MEQUON, Wis. – Early in the second period, Concordia University Wisconsin junior Devin Stuermer scored a rebound goal, putting his Falcons up 3-0 over the No. 4 team in the country, Adrian College. The score prompted a goaltender switch, which helped start an Adrian rally as the Bulldogs downed CUW 5-3 Friday night at the Ozaukee Ice Center.
The Bulldogs bench turned to Scott Shackell following the Falcons third goal and he responded by stopping all 20 shots he faced the rest of the way. The combination of his strong play and the Bulldogs scoring twice in the second and three times in the third period allowed for the comeback victory over CUW in NCHA action. Adrian broke a 3-3 tie with two goals scored 1:06 apart in the third period, the latter coming with just 4:02 remaining, gaining the 5-3 win.
The start was all CUW, which included a 2-0 lead after the first period. Junior Chris Hughes (Dundee, Mich.) continued his impressive start to the season, scoring the game's first goal 8:05 into play. Hughes seemed to just try and put the puck on net as he launched from a difficult angle in the corner, but his shot snuck through Adrian starting goalie James Hamby for the 1-0 lead. Junior Eli Riddle (Blissfield, Mich.) had his fourth assists of the year on the Hughes goal.
Just 1:26 later freshman Anthony Pickering (Sylvan Lake, Alberta) put the Falcons up 2-0 with his second tally of the year. Sophomore Cody Dixon (Hales Corners, Wis.) assisted on the score. That was the final scoring of the opening stanza, which saw each team record 12 shots on goal as Falcons goaltender Jake Hebda (Firestone, Colo.) stopped every shot sent his way in the opening 20.
Stuermer (Milwaukee, Wis.) then gave his team a 3-0 lead on a rebound goal off assists from Hughes and junior James Poston (Sylvania, Ohio). Hughes led the way with two points Friday night, bringing his season total to seven.
The Bulldogs got going with a power play goal from Josh Ranalli 2:33 into the second period and then cut the Falcons lead to 3-2 with just 2:15 remaining before the third intermission. Duston Hebebrand, who finished with a game-best four points (2G, 2A) scored the Bulldogs second goal.
It was Hebebrand who struck again early in the third period, this time on the power play to tie the score at 2-2 just 2:07 into the final frame. Ryan Lowe would net the game-winner for Adrian and Kyle Brothers put the finishing touches on the Falcons with another late third period goal, resulting in the 5-3 final.
For the fourth time this season CUW led in the shots department, holding a slight 33-32 edge. Hebda finished the night with 27 saves for the Falcons. Adrian also had an advantage on the power play, scoring 2-out-5 tries. The Bulldogs weren't whistled for any penalties, keeping the Falcons explosive power play unit off the ice.
CUW (0-5-0, 0-5-0) will try and get a series split against the Bulldogs tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. The game will also be the "Pink in the Rink" event as the Falcons are partnering with Angel on my Shoulder in helping the fight against breast cancer.