St. Norbert heads to ninth national semifinal in 12 years after 7-2 win
DE PERE, Wis. -- St. Norbert advanced to its ninth NCAA Division III national semifinals in 12 seasons with a convincing 7-2 win against Adrian in a NCAA Division III tournament quarterfinal held at Cornerstone Community Center.
The Green Knights (26-3-1) built a 5-0 lead after two periods, outshooting the Bulldogs 26-7 in the first two periods. Adrian saw its season end at 22-3-4, with two of its losses coming to St. Norbert.
St. Norbert, winners of nine consecutive games, will face either Norwich or Geneseo State in a national semifinal on Friday at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
St. Norbert survived about a four-minute flurry early in the game when Adrian had sustained pressure in its offensive zone. The Bulldogs missed wide on a couple of early scoring chances, and St. Norbert eventually scored when Joe Perry converted a wrister from the left slot at the 14:11 mark for his 20th goal of the season and 100th career point.
The Green Knights moved ahead 2-0 when a pileup in front of Adrian net resulted in an Erik Cooper power-play goal at the 16:15 mark.
St. Norbert took control in the second period, scoring three goals. Cullen Bradshaw finished a rebound for a power-play goal at 5:03. Ross Pavek took a pass from Mason Baptista and finished from out front at 7:10. Chris Rial put the Green Knights comfortably ahead at 5-0 when he took advantage of a collision by Adrian goaltender Scott Shackell and another Bulldog player, finding an open net at 12:22.
The third period, which was marred by 10 penalties, saw each team scored twice. Adrian's Kevin Balas scored at 9:32, but St. Norbert got the goal back on a Michael Hill goal at 11:22. Adrian scored a six-on-four extra-attacker power-play goal by Justin Basso at 15:01. The Green Knights closed out the scoring on a five-on-three power-play goal by Perry at 16:32.
Cooper added three assists for a four-point game. Perry added an assist, Bradshaw had two assists and Sam Higgins had three assists for three-point games.
David Jacobson improved to 22-1-1 on the season by making 12 saves. Shackell dropped to 11-1-1 on the season with 33 saves. St. Norbert was 3-for-8 on the power play, while Adrian was 1-for-4.