DE PERE, Wis. - The Adrian College men's hockey team lost 7-2 on Saturday night at No. 1 St. Norbert College in the NCAA Division III Quarterfinals finishing the season with an overall record of 22-3-4. The Green Knights will advance to Lewiston, Maine for the NCAA Semifinals and are now 26-3-1 overall. The last loss for St. Norbert was against Adrian back on Feb. 1 at Cornerstone Community Center. Since then SNC has won nine straight games and allowed just five goals including the two against Adrian tonight.
Adrian had some scoring chances early in the first period but could not break through. The team had a few break-ins and odd-man rushes but could not put one past goalie David Jacobson who is the NCHA Player of the Year. Adrian did not muster a ton of offense through the first two periods with just seven shots on goal. SNC scored twice in the first period to take a lead into the first intermission. Joe Perry scored his 20th goal from McDonald and Higgins at 14:11 on a shot to the upper left corner after a drop pass. Erik Cooper scored his 15th goal of the season at 16:15 on the power play on a tip-in after a scramble in front by the right post.
The Green Knights poured it on in the second period with three goals to make it 5-0. Cullen Bradshaw scored his 15th of the season from Cooper and Higgins at 5:03 on the power play off a rebound goal which proved to be the game-winner. Ross Pavek might have had the prettiest goal of the night sliding the puck along the ice on a one-timer at 7:10. Chris Rial converted on a turnover in Adrian's defensive zone at 12:22 for his seventh of the season.
Adrian got on the board at 9:32 of the third period as Kevin Balas notched his 10th goal of the season and became the third Bulldog with double-digit goals this season. Michael Hoy and Shelby Gray each had an assist on the goal. Michael Hill made it 6-1 at 11:22 from Cooper and Bradshaw. Justin Basso scored a power play goal with an extra attacker at 15:01 from Josh Ranalli to cut the lead to 6-2. Perry scored his second of the game just 1:50 later on a re-direct, five-hole goal on a 5-on-3 for the game's final tally.
"My hats off to St. Norbert because they played a phenomenal game," said head coach Ron Fogarty. "We had a few good chances early and knew we had to score early on them. They do a great job of clogging up the middle and once they built a larger lead in the second it was going to be hard to come back."
St. Norbert finished 3-for-8 on the power play and Adrian was 1-for-4. The shots were 40-14 in favor of the home squad. This was the final game for three great players in captain Zach Wilson, Josh Cousineau and Justin Basso.