St. Norbert opens tourney with win
Green Knights will face Gustavus Adolphus in quarterfinal
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- St. Norbert won for the 10th time in its last 11 games in the NCAA Division III tournament with a 3-1 first-round win against St. Thomas.
The Green Knights (18-5-5) will face Gustavus Adolphus (17-6-5) in a national quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cornerstone. The Gusties, who won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship, topped Milwaukee School of Engineering 3-1 in the other first-round game in the West Region.
St. Norbert survived an early onslaught from the Tommies (18-6-2), who clearly had the jump the first 10 minutes of the game by holding a 7-1 shots-on-goal advantage during that stretch. Included in that flurry was a goal by St. Thomas' Willie Rose at the 8:32 mark. St. Thomas couldn't add to the lead despite having a 5-on-3 power play for just over a minute later in the period.
The Green Knights answered in the second period when Zach McDonald took a drop pass from Cullen Bradshaw and slapped it home near post to knot the game at 1-1 at the 6:48 mark. St. Norbert pulled ahead at 16:33 on a power-play goal by Cody Keefer, who banged home his own rebound. The Green Knights' power-play goal snapped a streak of 41 consecutive killed penalties by St. Thomas.
St. Norbert got a much-needed insurance goal at 10:31 of the third period, when Keefer scored again on a rush into the Tommies' zone. Johan Ryd assisted on both of Keefer's goals to improve his team-best point total to 38.
The teams were even in shots on goal at 24-24. David Jacobson made 23 saves in his first NCAA Division III Tournament game. Drew Fielding made 21 stops for the Tommies. St. Norbert was 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Tommies were 0-for-6.