Visiting St. Norbert Prevents @ACBulldogHockey NCHA Harris Cup Three-Peat in Tough 3-2 Win

Photo by Mike Dickie.
Photo by Mike Dickie.

ADRIAN, Mich.--Junior Alfred Johansson scored his first goal of the season to break a 2-2 deadlock in the third period and visiting St. Norbert College held on for a 3-2 win over Adrian College to capture the 2017 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Harris Cup championship on Saturday.

With the win, the Green Knights receive the NCHA's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship, which will begin with first-round action next Saturday at campus sites. The Bulldogs will await to learn if they receive one of four at-large berths from the NCAA National Committee, which will announce the tournament field with the NCAA Selection Show at 10 a.m. Monday on www.NCAA.com.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: St. Norbert 3, Adrian 2

= Location: Weston Rink at Arrington Ice Arena; Adrian, Mich.

= Records: St. Norbert Green Knights, 21-5-1 overall, No. 2 seed ; Adrian Bulldogs 19-6-2 overall, No. 1 seed

= National Rankings: St. Norbert--#4 USCHO.com, #5 D3hockey.com (NCAA West Region: No. 1) ; Adrian--#4 D3hockey, #5 USCHO (NCAA West Region: No. 3)

TOP 'DAWGS
= Junior team captain Mathew Thompson scored a goal and was named to the all-tournament team. He went 11-for-21 in the face-off circle.

= Sophomore goalie Kevin Entmaa (W, 14-6-2) earned 26 saves on 29 shots faced.

= Freshman Dino Balsamo scored a power-play goal.

= Sophomore Connor Armour was efficient in the face-off dot, winning 11 of 15 draws.

= Senior Austin Hervey matched Thompson and Armour with 11 face-off victories.

THE OPPOSITION
Riley Christensen had a goal and an assist for the Green Knights. He also won three face-offs in as many attempts.

= Defenseman Tyler Andrews matched Christensen with two points with two assists.

Steven Phillips, who scored a goal, won 16 of 27 face-off draws which were both game highs.

= NCHA Tournament most valuable player T.J. Black had 32 saves on 34 shots faced.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Johansson capped a wild third period in which four goals were scored between the teams, scoring his third career goal in the upper right-corner.

= Trailing 1-0 in the third period, Adrian took a quick 2-1 lead on goals by Thompson and Balsamo just 1 minute and 43 seconds apart ending 5 minutes of elapsed time to get the Arrington crowd into a frenzy. Balsamo's tally, his fifth on the season, came on the power-play and he was assisted by fellow freshmen Vinny Post and Vincent Paquette.

= SNC, however, tied it 2:14 after Balsamo's goal off the stick of Christensen, whose 11th of the season was assisted by Roman Uchyn and Andrews.

= Then at the 12:14 mark into the stanza, Johansson scored what stood up as the game-winning goal on a feed from Andrews.

= Adrian pulled Entmaa for the final 1:45 in favor of an extra attacker, but could not get the equalizing goal to force overtime. 

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= The NCHA All-Tournament Team consisted: F-#93 Taylor McCloy, Adrian; F-#26 Riley Christensen, St. Norbert; F-#10 Mathew Thompson, Adrian; D-#25 Sean Campbell, St. Norbert; D-#14 Tyler Andrews, St. Norbert; and G-#29 T.J. Black, St. Norbert (MVP).

= Adrian's season-best seven-game winning streak was snapped.

= Adrian falls to 2-1 in Harris Cup Finals meetings against St. Norbert, which now leads 8-6 in the all-time series.

= Thompson has 43 career goals to list ninth on the Bulldogs' all-time chart.

The Bulldogs are 25-3 all-time in the conference playoffs.

= Tonight, Entmaa went over the 900-save plateau for his career with 917--which is fourth in school history.

= The Green Knights improve to 67-14-1 all-time in the NCHA tournament, but are 3-7-1 on the road.

= St. Norbert has attained its 13th NCHA playoff championship and the first since 2014.

UP NEXT
Adrian is hopeful for an NCAA at-large bid as the NCAA Selection Show will air online at NCAA.com on Monday morning.

#10thSeasonAnniversary #AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #GDTBAB