GREEN BAY, Wis. – St. Norbert earned a berth in its eighth NCAA Division III National Championship with a 4-1 triumph against Gustavus Adolphus in a national quarterfinal game at the Cornerstone Community Center.
The Green Knights (19-5-5), the defending national champion, has now won 11 of their last 12 NCAA tournament games dating back to the 2008 season. St. Norbert will face Norwich (24-2-2) in a rematch of last year’s semifinal and the 2010 national title game at a time to be determined Friday at historic Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.
St. Norbert took an early 1-0 lead when it scored just 4 minutes 2 seconds into the game. Cullen Bradshaw connected on a weak-side rebound for the goal with Seth Soley and Joe Perry assisting. The Gusties (17-7-5) knotted the game at the 6:24 mark on a power-play goal by Tim LaBombard, who knocked the puck home past a seated St. Norbert goaltender David Jacobson.
The Green Knights wouldn’t break the tie until the 8:26 mark when Bradshaw scored again with Soley picking up his second assist. The Gusties had a power play that was nearly expired when they had a turnover in their defensive zone, and Soley fed Bradshaw – who connected just as action returned to 5-on-5.
St. Norbert salted the game away in the third period. The Green Knights had about 20 seconds left on a power-play chance when the puck was cleared by Gustavus into the neutral zone. St. Norbert moved the puck into the offensive zone and Alain Joanette beat Gustie goaltender John McLean at 6:45. Joanette was falling to the ice when he let his wrister fly and it beat McLean far side. St. Norbert’s final goal came on a thunderous shot by Perry, who scored unassisted from just inside the blue line at 11:21.
The Green Knights outshot Gustavus 39-14, including 28-9 in the first two periods. St. Norbert was 1-for-7 on the power play, while the Gusties were 1-for-4. Jacobson made 13 saves for St. Norbert, which has allowed just two goals in its last four games. McLean made 35 saves for the Gusties.