St. Norbert scores final four to win 6-2, heads to seventh title game in 11 years
LEWISTON, Maine -- St. Norbert scored the last four goals of the game to burst past Geneseo State 6-2 in a semifinal game of the NCAA Division III national semifinal at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The Green Knights (27-3-1) won for the 10th consecutive game and will face the winner of the second semifinal game between Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Oswego State at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday. The title game appearance is St. Norbert's seventh in the past 11 seasons. The Green Knights are hunting for their fourth national championship in seven years, and their third national title in four years.
St. Norbert took the early lead when Reid Campbell scored for the third time this season when his long drive was screened from Geneseo goaltender Nick Horrigan 5:23 into the first period. The Green Knights appeared to take a 2-0 lead on a goal by Mason Baptista at the 13:16 mark of the period, but the goal was disallowed due to goaltender interference following video review. The first period ended with St. Norbert holding a 1-0 lead, but shots on goal were even 14-14.
The Green Knights took a 2-0 lead at the 2:56 mark of the second period when Joe Perry knocked home a power-play goal, his 22nd marker of the season. Geneseo (23-7) would answer right back with goals by Cam Hampson at 4:32 and Justin Scharfe at 7:44 to knot the game at 2-2.
St. Norbert went on a five-minute power play after Geneseo's Zach Martin was whistled for a major contact-to-the-head penalty at 13:13 of the second. The Green Knights lost their man advantage when Chris Rial went to the box for a tripping call in the offensive zone at 16:18. St. Norbert took advantage of the four-on-four situation when Michael Hill scored at 17:29 when he collected a loose puck and finished.
Hill pushed the bulge out to 4-2 when he scored his 20th goal of the season just 1:24 later when he finished a wraparound opportunity at 18:53. The Green Knights, who outshot Geneseo 18-7 in the second period, carried a 4-2 lead into the second intermission.
Perry salted the game away when he found the back of the net from the high slot with 3:12 remaining in the game, his 23rd goal of the season. Horrigan was pulled for an extra attacker with 1:53 to go, but Tyler Zepeda connected on an empty-net goal with 1:21 left for the game's final score.
Perry added an assist to finish with a three-point game. Perry became just the fifth player in St. Norbert history to score at least 23 goals in a season. Rob Smillie holds the school record with 34 goals in 1997-98. Spencer Carbery (2004-05) and Bruce Henderson (1988-89) both scored 24 goals. Marc Belanger finished with 23 goals in 2007-08.
Cullen Bradshaw and Marian Fiala both had two assists for two-point games.
David Jacobson made 25 saves to improve to 23-1-1 on the season. Horrigan turned away 38 stops for Geneseo. St. Norbert was 1-for-3 on the power play, while Geneseo was 1-for-2.