AMP'D UP: Green Knights go to Eleven

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Compiled by Staff --

ASHWAUBENON, Wis.-With help from Roman Uchyn and a capacity crowd, the St. Norbert Green Knights (22-5-1) went to eleven in Ashwaubenon Saturday. An eleventh frozen four in the last fifteen years awaits Tim Coghlin's charges, as Uchyn's one-timer busted a 3-3 tie almost fourteen minutes into overtime. That was enough to overcome a stiff challenge out of the skilled and spirited MIAC champions from Augsburg as St. Norbert posted a 4-3 NCAA quarterfinal victory.

The win for St. Norbert sends them back to the Empire State for semifinal competition for the second straight year, and the Green Knights will make a second trip this season alone after taking on Manhattanville at Rye, NY in the regular season. Augsburg closes out a fourth all-time tournament appearance with the loss.

In front of a lively, audible audience of 1,660 at the Cornerstone Community Center, the visitors from the Twin Cities entered the hostile road atmosphere with confidence. Augsburg dictated the course of play out of the gate, firing on nine of the game's first ten shots at St. Norbert sophomore backstop TJ Black.

The Auggie presence was further strengthened by a Dominick Sacco tripping minor, but a successful kill temporarily fended off the Auggie offensive for St. Norbert. The scoreless tie only remained for another 1:38, when Auggie senior forward Corbin Chapman broke it with his twelfth goal of the season assisted by 30 point forward Nate Flynn and sophomore Luke Dietsch.

It marked the beginning of a strong day for the Auggies, and for Chapman who finished with three points in his final collegiate game. A successful Augsburg penalty kill caused by a Drew Anderson minor stagnated the score, and a 14-6 shot advantage buoyed the visitors to a 1-0 lead after one. 

In terms of overall flow, the matchup tightened up with the long change in the second, with just twelve combined shots on goal. Yet, both teams were efficient at even strength in what became a three goal period. Luke Karakas evened the score for the Green Knights with just his second of the season at 6:26, only for Augsburg to reacquire the lead at 11:14 on a goal by Trevor Stewart.

The Green Knights had the last word just before the horn as veteran forward Pijus Rulevicius, one of the last remaining members of St Norbert's last national title team in 2014, scored with just under three seconds to go to keep the score square through the second intermission.

Roman Uchyn scored the overtime game-winner for St. Norbert. 
Photo: Larry Radloff, 

Despite a pair of power play chances in the front half of the third, the Green Knights were still limited on their shot attempts as they were held to six in total for the period. But that did not deter them from taking their first lead at 11:55 on a goal from Steven Phillips.

The game was still far from over with the slim margin, and Augsburg's Corbin Chapman rose to the occasion on a Jeremy Olinyk minor, lighting the lamp on a power play marker 2:38 after the go-ahead by Phillips to force overtime, where the Green Knights would begin to gain control of the middle of the ice while limiting Augsburg's 13 attempts to above the dots, of which six were blocked away by the Green Knights in front of Black.

At 13:54, the dagger came on a low-slot one timer by Uchyn that jetted past Augsburg goaltender Nick Schmit and sent the Cornerstone Community Center into a celabratory frenzy as the Green Knights booked yet another flight out east. The final shot totals favored the Auggies, 34-26. 

Schmit stopped 22-of-26 attempts in net for the Auggies as the loss wrapped up his sophomore season at 10-2-2. TJ Black restrained 31 of 34 shots at the other end for St. Norbert to grab hold of his 17th win of the season. Augsburg graduates six seniors that won a total of 59 games and two MIAC titles in four years.



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