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Pointers defeat Green Knights in men’s hockey

By Murray Gleffe

ASHWAUBENON — One night after the No. 4-ranked St. Norbert College men’s hockey team knocked off No. 1 Stevens Point, the Pointers exacted a bit of revenge in a 3-1 non-conference victry at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center Nov. 2. 

Ryan Bontorin made 21 saves in net for the Green Knights, while Eli Billing made 16 for Point.

“I thought we played a bit tired, and they took it to us the final two periods in out-shooting us 20-9,” said St. Norbert assistant coach Andy Brandt. “Despite that, Bontorin had an outstanding couple of games. He’s grabbed the reins early in the season.”

As with most rivalry games, the first seven minutes produced four penalties, in which both teams lost their cool.

In all, there were 14 penalties called and 29 minutes spent in the box.

St. Norbert (1-1 overall) forwards Max Brainin and Kurt Black got looks in front of the net early in the first period, but Billing was stout in net. 

With 4:59 left in the opener and the Green Knights thoroughly outplaying the Pointers (1-1), Brendan Aird stuffed home a shot for a 1-0 St. Norbert lead.

Luke Davison and Ben Schmidling were both credited with assists. 

“Aird is a young defenseman who has been put in a lot of different situations,” said Brandt. “He’s handling things well, and we like the ways he’s progressing.”

With under a minute remaining in the first, Bontorin made a quick glove save after Zach Zech sent in a wrister from the blue line.

St. Norbert held an 8-4 advantage in shots on goal after the first period.

Stevens Point didn’t stay down for long.

Luke McElhenie had an early breakaway for the Pointers to open the second period, but two Green Knights’ defenders went down to the ice to prevent a shot, as the puck squirted out to mid ice.

With 14:12 left in the second period, the visitors tied the game at one with a power play goal by Zech.

The Green Knights’ best look in the middle period came when Keegan Milligan fed Davison in front of the net, but the moorings came off the net and stopped play. 

As the Pointers kept peppering the nets late in the period, St. Norbert forward Evan Cholak was ejected for laying out Danny Kiraly at mid ice.

Cholak received a five-minute game misconduct penalty which carried over to the final period.

“They put us on our heels to end the second period,” added Brandt. “We were chasing the game a bit and losing puck races.”

The Green Knights killed off the major penalty to start the third, but Stevens Point received a penalty shot with 10:18 left in the game after a hooking penalty on a breakaway.

Luke McEhlenie capitalized, putting the Pointers up 2-1.

Point added to its margin five minutes later when Ryan Mackellar sent in a wrister that bounced in off Bontorin for a 3-1 lead. 

The Green Knights will host Lake Forest College Nov. 7-8. 

“These are two quality hockey teams,” Brandt said about his team and Stevens Point. “If we do see them again, we hope it’s late in the season.”

Box score

Stevens Point: 0, 1, 2 — 3

St. Norbert: 1, 0, 0 — 1

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