The guest list has been finalized and the invitations have been delivered. Three automatic bids were awarded and one at-large bid was given in the West Region for the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey tournament.
Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) survived two overtime games to win the Harris Cup, and received the MCHA’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Gustavus Adolphus reigned victorious in the MIAC tournament to receive an automatic bid as well. St. Thomas had to sweat out the week to hear it received the at-large bid to the NCAA tournament after being upset by St. Olaf in the MIAC semifinals.
The defending national champions had a historic Peters Cup. St. Norbert won its 10th NCHA championship while not allowing a goal in the two games it played.
Adrian made two first period goals stand, as it defeated Lawrence, 2-1, in the first game of the Harris Cup semifinals. Shelby Gray started off the scoring for Adrian with a slap shot on a power play at 12:57 of the first period. Just over two minutes later, MCHA Player of the Year Zach Graham scored the eventual game-winner. Brad Scurfield scored a power-play goal at 10:28 of the second period for Lawrence’s lone goal of the game. Lawrence outshot Adrian, 36-24, in the game and 13-2 in the third period, but Scott Shackell stopped 35 shots to gain the victory for Adrian. Peter Emery made 22 saves in the loss for Lawrence. It was the third one-goal game of the year between the two teams.
The second Harris Cup semifinal game was another one-goal affair, as MSOE defeat Marian, 3-2, in overtime. Kevin Medina scored the game-winning goal at 15:42 in the overtime for MSOE. Josh Keizer drew first blood for MSOE with a first period goal. Marian scored twice in the second period to take a 2-1 lead. Bryan Wilson got Marian on the scoreboard with a goal at 5:53 of the second period, and then Dmitry Sentsov gave Marian the lead at 16:49. Mike Pao tied the score in the third period for MSOE. Connor Toomey made 26 saves, including 10 in overtime, for MSOE. Josh Baker stopped 43 shots for Marian.
Jordan Keizer’s second goal of the game at 5:09 of overtime gave MSOE to its first Harris Cup title since the 2005-06 season. MSOE quickly built a 2-0 lead five minutes into the game on goals by Kyle Smith and Kevin Medina. Ryan Lowe tipped the puck in at 7:52 of the first for Adrian’s first goal of the game. Jordan Watts tied the game at 2-2 with another deflection. Keizer scored his first goal of the game in the third period at the 10:46 mark. Less than three minutes later, Shelby Gray tied the game once again for Adrian with a slap shot from the blue line. Connor Toomey made 35 saves in goal for MSOE, while Scott Shackell had 31 saves for Adrian.
Gustavus Adolphus jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead en route to a 4-2 victory over St. Olaf in the MIAC tournament final. Dane Erickson scored the first two goals for Gustavus, and Jack Walsh made it a three-goal lead before the first period was done. Reminiscent to their matchup two weeks ago, St. Olaf was not about to give up. In the second period, St. Olaf took control, as Charlie Raskob scored a power-play goal with a wrist shot through traffic to cut the deficit to 3-1. After being outshot by Gustavus, 17-8, in the first period, St. Olaf turned the tables and outshot Gustavus, 19-7, in the second period. Early in the third period, Kevin Harris made it a one-goal game for St. Olaf. Less than a minute later, Gustav Bengston gave Gustavus a two-goal lead once again. Although St. Olaf did outshoot Gustavus, 41-30, in the game, Gustavus goalie John McLean was the star of the game, as he made a season high 39 saves.
St. Norbert shutout Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 4-0, to win its 10th Peters Cup. St. Norbert scored three power-play goals in the first two periods to pave the way. David Jacobson stopped all 21 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout in NCHA tournament play and his fourth of the season. Alain Joanette scored first at 9:23 of the first period for St. Norbert. Cody Keefer and Seth Soley scored second period power-play goals as St. Norbert went three-for-five with the man advantage. Kyle Stroh finished off the scoring with an even-strength goal at 16:19 of the third. St. Norbert made history by not allowing a goal in the NCHA playoffs.