APPLETON, Wis. – A Lawrence University goal with one second remaining in the second period cut the Concordia University Wisconsin Men's Hockey lead to one Friday evening. The Falcons wouldn't let LU carry any momentum into the third period, however, as they scored three unanswered for a 6-2 season-opening win at the Appleton Family Ice Center.
The win marked the first time the Falcons have opened the season with a 1-0-0 record as they were 0-6-0 in their previous six games to begin a season. It also marks just the second time CUW has been over .500, the other when they were 4-3-0 last season.
CUW built a 2-0 lead in the opening stanza thanks to first period goals by sophomores Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.) and Buster Hebda (Firestone, Colo.). Hebda also gained an assist on the Hughes score, which came 4:06 into play, while a pair of freshmen, Dylan Hutton (Ajax, Ontario) and Brandt Weldon (The Pas, Manitoba), gained their first collegiate points with assists on the Hebda goal. CUW totaled 11 assists in the contest, the second most in program history.
The Falcons pushed the lead to 3-0 midway through the second period when junior Matt Gates (Palatine, Ill.) tallied his first goal in a CUW jersey. Gates mark was scored with a man advantage and was assisted by sophomores Devin Stuermer (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Kevin Michelcavage (Sterling Heights, Mich.).
Lawrence had its best stretch of the night over the final five minutes of the second period, scoring twice to cut the Falcon lead to 3-2. Huck Saunders scored both LU goals, the first on the power play, while the second was scored with just one second remaining before the second intermission.
Following an eleven-plus minutes of scoreless third period action, CUW again heated up with three goals to close out the victory. Sophomore Eli Riddle (Blissfield, Mich.) started the third-period scoring with a power play goal courtesy of assists by freshmen Brett Penner (Medstead, Saskatchewan) and Cody Doiron (Caledon, Ontario). Freshman Tanner Bull (Brooklin, Ontario) followed with his first career goal, while Stuermer closed out the scoring for the Falcons. Riddle and Doiron gained assists on the Stuermer score, while senior Dan Shilts (New Richmond, Wis.) and sophomore Lawrence Childs (Silver Springs, Md.) earned their first points of the season with assists on the score from Bull.
Sophomore goalie Jake Hebda (Firestone, Colo.) was outstanding between the pipes for the Falcons, stopping 26 shots in the victory. CUW outshot Lawrence, 31-28, as Peter Emery made 25 saves for the home team.
The Falcons (1-0-0, 1-0-0 NCHA) and Vikings will finish off their home-and-home series tomorrow night in the home-opener for CUW. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. as live stats and video will be available courtesy of CUWFalcons.com.