ASHWAUBENON, Wis. — Sparked by three power play goals from forward Marc Belanger, second-ranked and still undefeated St. Norbert (7-0-1) dealt sixth-ranked UW-Superior (4-1-0) their first loss of the season by a score of 5-2.
The first big opportunity of the game came just under seven minutes into the opening period, as Green Knight forward Jeff Hazelwood sprung free on a breakaway opportunity. The game would remain scoreless however as Beiswenger was up to the task and turned the shot aside.
Less than five minutes later, St. Norbert would receive a significant scare in the form of an injury to senior All-American defenseman Andrew Derton. Carrying the puck into the left side of the Superior zone, Derton turned to the middle of the ice and prepared to release a shot. Before he could get the shot off he was upended by Yellowjacket defenseman Jeff Herman and fell to the ice in obvious pain. Derton did not return to the game and preliminary reports indicate a possible hyperextended left leg. Though the injury is tentatively not thought to be serious, further details were withheld pending MRI results.
Even without Derton in the game, the Green Knight defense was able to stifle the Yellowjacket offense, holding them to a mere three shots in the opening period. Though the Yellowjackets would remain scoreless in the first, the Green Knights would not. With only 33 seconds remaining in the opening period, St. Norbert would win a draw in the Superior zone. Forward Steven Sleep would take the puck from the corner, walk straight to the center of the ice and beat Beiswenger to put St. Norbert on top 1-0.
In the second stanza the Green Knight defense would remain equally as stifling, and would hold the Yellowjackets off the board until at the 8:41 mark, St. Norbert struck again. Following a series of odd-man rushes with the man advantage, Belanger would pick up his first of the night burying a perfect past from Hazelwood to increase the Green Knight lead to two.
Less than two minutes later St. Norbert would extend their lead to 3-0, once again scoring on an odd-man rush. This time it was forward Peter Fylling, who with the defenseman playing the pass, would keep the puck himself and beat Beiswenger up top.
Though the Yellowjackets were able to get ten shots on St. Norbert goaltender Kyle Jones in the second period, the Green Knight defense would remain up to the task and keep UW-Superior off the board, allowing the Green Knights 3-0 to carry over into the third period.
Any hopes the Yellowjackets had of coming back took a major blow less than a minute into the final frame. Again on the power play, loose puck deep in the corner of the Superior zone found its way to Belanger and again into the back of the Superior net. Belanger would complete the power play hat-trick at the 3:09 mark extending the Green Knights’ lead to a daunting five goals.
With the game seemingly in hand, all eyes would turn to Jones. Only 17 minutes stood between him and his NCAA Division III record-tying 14th career shutout. The hope would last less than three minutes however, as with a 5-on-3 advantage, Yellowjackets forward Myles Palliser would clean up a rebound from a David Moncur blast and finally get the UW-Superior on the board.
Forward Corey Stark would net the Yellowjackets another goal at the 13:36 mark, but it wouldn’t be enough and St. Norbert would hold on for the 5-2 win.
Beiswenger finished the game with 29 saves, and will look to get back on track tomorrow night as UW-Superior travels to Lake Forest. Also tomorrow, St. Norbert will look to remain undefeated as they host St. Scholastica.