LEWISTON — It was a record and a game-changer in the same 11-second span.

In every-day life, 11 seconds can feel like a long time. In a hockey game, it can barely be enough time to catch your breath and regroup.

Eleven seconds can also be all the time you need to turn the tide in stunning fashion. That was the case in Saturday’s Division III National Championship.

St. Norbert College struck twice in that span and changed the tone of Saturday’s game. It was not only a crucial first blow, but an effective one-two punch. The Green Knights rode that lead to a 3-1 victory over Stevens Point and their third title in four years.

“We got out to the early lead,” St. Norbert coach Tim Coghlin said. “We played with the lead most of the night. Usually when we do that, I think our structure, our players, our senior class and our goaltender allow us to do some things.”

The quick 2-0 lead on goals from Joe Perry and Erik Cooper gave the Green Knights the early lead and plenty of momentum, while stunning the Pointers. It put St. Norbert in control of the game and the Green Knights held that until a Garrett Ladd goal early in the third gave Stevens Point brief life.


“Every game has its ebb and flow,” Coghlin said. “One team comes out and is going to push the other and the other team pushes back. We’ve lived that the entire season. That’s what hockey coaches and teams do. The resiliency of our group, there’s never been anybody that pushed so hard that we didn’t respond.”

The 11 seconds between goals is a Division III National Championship game record. The previous mark was 31 seconds, set by Oswego State in last year’s title game. The Lakers lost that game, despite the record.

In the blink of an eye, Stevens Point watched a 0-0 title game turn into a 2-0 St. Norbert lead.

“We were down 2-0 after the first period and I loved the way we played in the first period,” Stevens Point coach Chris Brooks said. “That’s hockey.”

Brooks said the Pointers tried to stay calm and not get rattled by the sudden deficit.

“We had to stay the course,”  Brooks said. “We been there before. We had to stay focused. We had to trust the system and know that we’ll give ourselves our opportunities and we did.”


The first one came with 6:54 remaining in the opening period. Perry cut down the right side. Stevens Point goalie Brandon Jaeger came out of the net to challenge him. Perry continued on past and behind the net, where he tucked the puck into an open net and through the feet of a Pointers defender.

“He’s really aggressive,” Perry said about the scouting report on Jaeger. “So when I got the puck, I sort of pump faked it. He came way out. I was able to go around and sneak it by.”

Before that goal was even announced and before the celebrating had ceased, the lead went to 2-0.  Soon after the face-off, Cooper fired a shot from the top of the circles that went in off Jaeger’s pads.

“To bounce back on the next shift and get another goal, that really kept the momentum going,” Perry said.

The Green Knights, who outshot the Pointers 10-2 to start, drew a power play soon thereafter, and continued putting the pressure on.

St. Norbert then rode some solid defensive play and the work of goaltender David Jacobson.


“I think David was in a good spot to see most everything,” Coghlin said. “They had a small number, three, four or five ‘wow’ chances. David was huge. That’s something we’ve come to expect from David’s play.”

The Pointers finally got a swing in momentum with Ladd’s goal early in the third but that was short-lived. Marian Fiala’s blistering shot bumped the lead back to 3-1 and stymied any swing Stevens Point’s way.

“There were so many momentum changes in the hockey game,” Brooks said. “It would have been nice to get a bounce here or there.”


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