Men's Hockey clinches NCHA playoff berth with win over Northland
MEQUON, Wis. – It took some time over the course of the weekend series for Concordia University Wisconsin to figure out Northland College goaltender Mason Riley. Once the Falcons figured Riley out they couldn't stop scoring, resulting in a 7-2 win over the Lumberjacks Saturday afternoon at the Ozaukee Ice Center. The win clinched the Falcons spot in the Harris Cup Playoffs, scheduled to begin in two weeks.
Riley made 47 saves in Friday night's contest, a 4-2 win for NC, and came out strong keeping his team in front of CUW 1-0 for the first 16:49 of Saturday's game. That is when the Falcons began lighting the lamp, scoring twice before the end of the first intermission, building a 2-1 lead. Freshman Riley Storzuk (Wynyard, Saskatchewan) gave CUW its first goal at the 16:49 mark, while sophomore Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.) scored the first of his two goals just 32 seconds later.
The score would remain 2-1 until midway through the second period when freshman Kyle Fink (Milwaukee, Wis.) scored two goals just 31 seconds apart, giving CUW a 4-1 advantage. The continuous onslaught of shots eventually caught up to Riley as the Falcons fired 59 shots in the game, a new school record. This came on the heels of a 49-shot performance in Friday's game, which tied the previous best.
Sophomore Ben Jaremko (Elk River, Minn.) put CUW up 5-1 at the 14:09 mark of the second period, scoring one of his career-high three points in the game. NC would make the score 5-2 on a power play goal from Mike Lennon later in the second. Lennon also had the Lumberjacks first goal, which came just 1:01 into the first stanza.
CUW (9-10-4, 6-8-2 NCHA) would go on and add two goals in the third period, one coming from Hughes and the other coming off the stick of sophomore Eli Riddle (Blissfield, Miss.).
Six Falcons finished with two or more points on Saturday, led by Jaremko's three. Also finishing with two points were Fink (two goals), Hughes (two goals), Riddle (one goal, one assist), Storzuk (one goal, one assist), senior Russell Johnson (Monticello, Minn.) and sophomore Devin Stuermer (Milwaukee, Wis.), who each assisted on a pair. Senior Brandon Bayer (Milwaukee, Wis.), junior Matt Gates (Palatine, Ill.) sophomore Trammell Lynes (Edmonton, Alberta) and freshman Tanner Bull (Brooklin, Ontario) all had assists as well.
Stuermer's two points put him at 24 for the season. The talented forward is now two points away from tying Sam Aide's school-record for most points in a single season. Stuermer will now have at least four more games to try and put his name atop the record books.
Sophomore Domingo Torrenueva (Oshawa, Ontario) picked up his school-record seventh win of the season between the pipes for CUW. He finished the game with 20 saves as his teammates made life easy on him by constantly keeping the puck in Northland's defensive zone.
The Falcons will return to action next weekend when they take on MSOE in a home-and-home NCHA series. The opening game is set for 7:05 p.m. at MSOE, while CUW will host the second game at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at the Ozaukee Ice Center.