Saint Norbert goes out on top
In a battle between the two top-ranked teams, No. 1 Saint Norbert defeated Plattsburgh State, 2-0, for the Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Championship March 23 in Lake Placid, New York.
Saint Norbert came into the game on a 28-game winning streak, and Plattsburgh State had recorded only three losses since December entering its record 16th Division III tournament and 10th Frozen Four. Both teams’ defenses held their ground throughout the first period.
Norbert’s Scott Pulak gave the Green Knights the lead 26 minutes into the game, followed shortly by Marc Belanger’s goal five minutes later. Plattsburgh State, usually a powerhouse on offense, was quieted.
Plattsburgh State’s defense kept the team in the game, killing off a five-on-three opportunity for Saint Norbert in the third period. But in the end it was Saint Norbert’s defense that prevented the Cardinals from finding the net, just as the Green Knights had against Norwich in the semifinals. Saint Norbert was the first team in Division III men’s ice hockey history to post shutouts in both the semifinal and championship game.
Plattsburgh State coach Bob Emery said he was proud of his team, which was predicted to finish second in its conference at the start of the season, for proving people wrong and making it back to the championship game for the first time since 2001.
“I told our players that the coaching staff was really proud of them. We had a good season since no one expected us to get this far,” Emery said. “Our senior leadership … has been outstanding all season. To finish as one of the top two teams out of 70 schools in the nation is an accomplishment. We definitely have a lot to look forward to next season. We have a good nucleus coming back, starting with the goaltending.”
The Cardinals lose only two seniors after this season. Plattsburgh State’s goaltender Bryan Hince made 28 saves in the game, including a flurry of 14 Saint Norbert shots in the first period alone. Saint Norbert’s Kyle Jones fended off a barrage of Cardinal shots throughout the game, 32 in all.
“I give Saint Norbert all the credit. They’re one of the best defensive teams I’ve ever seen. We had our scoring chances and they capitalized on the two goals that they had,” Emery said.
Plattsburgh State 2 3 1 6
Elmira 2 1 0 3
First period: PS – Dylan Clarke (Eric Satim, Andrew Willock), 10:48; Riley Hill (Nick Rolls, Joey Wilson), 14:29. E – Derrick Ryan (Chris Asplund, Sebastian Gulder), 1:59; Rusty Masters (Nicholas Dumoulin, Russell Smith), 4:27.
Penalties: PS – Ryan Burke (cross checking). E – Ryan (holding the stick).
Second period: PS Clarke (Tom Breslin, Satim), 2:34; Ward Smith (Clarke, Willock) 7:38; Willock (Satim, Clarke), 14:41. E – Stefan Schoen (Smith), 6:01.
Penalties: PS – Burke (interference). E – Rick Schrank (high-sticking), Dumoulin (boarding).
Third period: PS – Joey Wilson (Shawn Dennis, Breslin), 17:28.
Penalties: PS – T.J. Cooper (tripping), Nick Rolls (tripping). E – Jan Velich (elbowing), Greg Moore (roughing).
Saves: Bryan Hince (Plattsburgh State) 20. Casey Tuttle (Elmira) 22.
Saint Norbert 2 1 0 3
Norwich 0 0 0 0
First period: SN – Tyler Allen (Steven Sleep), 3:05; Sleep (Marc Belanger, Allen), 9:52.
Penalties: N – Nikita Kashirsky (hitting from behind), Justin Wissman (tripping).
Second period: SN – Matt Boyd (Shane Wheeler, Belanger), 12:53.
Penalties: SN – Peter Fylling (roughing), Belanger (tripping). N – Wissman (tripping).
Third period: No scoring.
Penalties: SN – Jason Nopper (elbowing), Belanger (tripping), Adam Hammerbeck (tripping), Taylor Langford (holding. N – Phil Sbrocchi (holding), Raphael Robitaille (boarding).
Saves: Kyle Jones (Saint Norbert) 26. David Thompson (Norwich) 16.
Saint Norbert 0 2 0 2
Plattsburgh State 0 0 0 0
First period: No scoring
Penalties: SN – Matt Boyd (roughing), Adam Hammerbeck (cross checking).
Second period: SN – Scott Pulak (Nick Tabisz, Ryan Petersen), 5:52, Marc Belanger (Boyd, Tabisz), 10:25.
Penalties: SN – Peter Fylling (game misconduct), Fylling (hitting from behind). PS – Mike Thomson (interference), Ward Smith (hooking), Andrew Willock (slashing).
Thrid period: No scoring
Penalties: SN – Mike Bernardy (cross-checking), Belanger (slashing).
Saves: Kyle Jones (St. Norbert) 32. Bryan Hince (Plattsburgh State) 28.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association