MILWAUKEE – Junior Zach Woodman made 29 saves and the MSOE hockey team scored both a short-handed and power play goal to upset No. 2/3 St. Norbert 2-1 Thursday night at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (12-7-5, 9-6-4 NCHA) fell behind the Green Knights (18-5-1, 14-4-1 NCHA) 1-0 after one period, but strike for goal each in the second and third period to come away with the victory.
Senior Gage Christianson and junior Clint Garris provided the offense to support a stout defensive effort and secure a key victory as MSOE fights for a Harris Cup Playoff spot.
The Raiders matched the highly-ranked Green Knights' intensity throughout the game, creating a fast-paced exciting contest. It was St. Norbert, however, that opened the scoring on a power play goal in the first period, with Brad Pung one-timing a shot out front at 13:20.
Christianson then got the Raiders on the board at 14:27 of the second half as they were killing off a five-minute major. Junior Zach Simpson got the play started, finding freshman Evan Kearns on a loose. Kearns then sent Christianson through the neutral zone with an outlet pass. Christianson then cut inside on the defense and beat the goalie with a top-shelf wrist shot.
Garris' go-ahead goal came at 4:04 of the third period. The Raiders were on the power play and St. Norbert attempted to clear the puck from behind its own red line. Garris was at the blue line, kept the puck in the zone with his out-reached stick and uncorked a slap shot from right out from out front.
SNC outshot the MSOE 30-18 on the night, including 14-5 in the third period as the visitors played from behind. The Green Knights played the final 2:18 with an empty net, but was unable to capitalize courtesy of some key Woodman saves. The Raiders nearly poached an insurance goal, but a leaping stop by a defenseman at his own blue line sent the shot off target.
With the win, the Red & White moves into a tie for second place in the NCHA South Division with Marian on 22 points. The Sabres, as well as fourth-place Lake Forest (20 points) and fifth-place Concordia Wisconsin (19), don't open their final series' until Friday.
The regular season for all teams comes Saturday, with MSOE playing the Green Knights in DePere. Puck drops at 7 p.m.