MCHA, MIAC and NCHA wrap: Feb. 28

With little surprise, two favored teams – Milwaukee School of Engineering and Lawrence — advanced to the Harris Cup Four by sweeping their respective Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinal series during the weekend.
MSOE (21-5-1) meets Marian (18-7), which received a first-round by finishing on top of the Northern Division, in the second semifinal at 6 p.m. Saturday at Arrington Ice Arena. Host and No. 5-ranked Adrian (21-3-1) takes on Lawrence (14-12-1) in the first  semi at 2 p.m.
Winners will meet for the Harris Cup championship at 2 p.m. Sunday at Adrian’s Arrington Ice Arena.
MSOE had little trouble disposing of Lake Forest, 6-1 and 6-3, on Saturday and Sunday while Lawrence dispatched Northland, 2-1 and 3-1, Friday and Saturday.
The Vikings’ Josh DeSmit scored midway in the second period to break a 1-1 stalemate in Friday’s contest. The LumberJacks’ Colin Moberly answered with a goal at 6:44 of the first period after Jonathan Bellotti’s opened Lawrence’s account with a goal one minute in.
In Saturday’s rematch, DeSmit notched his second game-winner in as many days after the Vikings (Huck Saunders) and Northland (Nick Hewko) traded goals in the second period. Sam Johnson added an empty-netter with 30 seconds left.
Evan Johnson (13-10-1) stopped 52 of 54 shots during the series to earn victories.
MSOE scored five unanswered goals to break a 1-1 deadlock in Saturday’s quarterfinal game against Lake Forest. Kyle Smith scored twice, including the game-winner, while Steven Shaffroth scored a goal and added three assists.
Austin Grosvenor, Todd Krupa and Michael Soik also had MSOE goals. Zak Borowski’s goal at 16:05 tied the game after Shaffroth opening the scoring at 5:25.
On Sunday, Wes Bauman netted two goals while Michael Thompson, Nick Gorup, Grosvenor and Soik also had Raider goals. Chad Thompson scored twice and Michael Violette added a goal for the Foresters (5-21-1).
Connor Toomey (18-5-1) made 45 saves to earn two playoff victories.
St. Norbert, UW-Superior advance
Nick Tabisz’ second-period goal help lift No. 2-ranked St. Norbert to a 5-3 victory over visiting Wisconsin-River Falls Saturday to send the Green Knights to their second consecutive the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association finals.
St. Norbert (21-4-1) hosts Wisconsin-Superior (16-11-1) in the Peters Cup final on Saturday. The Green Knights are 12-0 at their Cornerstone Community Center home this season.
In the semifinals, Kyle Stroh scored twice while Cody Keefer and Kurt Astle added single markers. Ben Beaudoin, Jason Yuel and Alec Hagaman replied for the Falcons (12-14-2), which forged a 1-1 tie in the first period.
“The fifth goal that Kyle scored — he’s the only player on the roster who’s got the ability to score that goal,” St. Norbert Coach Tim Coghlin told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “That puck should have ended up in the corner, but he’s got that really long reach and incredibly soft hands and scored that goal.”
B.J. O’Brien (18-2-1) stopped 12 of 15 shots to earn the playoff victory.
St. Norbert’s Peters Cup opponent parlayed a three-goal second period into a 4-2 semifinal victory over visiting Wisconsin-Stevens Point (13-14-1) Saturday. Kyle Leahy, Tyler Klein and Talon Berlando scored in the second frame for the Yellowjackets, who outshot the Pointers, 25-19, in the first 40 minutes.
Justin Faryna unassisted goal at 3:53 into the contest opened the scoring. Kyle Politz tied the game with a goal at 14:55 of the first. UW-Steven Point’s Chade Boeckman scored to narrow the host’s lead to 3-2 at 4:44 of the second period. Berlando’s 11th goal of the season restored the Yellowjackets’ two-goal margin.
Drew Strandberg (10-8-1) made 31 saves, including 14 in the third period, to preserve the victory.
MIAC showdown set
No. 15 Hamline (15-6-5) blanked Gustavus Adolphus, 3-0, in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinal Saturday, sending the pre-season favorite to next Saturday’s final against Concordia (Minn.). Gustavus (15-10-2) entered the semis having survived a double-overtime playoff less than 24 hours earlier, outlasting Augsburg, 4-3, on Friday. Zach May scored 1:07 into the second OT session to settle things.
Jordan VanGilder, Brett Burgau and Brian Arrigoni scored for the Pipers while Beau Christian stopped all 36 Gusties’ shots to earn the shutout.
Ben Payne scored twice while Brian Kang and Aaron Wheeler added goals as Concordia (12-10-4) knocked off host St. Thomas, 4-2, in Saturday’s other semifinal.
Payne’s second goal broke a 1-1 tie in third. Kang scored three minutes later to open a two-goal before the Tommies’ Chris Hickey replied at 16:52. Wheeler’s empty-netter capped off the Cobbers’ three-goal outburst. Andrew Kappers also scored for St. Thomas, (14-10-2), which outshot the visitors, 29-18.
“The biggest part of the game was the second period,” Concordia Coach Chris Howe told the The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. “(St. Thomas) had us on the ropes outshooting us 12-2, but we played smart in the third period and took advantage of opportunities.”