St. Norbert hockey wins 17th straight in wild fashion
By Murray Gleffe
ASHWAUBENON – If you like high-octane offense, this Northern Collegiate Hockey Association game was right up your alley.
St. Norbert College and Trine University combined for 15 goals in the Green Knights’ 10-5 victory Jan. 29 at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center.
“We did a great job of taking away seams and shot lanes,” St. Norbert Assistant Coach Andy Brandt said. “You never want to give up five, but we’re happy about what we did offensively tonight. At the end of the day, we walked away with six points on the weekend.
The Green Knights also defeated Trine the night before, 5-3.
Peter Bates and Ben Schmidling each tallied a hat trick for St. Norbert, which has won 17 straight, dating back to a 4-1 loss to Augsburg Nov. 6.
Liam Fraser and Peyton Frantti had four and two assists, respectively.
Johnny Roberts made 24 saves in net for the Green Knights.
Tyler Fox struck first for Trine (14-7 overall, 8-6 NCHA) about a minute into the game.
St. Norbert (18-3, 14-0) countered with goals by Bates and Carter Hottmann for a 2-1 lead.
With about six minutes remaining in the opening period, the Thunder evened the game at 2-2 when Drew Welsch tickled the net after a nice feed from Garrett Hallford.
As crazy as the first period was with goal-scoring, the second period became 20 minutes of blistering, chaotic lamp lighting.
Seven goals were registered in total, with a succession of three goals in 27 seconds of ice time.
“I was writing down notes and didn’t see any of them,” Brandt said about the quick goals. “I was trying to figure it out, and the next thing you know, the horn was going off.”
Bates secured his third of the night with 11:53 left in the middle stanza for a 5-3 lead.
On numerous occasions, the public address announcer had a difficult time relaying the goal to those in attendance because of the rapid scoring pace.
The Green Knights eventually took a 7-4 lead into the final period.
A minute and 12 seconds into the third, Schmidling added his third of the night on the power play for an 8-4 advantage.
“We were zipping pucks around on the power play,” Brandt said. “Ben (Schmidling) scored all of his goals in the paint. He got to those hard areas and made sure he bared down when he got the opportunity. (Michael McChesney) and (Brock Baker) had lots of confidence and produced in many ways for us on those shifts.”
Baker and Frantti tacked on goals late for St. Norbert, which remained tied in the NCHA record standings with Adrian College, the No. 1-ranked Division III team in the country.
After hosting Milwaukee School of Engineering in the first of a home-and-away series Feb. 4-5, the Green Knights travel to Adrian (20-1, 14-0) Feb. 11-12.
“Every line was good this evening,” Brandt said. “We always say it’s a long season at the beginning, but now here we are, and it’s gone by quickly. We have four conference games remaining. That’s a good team (MSOE) walking through the door. We need to be prepared.”