MEQUON, Wis. – Sophomore Devin Stuermer scored a point for a seventh straight game, breaking a Concordia University Wisconsin record, but it was not enough as the Falcons were upended by No. 4 St. Norbert College, 3-2 Friday night at the Ozaukee Ice Center.
Action was back-and-forth all night but ultimately two goals from St. Norbert's Mason Baptista proved to be the difference in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association game. The loss was the first for CUW in their last eight contests, snapping a six-game winning streak and seven-game unbeaten streak.
"Tonight was a great hockey game," said Falcons head coach Jasen Wise. "It was good end to end action and unfortunately for us we fell just one goal short."
St. Norbert coach Tim Coghlin echoed those thoughts, stating: "It looked like the game could have swung either way several times throughout and that just means there is a little bit of push going in each direction."
The two teams spent most of the early first period trying to figure out goaltenders David Jacobson and Domingo Torrenueva (Oshawa, Ontario). The two, who entered the night ranked second and third in the NCAA in winning percentage, were both strong early as SNC held a 1-0 lead after one period. Torrenueva had 14 first-period saves, while Jacobson recorded nine. Noah Nelson had the game's first goal, scoring at the 14:47 mark of the first period off assists from Cullen Bradshaw and Blake Thompson.
The second period featured plenty of scoring as each team lit the lamp twice, including both goals by Baptista. He scored his first 3:51 into the second stanza off a Thompson assist for a 2-0 Green Knights advantage.
"Mason has a good stick and makes good decisions with the puck," Coghlin said. "He possesses the puck, has a good shot and the two goals he did score were big."
CUW (8-5-3, 5-3-2 NCHA) answered by getting its first goal at the 10:45 mark of the second. Stuermer (Milwaukee, Wis.) lit the lamp for the seventh straight game, this one being assisted by senior Dan Shilts (New Richmond, Wis.) and cutting the SNC lead to 2-1.
Baptista would add his second goal of the game with just 48 seconds left in the second period as it appeared the Green Knights would take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. That was not the case as sophomore captain Buster Hebda (Firestone, Colo.) scored just 15 seconds later off assists from sophomore Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.) and freshman Brett Penner (Medstead, Saskatchewan).
That would be all the scoring as neither team could push one past in the third period. SNC had a golden opportunity with a 5-on-3 advantage for over a minute, but the Falcons penalty kill stepped up with a big stop. Both teams were 0-for-3 on the power play on Friday.
Torrenueva finished with 27 saves for the Falcons, as he suffered his first loss of the season despite the strong effort. Jacobson improved to 10-0-1 between the pipes and netted 26 saves in the win.
These two will get together again tomorrow night with a change of venues as they will head to De Pere, Wis. for a game at the Cornerstone Community Center. Puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. and live coverage links will be available at CUWFalcons.com.
"Tomorrow we need to have a better start," Wise said. "Tonight as the game went on we started to gain some confidence and some scoring chances and hopefully we can get off to a quicker start tomorrow and have a different outcome."