MEQUON, Wis. – Senior Russell Johnson scored his first two goals of the season to help the Concordia University Wisconsin Men's Hockey team skate to a 4-4 tie against Amherst College Friday night. The tie snaps a three-game losing streak for the Falcons.
CUW was 3:32 away from gaining the non-conference win but Amherst scored a 5-on-3 goal late in the third period to force overtime. The power play goal was the first CUW has given up in its last six games and was the only one they allowed in six Amherst power play attempts on Friday.
The Falcons completely dominated the overtime session with a shots advantage of 7-2. The game ended with a bit of controversy as CUW thought it had a game-winning goal with one second left and the goal light even went on. The officials discussed however and said no goal, resulting in the 4-4 tie.
The Falcons raced out to a 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the first 6:09 of play. CUW got its first goal just 29 seconds into the contest when sophomore Eli Riddle (Blissfield, Mich.) scored on the power play. Amherst was whistled for interference just 13 seconds into play and 16 seconds later it was Riddle lighting the lamp off assists from freshman Brett Penner (Medstead, Saskatchewan) and sophomore Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.).
Johnson (Montincello, Minn.) made the score 2-0 at the 6:09 mark when he picked up a goal assisted by sophomore Lawrence Childs. Amherst would trim the Falcons lead to 2-1 at the 10:26 mark on a score from Andrew Kurlandski. The one-goal CUW lead would hold the rest of the opening period.
It was the visiting Lord Jeffs who came out on a mission in the second period, scoring twice in the opening 4:24. Brian Safstrom netted a goal just 2:47 into play, while Conor Brown put AC on top 3-2 with a score at the 4:24 mark of the second stanza.
CUW made sure that Amherst lead wouldn't hold as they closed the second strong with a pair of goals. Penner netted the tying goal which was assisted by Hughes and sophomore Buster Hebda (Firestone, Colo.). Johnson then put the Falcons back in front with his second goal of the night. Johnson's score was assisted by sophomores Ben Jaremko (Elk River, Minn.) and Childs (Silver Springs, Md.)
Amherst's late third-period goal was the only score the rest of the game. Both goalkeepers made several big saves down the stretch. Johnny Russell stopped 28 shots for the Lord Jeffs but couldn't seem to figure out his near name opposite, Russell Johnson. His goaltending counterpart, Domingo Torrenueva (Oshawa, Ontario), made 32 saves, including several big stops in the third period.
The first and fourth lines of the Falcons were outstanding, resulting in all four goals. The opening line featured Hebda, Hughes and Penner, while the fourth unit consisted of Jaremko, Childs and Johnson.
CUW (8-7-4) will be back in action next Friday when they host rival Marian University at the Ozaukee Ice Center, That matchup will be the first of a home-and-home series which will conclude Saturday at Marian.