LEWISTON, Maine — St. Norbert is heading to its third national championship game in the last four years after a convincing 6-2 semifinal victory over Geneseo Friday evening at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The Green Knights won the national championship back in 2011 and 2012 and await the winner of the Wisconsin-Stevens Point-Oswego game later tonight.
“We aren’t a team that relies on a particular group,” St. Norbert coach Tim Coghlin said. “We know when we get ourselves in trouble, which we did early in that game, [that] David [Jacobson] is the player of the year for reason.”
Jacobson made 25 saves in the victory, while Nick Horrigan made 38 stops in the losing effort.
“Obviously, it wasn’t the result we wanted it to be,” said Geneseo coach Chris Schultz, the national coach of the year. “I thought it was a hard-fought game and physical game. It was one of the most physical games we have been a part of this year.”
For the players, it was the goal to get Geneseo to the Frozen Four.
“This year has been great for us,” Knights’ senior Carson Schell said. “Since our freshman year, Zach [Vit] and I wanted to get here, wanted to get our program here.”
The Green Knights broke the ice first as Reid Campbell found the back of the net 5:23 into the game. The lone assist went to Brandan Hoogenboom.
St. Norbert (27-3-1) thought it had a 2-0 lead when Marian Fiala had an open net after Zach McDonald crashed the night and somersaulted over Geneseo goaltender Nick Horrigan. The officials reviewed the play and determined it was no goal.
Joe Perry stretched the lead to 2-0 2:56 into the period with Fiala and Cullen Bradshaw setting the goal up.
Geneseo (23-7-0) picked up two goals to tie the contest 3:12 apart. Ryan Stanimir and Nate Brown set up Chris Hampson with Geneseo’s first goal of the contest. On the power play, Justin Scharfe found the back of the net with David Ripple and Vit picking up the assists.
Schultz was happy to tie the contest and liked where his team was going, but ultimately, the Knights couldn’t find the back of the net going forward.
“There was a moment in the second period, probably after it went 2-2, where it got a little quiet,” Coghlin said. “You saw the leadership of Reid Campbell and you saw the leadership of our seniors up and down the bench saying ‘Hey fellows, stay with the game plan, stay engaged, talk to each other, this isn’t the time to get silent on each other.’ That resonated well with the guys. That settled the troops back down.”
Michael Hill opened the game up for the Green Knights after Zach Martin was given a game misconduct for a contact to the head penalty at the 13:31 mark.
Both of Hill’s goals were even strength with first goal coming at the 17:29 mark as the puck deflected off a couple of bodies into the net. The assist went to Erik Cooper. His second goal came with 1:07 remaining in the period with Bradshaw picking up the lone assist.
Perry picked up his second goal of the with 3:12 remaining in the contest, while Tyler Zepada picked up St. Nrobert’s sixth goal.