March 21, 2009

Courtesy of Neumann

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – The Neumann College men’s ice hockey team won the Division III Men’s Ice Hockey NCAA Title with a 4-1 win over Gustavus Adolphus Saturday afternoon at the Herb Brooks Arena Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The win is the ninth-straight for the Knights. It is also its first NCAA National Championship for any sport at Neumann.

With the win, Head Coach Dominick Dawes, who won a national title as a player with Norwich, is the second coach to win a National Championship as both a player and a coach. The other was Tom Coughlin of St. Norbert.

Jesse Cole scored two goals for Neumann, including the eventually game-winner. Ryan Heicket notched a goal and two assists. Ross MacKinnon made 24 saves in net.

Gustavus Adolphus opened the scoring just 4:54 into the first period as David Martinson scored his 26th goal of the season. Heickert tied the game as he deflected a shot from Sean Bianchini on the power play. The teams went into the first intermission knotted at one.

Cole put the Knights ahead at the 3:06 mark of the second period with a shot between his legs. Heickert assisted on the goal. Cole then netted his second goal of the afternoon just under four minutes later to put Neumann up by two, off assists from Heickert and Jeremy Gates. Marlon Gardner added a power play goal midway through the period, from Charles Paterson and Matt Ward, to give Neumann a 4-1 advantage.

As time was winding down in the second period, the Gusties had a shot go off the post and the Knights took the 4-1 lead into the second intermission.

Down 4-1, the Gusties pulled their goal with 4:08 left in the game. Even though the Knights could not get an empty net goal, the Gusties were held off the board.
Neumann ends its season 21-9-2.

Tournament Notes:

-Ross MacKinnon is the first freshman goalie to win a NCAA Division III National Championship since 2006.

-Neumann won by the largest margin in a Championship game since Middlebury defeated St. Thomas 5-0 in 2005.

-This was the first two ranked in the double-digits in the final poll have met in the NCAA Division III National Championship Game. Neumann was ranked 12th while Gustavus Adolphus was 15th.