UWSP men’s hockey beats top-ranked Adrian to advance to Frozen Four
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) men’s
hockey team went on the road and knocked off top-ranked Adrian (Mich.) to earn a trip to
the NCAA Division III Frozen Four for the third year in a row.
The third-ranked Pointers (22-5-2) traveled to face
top-ranked Adrian (Mich.) (24-4-1) in a NCAA Division III National Quarterfinal
Saturday, March 19, and trailed 2-1 entering the second period, where they
scored two goals and then added two more in the third period to win 5-2 and
advance to the Frozen Four at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y., Friday
and Saturday, March 25-26.
UWSP will face seventh-ranked SUNY Geneseo (20-4-6) in a
National Semifinal at 3 p.m. Central Friday, with the winner to take on either second-ranked
St. Norbert (24-3-2) or sixth-ranked University of Massachusetts-Boston
(UMass-Boston) (23-4-3) in the NCAA Division III National Championship Game at 6
p.m. Central Saturday.
After winning the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
(WIAC) Tournament with a 4-3 victory in double overtime at 12th-ranked UW-River
Falls (16-7-5) in the WIAC Championship Game March 5, the Pointers received a
Pool C (at-large) bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, and an opening-round
bye in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
There, UWSP was sent to face top-ranked Adrian Saturday,
after the Pointers lost 3-2 at Adrian Nov. 28, and won at home over Adrian 6-4
UWSP fell behind early Saturday night, as Adrian scored into the game to take a 1-0 lead.
UWSP junior forward Jono Davis responded with power-play
goal two minutes later on an assist from junior forward Eliot Grauer to tie the
game at 1-1, but Adrian scored with 50 seconds left in the period to take a 2-1
lead into the first intermission.
Junior forward Lawrence Cornellier brought the game back to
even, as he scored a power-play goal on assists from junior forward Jacob
Barber and junior forward Kyle Sharkey 4:36 into the second period to tie the
game at 2-2, which it remained until late in the period.
With 11 seconds left in the second period, Barber scored on
assists from junior defenseman Nathan Harris and Sharkey to give UWSP a 3-2
lead heading into the second intermission.
Sophomore goaltender Max Milosek, who finished with 40 saves
in the game, kept Adrian at bay in the third period, as the Pointers held on to
a 3-2 lead heading into the final minute of regulation.
There, Cornellier scored an empty-net goal with 48 seconds
left to increase UWSP’s lead to 4-2, while Sharkey added an empty-net goal on
an assist from Milosek with eight seconds left, as the Pointers won 5-2 to
advance to the Frozen Four for the third year in a row and the 12th time in program
UWSP will open at the Frozen Four against seventh-ranked Geneseo
7-1 over Salve Regina (
in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and 2-1 at home over ninth-ranked
Williams (Mass.) (
in the National Quarterfinals last Saturday.
Geneseo is led by junior forward Stephen Collins (22 goals,
47 points), junior forward Trevor Hills (22 goals, 40 points), freshman forward
Anthony Marra (nine goals, 36 points), senior forward David Ripple (10 goals,
34 points) and freshman goalie Devin McDonald (17-2-5, 2.35 goals against
average, .925 save percentage).
The other National Semifinal will pit second-ranked St.
sixth-ranked UMass-Boston (23-4-3) at Friday.
St. Norbert, which won 5-2 at UWSP Nov. 21, rolled to a 6-1
win at home over 14th-ranked Augsburg
in the National Quarterfinals last Saturday and is led this season by senior
forward Erik Cooper (12 goals, 33 points), freshman forward Riley Christensen
(13 goals, 26 points), senior forward Michael Hill (15 goals, 25 points),
junior forward Pijus Rulevicius (15 goals, 24 points) and junior goalie Tony
Kujava (15-1-1, 1.27 goals against average, .934 save percentage).
UMass-Boston knocked off fifth-ranked and defending National
Champion Trinity (Conn.)
(21-6-1) 4-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and then beat fourth-ranked
Hobart (N.Y.) (21-5-2) in the National Quarterfinals last weekend, and is led this
season by senior forward Matt Lemire (15 goals, 44 points), sophomore forward
Colin Larkin (10 goals, 36 points), senior forward Frankie DeAugustine (15
goals, 34 points), junior defenseman Tyler Bishop (10 goals, 23 points) and
senior goalie Billy Faust (16-3-3, 1.95 goals against average, .934 save
The Pointers are 17-2 since Dec. 5, with a pair of one-goal
losses to 11th-ranked UW-Eau Claire (15-6-6), and are led this season by senior
forward Joe Kalisz (13 goals, 40 points), Sharkey (18 goals, 35 points),
Cornellier (22 goals, 34 points), senior defenseman Alex Brooks (six goals, 28
points), Davis (16 goals, 27 points), Grauer (10 goals, 26 points), Barber
(nine goals, 26 points) and Milosek (17-4-2, 2.08 goals against average, .915
UWSP finished as the National Runner-up the last two
seasons, as it fell to St. Norbert 3-1 in the 2014 National Championship Game,
and 5-2 to Trinity (Conn.) in the National Championship Game last year, after
Trinity scored with 3:52 left in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and then
added a pair of empty-net goals in the final 37 seconds.
The Pointers will be looking for their fifth National Title
in program history this weekend, after they also won the National Championship
in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1993.