MEQUON, Wis. – Freshman Riley Storzuk scored with 1:40 left in regulation to help the Concordia University Wisconsin Men's Hockey team skate to a 5-5 tie against Bethel University Friday night at the Ozaukee Ice Center.
The tie means whoever wins tomorrow's game between these two programs will take home the first ever Thanksgiving Cup. The Thanksgiving Cup is a new tradition started between Bethel and CUW that features a two-game series the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. If BU and CUW skate to another tie tomorrow, a shootout will determine this year's Thanksgiving Cup winner.
Friday night's game saw plenty of scoring, especially in the first period where five goals were scored. BU held a slight edge after 20 minutes, taking a 3-2 lead into the first intermission.
The visiting Royals built a 2-0 lead 11:34 into play on goals from Eric Szafranski and Brock Raffaele, the latter coming on the power play. The Falcons would answer right back, getting goals from junior Matt Gates (Palatine, Ill.) and sophomore Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.) at the 13:57 and 16:02 marks of the opening period, respectively. Storzuk (Wynyard, Saskatchewan) assisted on Gates score, while senior Brandon Bayer (Milwaukee, Wis.) and freshman Brandt Weldon (The Pas, Manitoba) assisted on Hughes' goal.
Bethel would get the final score of the first period when EJ Gann lit the lamp with just 2:10 remaining in the stanza. The Royals would extend their lead to 4-2 midway through the second period on a goal from Travis Payne.
CUW again answered back, beginning with a goal from sophomore Lawrence Childs (Silver Springs, Md.) at the 12:23 mark of the second stanza. Freshman Tanner Bull (Brooklin, Ontario) and Bayer assisted on Childs goal. Bull would then tie the score at 4-4 3:15 into the third period, scoring unassisted.
Payne pushed the Royals back on top, 5-4, 7:06 into the final period when he scored on a BU power play. Jordan Bledsoe and Tyler Sorensen assisted on the goal, that appeared would give Bethel an upper-hand on the opening game of the Thanksgiving Cup series. Storzuk and the Falcons had other ideas, however, as his goal came off a sophomore Eli Riddle (Blissfield, Mich.) assist, making the final score 5-5.
Sophomore Domingo Torrenueva (Oshawa, Ontario) was the goalie of record for the Falcons as he played the final two periods and overtime, recording 18 saves. Freshman Morgan Hudson (Ottawa, Ontario) started the game between the pipes for CUW. Steven Bolton finished with 30 saves for Bethel as CUW outshot the Royals, 35-31.
The Falcons and Royals will decide the Thanksgiving Cup tomorrow afternoon in a matchup set to start at 4 p.m. The game will take place at the Ozaukee Ice Center and live coverage links will be available at CUWFalcons.com.