Updated: 03/21/2014 11:39 PM
Created: 03/21/2014 10:19 PM WHEC.com
SUNY Geneseo junior forward Justin Scharfe and first-year defenseman Cam Hampson scored back-to-back goals to tie the game in the second period, but it was St. Norbert pulling away to earn a 6-2 victory over the Knights in the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament Semifinals, Friday, at the Adroscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
The Knights (23-7) finish the campaign tied for the most wins in a season after picking up the program's first two NCAA Tournament victories ever. Geneseo defeated Nichols, 3-2, and Norwich, 3-2, in the first two rounds to advance to its first semifinal in five overall appearances.
Sophomore goalie Nick Horrigan's 38 saves were the second-highest total of his career, finishing two short of the 40 he compiled at Cortland (Feb. 15) earlier in the season.
St. Norbert scored the only goal of the first period on a hard shot by senior defenseman Reid Campbell that got through a crowd in front of a screened Horrigan with 14:27 on the clock.
Geneseo was called for a holding penalty just over two minutes into the second period and St. Norbert made them pay with a power-play tally to take a 2-0 edge with 17:04 showing on the clock.
Geneseo responded with a pair of goals in the next five minutes to knot the game, 2-2. Hampson scored on a wrist shot from the point that found the bottom right corner of the net before Scharfe finished off a loose puck in front of the St. Norbert net with 12:16 to play in the period.
The teams appeared to be heading to the second intermission all-even, but a pair of St. Norbert goals by sophomore forward Michael Hill in the last 2:30 put the Knights in a two-goal hole. A shot from the right side was clogged up in front of Horrigan but Hill appeared to coax it across the goal line with his body to with 2:31 on the clock. Then, with 1:07 showing, Hill wrapped a goal around the Geneseo cage and beat Horrigan on the right post.
St. Norbert solidified its third appearance in the NCAA title game in the last four years with two more goals in the final minutes, while holding the Knights scoreless. Senior forward Joe Perry scored on an empty net with 3:13 on the clock before sophomore forward Tyler Zepeda finished the game off with a goal at 1:21 showing.
Winners of two of the last three national titles, St. Norbert out-shot the Knights, 44-27, while NCHA National Player of the Year David Jacobson was credited with 25 saves to preserve the victory.