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St. Norbert hockey continues its winning ways

By Murray Gleffe

ASHWAUBENON — The St. Norbert College men’s hockey team shows no signs of slowing down.

Winners of 11 of their past 14 games, the Green Knights walloped No. 12-ranked Augsburg University 6-1 in a non-conference game Feb. 8 at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center.

Colby Entz made 20 saves in net for St. Norbert, while Daniil Gerasimov stopped 28 shots for Augsburg.

The Auggies struck first with 10:07 remaining in the first period – Grant Reichenbacher made a wrap-around-move to put the visitors in front 1-0.

Green Knights’ goaltender Colby Entz makes one of his 20 saves on the night, as St. Norbert defeated Augsburg, 6-1. Murray Gleffe Photo 

“We played well during the first two shifts, and then we fell off a bit with our intensity,” said Andy Brandt, St. Norbert assistant coach. “Augsburg started to push, and they poked one in early.”

As in the previous two games in which the Green Knights (13-8-2 overall) gave up the opening goal, they responded with 1:52 left in the opening period.

After a bad turnover in the Auggies’ zone, St. Norbert forward Peter Bates went in hard from the left wing, made a move on Gerasimov and lit the lamp on the right side of the net to even the game at one apiece.

As evenly played as the first period was, the Green Knights flexed their physicality and athleticism on Augsburg (13-7-1 overall) in the middle period, but only managed a single goal despite having an eight-shot advantage.

With 8:29 left in the second, Tim Nicksic redirected a shot from Keenan Spillum at the blue line to give St. Norbert a 2-1 lead.

“I thought we started to wear them down a bit,” Brandt said. “We want to play a physical brand of hockey. I think our secondary scoring is up, and it’s our detail away from the puck. We had a lot of poise to hold and redirect shots tonight.”

Heading into the final 20 minutes with a one-goal advantage, the Green Knights played a near flawless period of hockey.

Ben Schmidling found pay dirt 1:48 into the final period after getting a stick on the puck from a shot sent in by Chase Mickelson.

It gave St. Norbert a 3-1 lead.

“When you have a goaltender like Gerasimov who’s clipping at a .900 save percentage, you better do a good job of making his life difficult,” said Brandt. “I thought we did a great job of getting to the net and presenting traffic on shots.”

After the Green Knights found themselves a man down on a slashing penalty by Nicksic, Peyton Frantti found himself in open ice and sent a short-handed slapper into the net to extend the lead to 4-1.

Down the stretch, the Auggies looked road weary as the Green Knights notched two additional goals by Michael Spethmann and Michael McChesney to add to the blow-out victory.

“We talk about 50-50 puck battles in which we are building up to during the season,” Brandt said. “Our guys were hungry and working well without the puck. All of it adds up to success and a nice win against a very good team.”

Box score

Augsburg University: 1, 0, 0—1

St. Norbert College: 1, 1, 4—6

Shots on Goal:

Augsburg: 10, 7, 4—21

St. Norbert: 10, 15, 9—34

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