MEQUON, Wis. – When MSOE capped off a three-goal comeback with 7:06 remaining in the third period to tie the game at 5-5, it looked as if Concordia University Wisconsin Men's Hockey was going to remain winless all-time against the Raiders. The Falcons remained resilient and scored just 23 seconds later, skating to a thrilling 6-5 win over MSOE Saturday night at the Ozaukee Ice Center.
Sophomore Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.) took a pass from freshman Brett Penner (Medstead, Saskatchewan) and scored on the breakaway for the game-winner, exciting the packed Ozaukee Ice Center. Freshman Riley Storzuk (Wynyard, Saskatchewan) also assisted on the Hughes goal, his third assist of the game.
Hughes finished the game with three points, two goals and an assist, while Storzuk added the three assists. Penner (one goal, one assist) and freshman Cody Doiron (two assists) each had two points. The Raiders were led by Gage Christianson as he recorded a hat trick.
The night was going to be a memorable one already as the careers of seniors Dan Shilts (New Richmond, Wis.), Brandon Bayer (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Russell Johnson (Monticello, Minn.) were being celebrated before the game. The night became even more memorable as the Falcons wrapped up the No. 6 seed in the NCHA Tournament and got their first win over MSOE in their seven-year history.
Early in the evening it looked as if CUW was going to route the Raiders, scoring three times over the opening period and forcing MSOE to make a goalie change at the first intermission. Freshman Tanner Bull (Brooklin, Ontario) scored on the first shot of the game 2:49 into play. Shilts and sophomore Trammell Lynes (Edmonton, Alberta) assisted on the goal that gave CUW the 1-0 edge.
The Falcons would then really turn things in their favor with two goals 1:14 apart late in the opening stanza. Hughes scored his first goal of the game, a power play score at the 16:46 mark for the 2-0 lead, while freshman Kyle Fink (Milwaukee, Wis.) added an unassisted goal with two minutes left in the first. MSOE called a timeout after the Fink score, hoping to stall the Falcons momentum. Doiron (Caledon, Ontario) and sophomore Eli Riddle (Blissfield, Mich.) assisted on Hughes power play goal.
The second stanza saw each team score twice, including two early power play goals from MSOE. Christianson scored the second of those goals at the 4:10 mark, making the score 3-2.
The Falcons would answer back beginning with a power play score from Bayer, which was assisted by Hughes and Storzuk. Penner then put the Falcons up 5-2 with a goal at the 17:08 mark of the second, assisted by Doiron and Storzuk.
MSOE would then mount its second rally of the game, scoring the first three goals of the third period, two coming off the stick of Christianson. His final goal at the 12:54 mark appeared to completely shift the momentum, until Hughes turned it back for the game-winner.
Freshman Morgan Hudson (Ottawa, Ontario) gained his first career victory, recording 25 saves. Nick Kohn, who played the final two periods for MSOE, took the loss and stopped 11 shots over the final 40 minutes.
The Falcons will begin the Harris Cup Playoffs next weekend by visiting St. Scholastica for a two-game series. If the two teams split the opening two games, a mini-game will take place immediately following the second game to determine who advances. CUW and CSS tied both games this season, all the way back on November 8-9 at the Ozaukee Ice Center.