The last time the Falcons and Green Knights faced off was in the semifinals of the NCHA Peters Cup Playoffs in Green Bay. St. Norbert was victorious 6-3.
Starting in net for the Falcons was sophomore goaltender Scott Lewan. Lewan entered the matchup undefeated on the season with four victories, including two back-to-back shutouts against Finlandia to begin the season.
Starting at goaltender for St. Norbert was Travis Bosch.
Scoring the first goal of Friday’s matchup, and the first of his collegiate career, was Tyler Briolaat 6:09 in the first period. The goal came with assists from Justin Brossman and Adam Cardwell.
Briola’s goal was just the beginning of a powerful offensive surge in the second half of the first period that would prove to dictate the remainder of the game. At 10:35 in the period, Alec Hagamansunk his fourth goal of the season on an even strength opportunity to extend the Falcon lead by two. Assisting Hagaman on the score was Falcon captain Jason Yuel and the leader in goals scored thus far this season, Geoff Shewmake.
Brossman’s assist to Briola was the start of what would prove to be a very dominant offensive game for the veteran forward. Brossman, who led the Falcons in points scored last season with 25, scored his first goal of the night at 11:50. Assisting Brossman on the score was Cardwell and Willie Hess.
Brossman struck again at 18:17 in the period on a power play opportunity following a series of back and forth penalties on both squads. Brossman’s score came with assists from Cardwell and George Malliaras.
According to Falcons Head Coach Steve Freeman in an interview following the game, “We came out ready to play tonight. We played on our toes and very aggressively to start. We were able to take advantage of St. Norbert’s turnovers and jump way ahead.”
Following the first period, the Green Knights replaced Bosch with goaltender Mike Martin, who would remain in net for the rest of the game.
St. Norbert scored its first goal of the night at 5:04 in the second period. The goal came on the stick of Cody Keefer with assists from Seth Soley and Alain Joanette.
Johan Ryd went on to score back-to-back goals to bring the Green Knights back into the game at 7:35 and 10:14. The goals would prove little too late however, as the Falcon defense held strong for the remainder of the matchup.
Shewmake sunk his seventh goal of the season on an empty net at 19:21 to seal the fate of St .Norbert. Yuel assisted Shewmake on the score.
Lewan, still undefeated on the season, tallied 33 saves in the winning effort.
With the victory, Freeman had this to say: “Beating the defending NCAA championships is a step in the right direction for us. It was also important for us to start the NCHA season with a win.”
The Falcons are now 5-0 on the season and look to remain undefeated as the host St. Norbert again on Saturday night for the second match of the weekend series. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:05.