Men's Hockey Falls to Top-Seeded Norwich in Overtime Thriller of NCAA Semifinals, 5-4

Action photos by Jeff Pexton - Perfect Game Imaging.
Action photos by Jeff Pexton - Perfect Game Imaging.

Postgame Quotes in PDF (provided by host Utica College Athletics)

UTICA, N.Y.--Adrian College mounted a furious comeback late in regulation, but had the rally spoiled in overtime as top-seeded Norwich University prevailed with a 5-4 win in the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship© Semifinals on Friday evening. 

Ian Williams scored the game-winning goal midway through the overtime period to lift the Cadets into the championship game (Saturday at 7 p.m.) against Trinity College, which was a 3-2 winner over St. Norbert College in today's first semifinal.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Norwich 5, Adrian 4 (overtime) Box / Text / Sheet

= Location: Utica Memorial Auditorium; Utica, N.Y.

= Records: Norwich Cadets 26-1-3; Adrian Bulldogs 20-7-2

= National Rankings: Norwich #1 D3hockey.com/#1 USCHO.com; Adrian #6 USCHO.com/ #6 D3hockey.com (NCAA overall seeds: #1 Norwich, #6 Adrian)

TOP 'DAWGS
= Sophomore Bryan Yim and freshman Joey Colatarci led a balanced Bulldogs offense with a goal and an assist each.

= Nine different skaters registered at least one point, including goal-scorers junior captain Mathew Thompson and sophomore Trevor Boyd along with Yim and Colatarci.

= Senior Austin Hervey led all student-athletes with 14 face-off wins in 27 draws.

THE OPPOSITION
= Williams led all scorers with three points, including the game-winner in OT.

= Jake Erickson had a career-high two goals--both in the second period--to increase his season total to three.

= Goalie Braeden Ostepchuk improved to 16-0 after stopping 36 shots.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Williams scored the OT-winner from a sharp angle along the goal line half-way between the net and the boards. He took a pass off the boards and shot the puck, which deflected off the goalie's right pad and trickled over the line. The game ended at the 11-minute, 40-second mark into the extra session.

= With 5:37 to go in regulation, Adrian began to overcome a 4-2 deficit on goals 1:24 apart. Boyd scored his team-leading 19th goal of the season on a shot-deflection from the point while AC on the power-play, and then Colatarci scored with 4:13 remaining on a feed from Yim to force OT.

= In a game of ebb and flow, Adrian carried much of the play in the third period and had two golden opportunities in the fourth. Yim had a nice tip between the circles on a shot from the right point with 12:55 left in OT that Ostepchuk stopped. Later on, freshman Vinny Post had a high shot over the crossbar off a partial breakaway.

= Moments later, Norwich's William Pelletier (1g-1a) had his shot sail over the crossbar on a partial breakaway.

= The Bulldogs outshot the Cadets 36 to 29, including 13-5 in the third to get themselves back into the contest.

= With Adrian on the power-play, Thompson tied the score at 2-2 at the 15:55 mark of the second period on tic-tac-toe passing by the Bulldogs. Junior Kyle Brothers passed from below the right of the cage to classmate Taylor McCloy between the circles, and when defenders converged on him he passed to Thompson to the other side. Thompson initially fanned on the one-timer, but regrouped quickly and wristed the shot into top-shelf just inside the right post.

= But Norwich responded late in the period at 18:21 on Erickson's second tally of the night and Kevin Salvucci took advantage of a turnover in Adrian's defensive zone to make it 4-2 just 53 seconds into the third.

= The teams traded goals in the opening stanza. Pelletier staked Norwich to a 1-0 advantage at 14:53 before Yim countered at 18:03.

= Erickson made it 2-1 NU at 14:34 of the second after he served a 2-minute interference penalty. Tyler Piacentini's shot from above the right circle was saved by Kevin Entmaa (24 saves), but the rebound caromed out to Erickson at the left circle, where he banged home the rebound six seconds later after returning to the ice.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Bulldogs have played in three "final fours" since 2011, finishing as the National Runner-Up in 2011 and losing to eventual NCAA champion Trinity two years ago.

= This marked the first-ever meeting between the NCAA III hockey powers.

= Adrian is 4-7 in seven all-time appearances in the NCAA Tournament. 

= Hervey tonight played in his 100th game wearing the Black and Gold. Hervey finishes with 27 goals and 25 assists for 52 total points in his career.

= Adrian senior defenseman Michael Hoy has 9+29=38 scoring totals in 99 career games.

= Winger Daniel Lisi, a two-time alternate captain for the Bulldogs, ended up with 15+17=32 totals in 87 games between Sacred Heart University and Adrian.

= Sophomore defenseman Cory Dunn (9g, 27a), Boyd (19g, 17a) and Brothers (8g, 28a) all finished tied for the Adrian lead with 36 total points.

= In overtime games in 2016-17, Norwich improves to 2-1-3 and Adrian is now 0-1-2.

= Norwich, bidding for its fourth NCAA crown, has won 24 games in a row.

= Entmaa's 565 saves on the season ranks fourth in school history.

= Adrian's power-play unit was stellar in the NCAAs, going 6-for-12 and 50.0 percent efficiency.

#10thSeasonAnniversary #AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #GDTBAB