November 23, 2014

St. Norbert hockey men & women prepare for NCAA’s

St. Norbert College earned the top seeding in the West Region of the NCAA Division III Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament for the 11th time in 12 years, and will receive a first-round bye in the 11-team tournament as a result.

St. Norbert (23-5-1) will host a national quarterfinal game at 7pm Saturday at the Cornerstone Community Center.  The Green Knights will face either UW-Eau Claire (20-5-2) or St. John’s University (16-7-4).  The Blugolds and Johnnies will meet at 7pm Wednesday in Eau Claire in a first-round matchup.

The winner of Saturday’s quarterfinal will advance to the NCAA Division III Frozen Four on March 15-16 at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The tournament appearance is St. Norbert’s 14th.  The Green Knights are 22-10-1 all-time in the NCAA tournament and won the 2008, 2011 and 2012 national championships.  St. Norbert carries an eight-game NCAA Tournament winning streak into this year’s tournament.

UW-Eau Claire is making its second NCAA Division III Tournament appearance and its first since 1989.  The Blugolds, 0-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, won the NCHA regular-season championship but fell 3-0 to St. Norbert in the championship game of the NCHA Peters Cub Playoffs on Saturday in Eau Claire.

St. Norbert women

The St. Norbert women’s hockey team will head east when making its first NCAA Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament appearance.

The Green Knights (18-9-2) will head to New York’s North Country to face Plattsburgh State University (25-0-2) Saturday at Stafford Ice Arena in Plattsburgh, New York in a national quarterfinal game.

St. Norbert is in its third season of varsity women’s ice hockey, earning the NCHA’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament with a 3-2 overtime win over UW-River Falls Saturday to win the O’Brien Cup Playoffs Championship.

St. Norbert is only the second private-school NCHA member to advance to the NCAA Tournament.  Adrian College advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2011.