MEQUON, Wis. – The game was in limbo for just a few minutes on Saturday afternoon before the flood gates opened and Concordia University Wisconsin breezed past Fontbonne University, 26-6, in record fashion at Fitting Field.
Prior to the contest, nine players were honored on Senior Day and those Falcons propelled the team to one of the most lopsided victories in program history. After trailing 2-1 midway through the first quarter, CUW unleashed a flurry of 17 unanswered goals from any and every angle to excite those in attendance.
As the second half progressed, the records started to fall or at least be threatened. The Falcons finished with the most faceoff wins ever in a game in program history with 28 and tied the record with seven man-up goals. As well, they had the second most points (42), goals (26) and ground balls (54), and their 16 assists were tied for the sixth most (two shy of tying the record).
Numerous players tickled the twine – 12 in all – but it was senior Derek Brueske (Hopkins, Minn.) who did most of the damage against the Griffins. He ended with a program record 11 points, nine goals and five man-up scores. The program's all-time leader in points had six goals through 30 minutes of play and became just the third player in team history to reach the 100 goal plateau. Brueske is now two man-up markers shy of tying the program record.
As Brueske was doing the scoring, it was junior Matt Garvey (Winnipeg, Manitoba) who was finding his teammates to the tune of six helpers, which tied the program record. He also added a pair of goals for eight points, which is tied for the fifth most points ever in a game in team history.
The Falcons put the game out of reach in large part to junior Danny Bundra (Lake Zurich, Ill.), who dominated the faceoff circle, winning 22-of-24 opportunities, which is the third most faceoff wins in program history. He also picked up 13 ground balls (tied for fifth most ever).
Sophomore Colin Raley (Inverness, Ill.) finished the victory with four goals, including two man-up scores, while sophomore James Warner (Ham Lake, Minn.) had a career game with five points, which included his first career hat trick. Meanwhile, senior David Mueller (Prior Lake, Minn.) added a goal and two assists, while his brother Thomas Mueller (junior, Prior Lake, Minn.) made a save in 30 minutes of work in goal.
Freshmen Jaeden Gilles (Nanaimo, British Columbia), Burke Smith (Ballwin, Mo.) and Sean Zaranek (Naples, Fla.) will remember their shots during the win, because it was the first time they scored in their careers. In addition, senior Matt Ray (Andover, Minn.) picked up a career-high six ground balls and won a pair of faceoffs. Freshman Alex Hinkle (Cincinnati, Ohio) also had success in the faceoff circle, earning four wins on eight attempts. Sophomore Zaccariah Strand (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) picked up a career-high four ground balls.
Freshmen Jacob Murnane (Milwaukee, Wis.) and sophomore Matthew Erickson (Antioch, Ill.) each played an entire quarter between the pipes in the second half, with Erickson making a career-best four saves.
The Falcons finished the game with a 54-25 lead in shots (34-13 on goal), 54-32 advantage in ground balls and was an impressive 7-of-6 on man-up chances (Fontbonne was whistled for a two minute non-releasable unsportsmanlike penalty in which the Falcons scored twice on).
Fontbonne (0-12, 0-3 MLC) was led by Blake Michew and Marcus Seale who each had two goals. Joey Mirth picked up eight ground balls and won seven faceoffs, while Victor Mehrtens caused three turnovers.
CUW (7-5, 3-1 MLC) returns to play on Wednesday for a 4 pm game at Aurora University that could likely decide who receives a home game in the MLC Tournament.