Concordia freshman Knut Bitustoeyl battles for the puck. He scored the lone Cobber goal in CC's 2-1 loss to Gustavus.
Cobbers Edged In MIAC Opener
Courtesy of GoCobbers.com, Release: November 17
Complete Gameday Program vs. Gustavus (pdf)
1 1st 19:57 GAC PP Jon Keseley/2 (Jensen, Welch)
2 3rd 03:12 GAC EV Kyle Rohlfs/1 (Andres, Carr)
Game Stats: Final Stats vs. Gustavus - Now Online!
MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/17/06)-- What a difference a year makes. Last year, the Cobbers surrendered four goals in the second period and were blown out by Gustavus 7-0. On Friday, the Cobbers and Gusties staged a classic, hard-nosed MIAC battle in Moorhead with Gustavus holding on to capture a 2-1 victory in the conference opener for both teams.
Concordia staged a late-game rally after falling behind 2-0 at the start of the third period, only to see their comeback attempt come up short. The Cobbers put up 10 shots in the first two periods but then pounded the Gustie goal for nine shots in the final frame.
The loss snaps Concordia's three-game winning streak to start the season. The Cobbers are now 3-1 on the year for the second straight season. Gustavus wins for the first time in 2006-07. After going 0-3-1 against NCHA teams, the Gusties open MIAC play with a victory.
The game was a tight battle with the referee crew keeping both teams in-check by calling a clean, well-officiated game. The two teams were whistled for 19 total penalties but neither squad was overly physical or out of control. Both penalty kill units earned their keep on Friday as Concordia finished the game 1-for-7 on the power play and Gustavus was held to 1-of-8 in man-advantage situations.
The first goal came on the power play and was the first goal allowed in the season by Cobber netminder Jeremy Boniface. After the two teams skated through 19:30 of the first period, and the game looked as it would head into the first intermission scoreless, Gustavus broke on the board with only three seconds remaining in the period when Jon Keseley slammed home his second goal of the year from in front of the Cobber net.
Boniface kept CC in the game for the first 40 minutes by turning aside 22 of the 23 shots he faced. His play helped Concordia finally get on track in the third period and start to find an offensive rhythm.
The Cobber offensive attack started to roll just before Gustavus netted their second goal of the game at 3:12 of the final period. Kyle Rohlfs poked home a shot from a goalmouth scramble and gave the Gusties a 2-0 lead.
The Cobbers then threatened for the remainder of the period and were finally rewarded when they went on a 5-on-3 power play. After battling to break the Gustavus triangle penalty kill. Freshman Knut Bitustoeyl was able to punch home a goal from in-close to bring Concordia to within one with over 14 minutes to play.
Gustavus goalie Kevin Johnson was then called upon to come up with his best effort during the entire three periods. He kept Concordia from getting the game-tying goal by not getting caught out of position and forcing the Cobber offense to try and come up with a spectacular shot.
The best chance for Concordia came in the final eight minutes of play when Cobber forward Tyler Neu broke in from the left side of the goal. A CC defenseman deftly flipped the puck in between the Gustavus defense and Neu grabbed the puck out of midair with his glove, dropped it onto his stick and fired a shot at the goal. Johnson stayed with the play as it crossed the goal and made the quality stop on Neu.
In the end, Gustavus outshot the Cobbers 33-19. Concordia took 10 penalties in the game, while the Gusties were whistled for nine.
Boniface finished with 31 saves in the game and Johnson turned aside 18 shots to earn his first win of the year.
The two teams will finish the two-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Moorhead Sports Center.