LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Norwich University owned a 27-23 shots advantage, but in the end, a strong effort from St. Norbert freshman goalkeeper David Jacobson turned out to be the difference in one of two NCAA Division III semifinals March 16. St. Norbert advanced to the March 17 national championship with a 4-1 win.
The Cadets, concluding another strong slate at 24-3-2, had early chances at the SNC goal but Jacobson and his defense kept the net and scoreboard clean. The Green Knights, on a man advantage, broke up the deadlock on a rebound shot just past the outstretched right leg of sophomore goalkeeper Parker Carroll (West Chester, Pa.) from the stick of Joe Perry at 18:50 of the first period.
Despite being out-shot 11-4 in the second stanza, one of St. Norbert's attempts hit the back of NU's net. Chris Rial registered a goal at 11:45 to make the count 2-0.
The final frame opened with the Green Knights scoring on a power play, as Seth Soley sent it home to make it 3-0. Coach Mike McShane's squad kept firing at the SNC goal and broke through with just under six minutes to go.
After Jacobson deflected a rocket off the stick of junior forward Pier-Olivier Cotnoir (Rouyn-Nouranda, Quebec), fellow junior forward Blake Forkey (Boca Raton, Fla.) tallied his seventh goal of the season by slipping in a rebound shot to the left of Jacobson make it 3-1. Norwich kept the pressure on down the stretch and just missed several attempts to further cut into the lead. An empty net goal from SNC's Kyle Stroh closed the scoring in the final minute.
Forkey and junior forward Kyle Thomas (Waltham, Mass.) shared the Maroon and Gold shots lead with four each. Carroll closed the game with 19 saves.
NOTES – Norwich's 24 victories marked the third consecutive season the Cadets have been above 20 wins. … The meeting between the two NCAA Division III powers was the third in a row in the Frozen Four setting. SNC won last year's semifinal 3-2, while NU stopped them 2-1 to win the 2010 title.