DE PERE, Wis. - No. 6 St. Norbert College drew first blood in its Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Peters Cup Playoffs quarterfinal series opener when it defeated UW-Stout 3-2 at the Cornerstone Community Center.
The Green Knights (20-5-1) need only a tie in Saturday's second game to advance to the semifinals. Stout (10-14-2) needs a win and a win in the decisive mini-game following the regular contest to eliminate the Green Knights.
The Blue Devils got the early jump with a goal by Kevin O'Donnell just 1 minutes 7 seconds into the game. The Green Knights answered at 14:10 when Kyle Stroh tapped home a rebound. Stroh scored again at 16:31 in a 4-on-4 situation, with a rebound coming straight to him at the far post for his 19th goal of the season.
St. Norbert pushed its lead to 3-1 when Cody Keefer knocked in a bounding puck for a power-play goal at 6:58 of the second period. The marker was Keefer's 16th of the season.
Stout countered at 2:58 of the third period on a goal by Charles Lachance. The Blue Devils had 1:05 of extra-attacker time in the game's waning moments, but couldn't register the equalizer.
St. Norbert outshot Stout 33-18. David Jacobson made 16 saves for the Green Knights, while Nick Hopper made 30 saves for Stout. St. Norbert was 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Blue Devils were 0-for-2.