MEQUON, Wis. – After one period of play it looked as if the Concordia University Wisconsin Women's Hockey team and the College of Saint Benedict would be in for a low scoring contest. That would not be the case as both offenses erupted over the final 40 minutes in a 6-5 affair Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they ended up goal short, settling for a series split with the Blazers.
Junior Emily Heckendorf (Merrill, Wis.) scored four points in the third period, which set a CUW record for most in one period, to help CUW erase what was once a 4-1 Saint Benedict lead. The Blazers also led 5-2 at one point in the third period, however the Falcons kept chipping away. All 11 goals were scored over the final two periods of play.
Once CSB built its 5-2 lead at the 3:35 mark of the third period, the Falcons started its comeback when Heckendorf netted her second power play goal of the final stanza. The goal at the 7:40 mark was assisted by junior Chelsea Regan (Oakdale, Minn.) and freshman Brittany Sticha (Lonsdale, Minn.) and made the score 5-3 with just over 12 minutes to play in the game.
CUW would then trim the CSB lead to 5-4 when Veronika Metanova (Palatine, Ill.) scored her fourth goal of the season. Metanova lit the lamp on a breakaway which was set up by an outstanding pass from Heckendorf. That goal was scored with 8:26 remaining in the contest.
The Blazers would then get a pair of power play opportunities over the final stretch of the game and converted on the second of those chances when Stephanie Kirk scored with 2:56 remaining in the game. That two-goal lead wouldn't remain for long as CUW took advantage of pulling goaltender Jennifer DeGeorge (Waukesha, Wis.) and scored with the extra skater with 53.5 seconds left on the clock when sophomore Alexis Machuga (Rochester Hills, Mich.) scored off assists from Heckendorf and junior Samantha Reiter (Stillwater, Minn.).
CSB would hold on over the final 53.5 seconds, however, as the Blazers earned the weekend split with the Falcons. For the second straight night the team with more shots actually ended up on the losing end as the Falcons held a slight 26-25 edge in shots. The difference this afternoon was that CSB converted on the power play, scoring three out of seven times with the extra skater.
The Falcons were also good on the power play, converting two of five opportunities, both being Heckendorf goals in the third period. Freshman Brandi Muller (Anchorage, Alaska) had the first Falcons goal of the contest, scoring at the 11:28 mark of the second period and making the score 2-1 at that point of the contest. Senior Maxine Blohowiak (Green Bay, Wis.) and junior Katherine Pauletti (Roseville, Minn.) also had assists in the game on the first Heckendorf power play goal.
Kaitlyn Rolando earned her first victory of the season in net for the Blazers as she stopped 21 shots, while DeGeorge finished with 19 saves for CUW.
CUW will be back in action on Thursday when they begin a five-game road swing with a non-conference tilt against Concordia College Moorhead. Puck is set to drop at 7 p.m.