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icehockey-men-d3 flag | February 23, 2014

Top two in nation move on in NHCA playoffs

DE PERE, Wis. -- Top-ranked St. Norbert advanced in the NCHA Harris Cup playoffs by sweeping its quarterfinal series against Lawrence  with a 3-1 win at the Cornerstone Community Center.

St. Norbert and Lawrence engaged in a tightly contested first period before the Green Knights broke through on a heady play by Michael Hill. The Green Knights were on the power play late in the period when Hill, standing below the goal line just off the back of the cage, banked the puck off Lawrence goaltender Mattias Soderqvist's back and into the net at the 19:58 mark. The goal was Hill's 17th of the season.

Lawrence answered with a five-on-three power-play goal by Paul Zuke at 6:32 of the second period. The Green Knights would take the lead at 17:22, when Marian Fiala's shot found its way through a pileup out front.

St. Norbert would salt the game away when Sam Higgins drive from the high point found twine for a power-play goal at 7:17 of the third period.

No. 2 Adrian 4, Milwaukee Engineering 1

ADRIAN, Mich. -- Junior forward Josh Ranalli came into Saturday with a scoring mentality after hitting a slump during the past few weeks. Ranalli scored 16 goals in his first 13 games of the season but since then came into the game with two goals in his past 12 games. He found that marksmen attitude and pulled into a three-way tie for the NCAA Division III goal lead with two goals in a 4-1 win against Milwaukee Engineering in the second quarterfinal game of the NCHA Harris Cup tournament. The Bulldogs advanced to the semifinal round and will host Saint Scholastica on Saturday.

Junior Ryan Lowe extended his point streak to five of the past six games with the game's first goal at 8:58 of the second period. He scored his sixth of the season on a pass from behind the net by Shelby Gray while cutting to the cage and buried a shot in the top left corner. Adam Davies also had an assist on Lowe's goal. The Bulldogs scored the game winner at 13:57 as Ryan Gieseler scored his third of the season from Michael Hoy and Zach Wilson. Gieseler took a shot from middle of the zone near the blue line and it was deflected by an MSOE defender into his own net.

No. 3 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 4, Wisconsin-Superior 2

SUPERIOR, Wis. -- Alex Kromm scored twice in a 4-2 win by Wisconsin-Stevens Point against Wisconsin-Superior in the final regular season game for both teams on Saturday night at Wessman Arena.

UW-Stevens Point (19-4-2, 7-4-1 WIAC) broke a 1-1 tie in the second period and built a 4-1 lead before UW-Superior (8-14-3, 3-7-2 WIAC) scored late.

Kromm's first goal of the night at 7:25 of the second period put the Pointers ahead 2-1 after UW-Superior's Jordan Neduzak canceled out Nick D'Avolio's first-period goal.

Joe Kalisz tallied the eventual game winner midway through the final period, giving UW-Stevens Point a 3-1 lead with an unassisted power-play goal.

A little more than a minute and a half later, Kromm made it 4-1 with his second goal of the game, his fourth of the year. Scott Henegar and Kyle Politz set up Kromm's second goal before UW-Superior's Eric Shand scored with 2:21 remaining to cap the scoring.

Brandon Jaegermade 23 saves to record his 17th win of the season, the most by a UWSP goalie since Bob Gould went 20-3-1 in 1999-2000. Drew Strandberg recorded 39 saves in net for UW-Superior.

No. 12 Oswego State 4, No. 4 Plattsburgh State 3

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -- Oswego State handed Plattsburgh State just its second loss in SUNYAC play 4-3 during the regular-season finale on Saturday night at Stafford Ice Arena. Oswego's win improves its record to 17-6-2 overall and 10-5-1 in conference play while the Cardinals fall to 19-4-2, 12-2-2.

The Lakers have earned the No. 3 seed in the SUNYAC Championship and will host No. 6 Fredonia on Wednesday.

Brandon Adams scored the game-winning goal unassisted at 17:28 of the third. Adams was able to net his ninth goal of the year in the final three minutes to upset the Cardinals on their home ice.

St. John's (Minn.) 1, No. 5 St. Thomas (Minn.) 0

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- St. John's (Minn.) senior forward Jason Johnson's fifth goal of the season with 3:55 remaining proved to be the difference in the Johnnies' 1-0 win against St. Thomas (Minn.) on Saturday at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

The loss was the first for St. Thomas (19-4-2, 13-1-2 MIAC) in conference play, which, according to the MIAC archives, ended the Tommies' bid to become the first men's hockey program to go undefeated in conference play since the 1981-82 season.

With the win and St. Olaf's overtime win at home against Augsburg, the two teams end the regular season tied in the MIAC standings with 29 points. The Johnnies, however, win the second tie-breaker (MIAC wins, not counting shootout victories) and will be the No. 3 seed in next week's five-team MIAC Playoffs, avoid the No. 4/No. 5 quarterfinal game and instead visit No. 15 Gustavus Adolphus in the semifinal round on Saturday.

Junior Phil Johnson fed an open Jason Johnson in the slot, who ripped a wrister past UST goaltender Drew Fielding. The game winner was Johnson's third of the season and sixth of his career.

Sophomore Saxton Soley made 21 saves to record his second shutout of the season and fourth of his collegiate career.

No. 7 Norwich 6, Skidmore 0

NORTHFIELD, Vt. -- Freshman forward Austin Surowiec and junior defenseman Bryce Currier had combined for one goal on the season entering Saturday night's ECAC East tournament quarterfinal against Skidmore.

The duo each scored a pair of goals each to lead Norwich to a 6-0 win against the Thoroughbreds at Kreitzberg Arena as the Cadets (18-5-3) advanced to the ECAC East semifinals and continued their search for the program's 11th ECAC East tournament title.

Senior forward Travis Janke and freshman forward Paul Russell also added goals as the Cadets won their fourth consecutive game.

No. 8 Babson 6, Southern Maine 0

BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Second-seeded Babson College erupted for five second-period goals and turned in a tremendous defensive effort en route to a 6-0 victory against seventh-seeded Southern Maine in a Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East quarterfinal on Saturday night at the Babson Skating Center.

With the victory, eighth-ranked Babson moves to 20-4-2 on the year and advances to the conference semifinals for the 10th time in the last 12 seasons. Southern Maine sees its season come to an end at 6-15-5.

Junior Mike Driscoll and sophomore Mike Vollmin each had a goal and an assist for the Beavers, who had six different players score and 12 players record a point. Seniors Matt Furey and Matt O'Neill, along with first-years Dan Casey and Tim Searles each tallied once.

Sophomore goaltender Jamie Murray made eight of his 15 saves in the first period for the Green and White, which allowed just 16 shots on goal while blocking another eight shots. Senior Danny Rivellini stopped one shot after relieving Murray with 4:38 to go in the third period.

No. 9 Trinity (Conn.) 8, Wesleyan 5

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Trinity (Conn.) built a 6-2 lead in the second period and survived a Wesleyan Cardinal rally for an 8-5 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) victory. With the win in the regular-season finale for both teams, the Bantams secure the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC tournament and will have home ice throughout the playoffs.

Trinity junior forward Jackson Brewer, the leading scorer in the NESCAC, was a set-up man throughout the afternoon, dishing out five assists for Trinity to up his point total for the season to 50 on 14 goals and 36 assists. Sophomore forward Michael Hawkrigg, second in the league in scoring, added two goals and two assists to his totals which now stand at 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points.