ADRIAN, Mich. - The Adrian College Bulldog men's hockey team sent shockwaves through NCAA Division III hockey this weekend with a historic weekend sweep of St. Norbert College. The Bulldogs (15-3-3, 12-1-1 NCHA) took down the second-ranked Green Knights by the final score of 6-4 on Saturday and in the process dealt the visitors their first road sweep against them since 1997 against Alaska-Fairbanks. It was a physical game from the drop of the puck as 11 seconds into the game there were 10 penalty minutes. The Bulldogs got a power play out of that exchange and took full advantage as Kevin Balas scored at the 1:59 mark for his fifth of the season. The senior forward fired in a rebound goal in front after a shot by Adam Davies.
The senior class wanted to leave home ice for the final time in the regular season on a high note and scored five of the team's six goals. Duston Hebebrand snapped a seven-game goal less streak at 2:56 of the first for his eighth of the campaign also on the power play after a Kyle Lee tripping penalty. Hebebrand laced a one-timer between the circles to the top right corner with assists from Balas and Ryan Lowe. St. Norbert cut the lead to 2-1 at 5:10 of the opening period as Pijus Rulevicius connected on his eighth of the year from Cullen Bradshaw on the power play.
"This game meant so much to our senior class," said Balas. "We wanted to prove people wrong that said we couldn't possibly beat them twice. It is great to know that our last regular season home game was such an amazing team victory. The team knows we have a lot more work to do but we will enjoy these wins and get ready for Lawrence on Monday."
Senior Rob Heath notched his fourth of the season at 18:35 with Lowe and Micki Mihailovich getting the helpers as Adrian led 3-1 after 20 minutes scoring three goals in the first for the second straight game against the Green Knights. Michael Hill got the second period scoring going on the power play at 8:20 with assists from Tanner Froese and Mason Baptista. Adrian once again took a two-goal lead at 4-2 at 11:57 as Balas scored his second on the afternoon with Hebebrand getting an assist. Balas made a great individual move on a fake pass and turned to shoot near the left post.
Bradshaw got the Green Knights within a goal at 19:19 on the power play for the third time for St. Norbert making it 4-3 after 40 minutes. Freshman Kyle Brothers increased the cushion to 5-3 at 2:51 of the third for his 17th of the year from Josh Ranalli and Mathew Thompson. Brothers took a shot from a sharp angle to the right of goaltender Tony Kujava. Chris Rial got SNC within one yet again at 13:39 for his fourth of the campaign from Sam Higgins and Chris Rygus on a redirect as he was cutting to the net. Adrian killed off a Heath penalty at 14:31 briefly before Erik Cooper also went to the box for high sticking. St. Norbert called timeout with 2:02 left and emptied their net with 1:16 to play. Ranalli then sealed the win 24 seconds later with the empty-net goal from Lowe and Chris Leone.
"We really played a complete 60 minutes tonight and got another huge win against one of the elite programs in the nation," said head coach Adam Krug. "Once again we got the first goal and when you do that it gives the team confidence. The seniors really excelled this weekend and challenged the underclassmen to put it all on the line. The underclassmen responded and pushed the seniors so it was a complete team effort. The reality is that we got two wins and are now on top of the conference, but that can change so bring the intensity every night."