St. Norbert College earned the top seeding in the West Region of the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament for the 11th time in 12 years, and will receive a first-round bye in the 11-team tournament as a result.
St. Norbert (23-5-1) will host a national quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Cornerstone Community Center. The Green Knights will face either UW-Eau Claire (20-5-2) or St. John's University (16-7-4). The Blugolds and Johnnies will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Eau Claire in a first-round matchup. The winner of Saturday's quarterfinal will advance to the NCAA Division III Frozen Four on March 15-16 at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.
This tournament appearance is St. Norbert's 14th, with the Green Knights also making appearances in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. All first-round and quarterfinal-round games except for 1997 have come at home. The Green Knights are 22-10-1 all-time in the NCAA tournament and won the 2008, 2011 and 2012 national championships. St. Norbert carries an eight-game NCAA Tournament winning streak into this year's tournament.
UW-Eau Claire is making its second NCAA Division III Tournament appearance and its first since 1989. The Blugolds, 0-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, won the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship but fell 3-0 to St. Norbert in the championship game of the NCHA Peters Cup Playoffs on Saturday in Eau Claire.
St. John's shared the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championship with St. Thomas and then went on to win the MIAC Tournament. The Johnnies, 2-7-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, are making their sixth overall NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2005.
Other first-round matchups on Wednesday include UMass-Dartmouth and Bowdoin and Wentworth at Babson. In Saturday's other quarterfinals, the Wentworth-Babson winner plays Norwich, and the UMD-Bowdoin winner at Utica. Oswego State travels to Adrian in the fourth quarterfinal.
- Courtesy St. Norbert Athletics