its final game in the current Northern Collegiate Hockey Association alignment by accomplishing a program first - winning the league's Peters Cup Playoffs championship on the road.

The Green Knights (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 title extended St. Norbert's league record, and was the final game for the NCHA before the five Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools who play men's ice hockey depart the league next season.

St. Norbert, the two-time defending NCAA Division III national champion, clinched the NCHA's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament, its 14th overall and 11th trip to the tournament in the last 12 years. Eau Claire (20-5-2) is expected to receive an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament, which would be its first since 1989. The 11-team tournament field will be announced at 9 p.m. Sunday.

The Green Knights got the all-important first goal of the game when Brandon Hoogenboom scored his tenth goal of the season just 4 minutes 30 seconds into the game. Joe Perry was credited with an assist.

Chris Rial provided St. Norbert with insurance, scoring goals in each of the next two periods. Rial scored at the 16:20 mark of the second period with Cullen Bradshaw assisting for a 2-0 lead. Rial then put the game out of reach with a goal assisted by Hoogenboom at the 8:10 of the third period.

The shutout was David Jacobson's sixth of the season, matching him with Oswego State's Andrew Hare for the most in Division III this season. Jacobson turned in a 33-save effort in front of the partisan Eau Claire crowd to post the shutout.

St. Norbert outshot Eau Claire 35-33. Eau Claire goaltender Brandon Stephenson, the NCHA Player of the Year, made 32 saves. St. Norbert was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Eau Claire was 0-for-4.