MEQUON, Wis. – Following a 5-5 tie last night, the Concordia University Wisconsin and Bethel University Men's Hockey teams knew the winner of Saturday's matchup would capture the first ever Thanksgiving Cup. The Falcons wanted to make sure its home for the next year would be in Mequon as they skated out to a 3-0 first period lead and defeated Bethel, 4-2, in non-conference action at the Ozaukee Ice Center.
CUW finished the game with three power play goals, including two in the first period. The Falcons dominated the Royals througout the contest, outshooting them 43-24, including 22-2 in the opening period. Sophomore goaltender Domingo Torrenueva (Oshawa, Ontario) gained his first career win between the pipes, making 22 saves in his first start of the season.
The Falcons jumped on BU early, scoring three goals over the opening 15:46. Freshmen Brett Penner (Medstead, Saskatchewan) scored 4:37 into play to give CUW a 1-0 edge. Penner's goal came on the Falcons first power play opportunity of the afternoon and was assisted by freshman Cody Doiron (Caledon, Ontario) and sophomore Buster Hebda (Firestone, Colo.).
CUW would also get its second goal on the power play as freshman Brandt Weldon (The Pas, Manitoba) scored off an assist from senior Brandon Bayer (Milwaukee, Wis.). Sophomore Lawrence Childs (Silver Springs, Md.) then made the score 3-0 with 4:14 left in the opening stanza. Bayer and freshman Tanner Bull (Brooklin, Ontario) assisted on the Childs' score.
Bethel tried to get back into the game early in the second period as Brock Raffaele scored his first of two goals off a Travis Payne assist. The score came 3:22 into the second stanza and cut the Falcons lead to 3-1. CUW made sure it pushed its lead back to three before the second intermission as sophomore Devin Stuermer (Milwaukee, Wis.) scored the third power play goal of the day off assists from Weldon and sophomore Jordan Thomas (Fontana, Calif.).
The final 30 minutes of play saw several penalties by both teams. Overall, the two squads combined for 48 penalty minutes, 34 of those coming over the second half of the game. CUW was much better on the power play than the Royals, converting on 3-of-10 opportunities, while Bethel finished 0-for-7.
The win for CUW snapped a seven-game winless streak and improved them to 3-4-3 on the season. Bethel meanwhile drops to 0-8-2 in 2013-14.
The Falcons will look to build off its Thanksgiving Cup victory next weekend when they visit Finlandia University for their final series before the calendar turns to 2014. CUW and the Lions will meet Saturday and Sunday, the first game being scheduled for a 6:00 p.m. CST start.