Men's Hockey season ends in Harris Cup Playoff Quarterfinals
DULUTH, Minn. – One night after a defensive battle that saw just one goal scored, both the Concordia University Wisconsin Men's Hockey team and the College of St. Scholastica produced much more offense in game two of the NCHA Quarterfinal round. Unfortunately for the Falcons, CSS was able to light the lamp more times en route to a 9-4 win.
The loss concludes the 2013-14 season for the Falcons as they finish with a 10-13-4 record. The 10 wins are a program record as CUW set several new team records in year two under head coach Jasen Wise. Included in those are most points, as well as most goals scored and assists. The Falcons also produced a six-game winning streak during the middle of the season, the longest in school history.
On Saturday it was the host Saints who had it going offensively as they scored eight times over the first two periods, forcing the Falcons to make two goaltender changes. Brandon Nowakowski recorded a hat trick for CSS, who advances to face Adrian in next weekend's semifinal matchup.
A stretch of six straight goals for St. Scholastica, which spanned from the middle of the first to the middle of the second period proved to be the difference as they built an 8-2 lead during that time. The two teams were tied at 2-2 at the 11:53 mark of the first after senior defenseman Brandon Bayer (Milwaukee, Wis.) netted a power play goal in his final collegiate game.
After the Bayer goal, CSS would go on the six-goal stretch, which included three goals in the opening 5:14 of the second period. CUW would finally get back on the board with 3:47 left in the second when sophomore James Poston (Sylvania, Ohio) scored, assisted by sophomore Devin Stuermer (Milwaukee, Wis.) and freshman Kyle Fink (Milwaukee, Wis.).
The game started well for the Falcons as freshman Tanner Bull (Brooklin, Ontario) gave his team a 1-0 lead just 3:43 into play. Sophomore captain Buster Hebda (Firestone, Colo.) and junior Matt Gates (Palatine, Ill.) assisted on the game's opening goal. CSS would answer with two straight goals, the second coming off the stick of Nowakowski, making the score 2-1.
Freshman Brett Penner (Medstead, Saskatchewan) finished the night with a goal and an assist, scoring on the power play at the 10:59 mark of the third period. He finished off an impressive freshman season that saw him set a Falcons record for most points by a freshman with 24, also the third most in single season history for the Falcons. Stuermer's assist gave him 25 points on the season.
Freshman Josh Herrington (Aurora, Ontario) added two assists in the game for the Falcons, while sophomore Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.) also tallied an assist. The Saints finished with a 38-29 edge in shots as four players tallied three points for the home team, led by Nowakowski's four points.
CUW finished the game 2-for-5 on the power play, while St. Scholastica countered with a 1-for-4 attack. Tyler Bruggeman was the winning goaltender, making 20 saves in 49:11 of action.