STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- Wisconsin-Stevens Point opened Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) play with a 5-1 victory against defending national champion St. Norbert, guided by Kyle Heck's hat trick Friday night at K.B. Willett Arena.

“It feels good to see how far we've come in a short period of time,” UWSP head coach Chris Brooks said after his first collegiate head coaching victory. “I'm excited to see how far we can come given more time and that's what I told the guys, you have to come with an open mind every single day."

Heck put the Pointers on the board early in the first period for his first goal of the evening, assisted from Kyle Politz and Tyler Krueger. Heck added another goal in the stanza, taking advantage of a turnover by the Green Knights near center ice, pushing the lead to 2-0.

Cullen Bradshaw brought St. Norbert within one on an early second period power play goal but the Pointers defense held strong throughout the period despite the Green Knights out-shooting the Pointers 11-8.

With 16 seconds remaining in the second, Sean McNeely knocked in a rebound shot to give UW-Stevens Point a 3-1 lead entering the third period.

In the third period, Max Bobrow assisted Nick Kenney on his first goal of the season before Johnny Meo setup Heck on a pass for the hat trick and a 5-1 victory.

UW-Stevens Point outshot St. Norbert 23-21 on the evening and both teams converted just one of their power play attempts.

Nick Graves tallied 20 saves in the win while Travis Bosch stopped 18.