Nation's Top Two NCAA Men's Hockey Teams Meet at St. Norbert in De Pere, Wis.

Senior defenseman Blake Butzow is an assistant captain in 2017-18. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Senior defenseman Blake Butzow is an assistant captain in 2017-18. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

DE PERE, Wis.--Adrian College came from behind three times at St. Norbert College on Saturday evening in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association men's action. But in the end, Peter Bates scored on the power play with 59 seconds left in overtime to lift the host Green Knights to a 4-3 victory between the nation's top-two ranked teams. 

THE BASICS
= Final Score: St. Norbert College 4, Adrian College 3 (overtime)

= Location: Cornerstone Community Center Ice Rink; De Pere, Wis.

= Records: St. Norbert Green Knights 4-0 overall (4-0 NCHA North Division); Adrian Bulldogs 3-1 overall (3-1 NCHA South Division)

= National Rankings: Adrian--#1 D3hockey.com, #2 USCHO.com polls; St. Norbert--#2 D3hockey.com, #1 USCHO.com

TOP 'DAWGS
= Adrian got a balanced offense with six student-athletes finding their names on the scoresheet, including goal scorers sophomore Dino Balsamo, senior captain Mathew Thompson and senior assistant captain Taylor McCloy.

= Junior goalie Kevin Entmaa had a season-best 27 saves.

THE OPPOSITION
= Tanner Froese and Riley Christensen had two assists apiece.

= SNC got goals from Keegan Milligan, Brad Pung, Luke Davison and Bates--scoring once in each period.

= T.J. Black stopped 24 of 27 shots he faced.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Late in the five-minute extra session, Adrian was whistled for a 2-minute minor penalty for too many men on the ice. Four minutes and one second into the power-play opportunity, the Green Knights capitalized with Bates scoring on the goal crease on assists from Dominick Sacco and Tanner Froese.

= Adrian came back three times after trailing by one goal, the latest 3:47 remaining in regulation when McCloy tipped home a slap shot from the point by junior defenseman Braden Hellems to equal 3-3 and force overtime. The tying goal came on a 5-on-3 power play for the Bulldogs.

= Entering the third period, Adrian trailed 2-1 before Thompson buried an unassisted goal at the 4:54 mark. Davison restored the Green Knights' lead to 3-2 on a power play goal at 10:36.

= Balsamo knotted the score at 1-1 on a feed by senior right wing Austin Rust at 6:51 of the second period. But with 37 seconds left, Pung put SNC back on top 2-1.

= Milligan gave the hosts a 1-0 lead midway through the opening stanza.

= The back-and-forth action on the ice saw SNC outshooting AC by a slim 31-27 margin.

= The Bulldogs converted 1-of-5 power play opportunities while the Green Knights were 2-for-7.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= SNC takes a 9-6 all-time series lead over the Bulldogs, including a 5-2 mark in Wisconsin.

= Thompson leads the team with seven points (5 goals, 2 assists) on the season and has 101 in his 79-game career wearing the Black & Gold.

= Adrian senior forward Kyle Brothers saw his seven-game multiple-point scoring streak during the regular season, dating back to Feb. 10, 2017, snapped. During that stretch, he compiled a whopping 18 points on four goals and 14 assists.

= Tonight, for the first time in four tries, Adrian did not score at least three goals in the second period. On the season, the Bulldogs are outscoring opponents 13-2 in the middle period and 23-6 overall for a plus-17 differential.

= Adrian's power play is 28.6 percent (6-21), which is tied for ninth in NCAA Division III.

UP NEXT
= Adrian will have a home-and-home series against NCAA newcomer and NCHA opponent Trine next weekend. First, the teams will meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Angola, Ind. Then they shift back to Adrian's Arrington Ice Arena for a 7:05 p.m. Saturday puckdrop. Get your tickets in advance and online: http://www.adrianbulldogs.com/links/zk0vqb

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