LAKE PLACID, New York — Brad Pung scored at the 9:42 mark of the second overtime, helping St. Norbert College to a 3-2 victory over Salve Regina in the NCAA Division III national hockey championship on Saturday night. It was the fifth national title in program history and second in the last five years.
Helena’s Clay Van Diest, son of Carroll College head football coach Mike Van Diest and his wife Heidi, is listed as a junior defenseman on the Green Knights roster. Van Diest entered the season as a two-time letter winner and has helped St. Norbert to the NCAA DIII Frozen Four in each of the last three seasons.
Dominick Sacco scored the opening goal of Saturday’s championship, taking an assist from Tanner Froese and Peter Bates during a power play for a 1-0 St. Norbert lead at the 18:31 mark in the first period.
The Green Knights extended their lead with another power play goal in the second period, with Froese and Bates assisting Luke Davison for a 2-0 advantage.
But the Salve Regina Seahawks scored the next two goals, tying the game in the third period. The two teams went through the first overtime with no scoring, before Pung’s goal lifted the Green Knights to the title.
According to the St. Norbert College website, Van Diest appeared in 20 games this season, scoring one goal and assisting on one more for two total points. The former Helena hockey standout also spent 12 minutes in the penalty box during the season.