By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON – More than 600 wins and five national championships.
The resume of St. Norbert College Head Coach Tim Coghlin is at the top of NCAA Division III hockey.
St. Norbert College, in partnership with the Cornerstone Community Center, named the facility’s Rink No. 1 as “Tim Coghlin Rink” in a dedication before the Green Knights’ 7-1 win over Concordia University Wisconsin Dec. 3.
Coghlin, who recorded his 600th career win at the helm of St. Norbert with a win over Finlandia University Nov. 19. is in his 28th year.
The logo will be permanently displayed on the press box facade and on the ice for the 2022-23 season.
“His record speaks for itself,” St Norbert Assistant Coach Andy Brandt said. “For me, it was special to come here. Off the ice, he mentors and cares for our guys. He holds them accountable and expects lots out of them. You want to play hard for ‘Cogs.’”
After the dedication, the players took care of business in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA) game.
Peter Bates scored three goals and added an assist for the Green Knights, who have won seven straight games after starting the season 1-3.
As decorated as the night began, the Falcons spoiled the early fun by scoring three minutes into the game when Jay Powell beat St. Norbert goalie Johnny Roberts for a 1-0 lead.
“It was a face-off play by Concordia,” Brandt said on the first goal of the game. “They set a pick on the inside, (Powell) rolled through and snuck one through. After that, the bench rallied around, and we took over from there.”
Midway through the first period, the Green Knights went to work.
Bates took a pass from Liam Fraser and lit the lamp to even the game at one apiece.
With about four minutes remaining in the opening period, Roberts stoned Concordia’s Michael Makarenko on a breakaway attempt.
Near the end of the opening period, Bates added to his total after he redirected a puck sent in by Peyton Frantti to give St. Norbert a 2-1 lead after one.
“Getting Peyton (Frantti) back helps,” Brandt said. “We added size back to the middle. It creates some space. When your top line is your hardest working, they’re going to get on the scoresheet.”
St. Norbert (8-3 overall, 5-0 NCHA) kept the gas pedal down in the middle period when Michael Spethmann found a cutting Michael McChesney, who sent a slapshot past Falcons’ goalie Bo Didur for a 3-1 lead.
Five minutes later, Bates tallied his hat trick as the Green Knights took a comfortable 4-1 lead into the final period.
During the final 20 minutes, numerous skirmishes broke out on the ice.
It didn’t matter, as St. Norbert tacked on additional goals by Brock Baker, Frantti and Fraser to run away with the six-goal victory.
The finale of the two-game series is Saturday, Dec. 4, in Mequon at 4 p.m.
Sports editor’s note: To read about former St. Norbert College hockey player Tim Davison and his recovery from cancer, CLICK HERE.