RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Sophomore goaltender Jacque Vezina stopped 29 shots and Joe Dustin broke a tie with his second goal of the season as Wisconsin-River Falls defeated St. Norbert 2-1 in the NCHA semifinals Friday night.
Vezina was sharp all night, including a perfect third period when he saved all 11 Green Knight shots. The Green Knights had a chance to tie the game in the last two minutes when Jamie Steinert received a two-minute minor for charging the goaltender, but St. Norbert couldn’t get one by Vezina.
Dustin scored the game-winner at the 16:44 mark of the second period. After his first shot from the point was blocked, the defenseman regained control around the left faceoff dot and fired a wrister past Green Knight netminder Ryan Gill.
The Falcons took the early lead on Jeff Bernard’s 20th goal of the season, a power-play goal at 8:49 of the second period.
St. Norbert tied the game at 12:03 on a breakaway goal by Maris Ziedins. Officials called 26 penalties, totaling 52 minutes. The Falcons went 1-for-4 on the power play while the Green Knights were held scoreless on four attempts.
River Falls can win the series Saturday with a victory or a tie. If St. Norbert wins, the teams play a 20-minute minigame. The winner moves on to the NCHA championships.