Chris Babich picked up his fifth goal of the year in Concordia's 3-2 loss at St. Olaf.
Courtesy of GoCobbers.com, Release: January 28
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NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- If there was ever a game full of moral victories, Concordia's 3-2 loss at St. Olaf was the poster child. The Cobbers entered the game 0-8 in the MIAC and having been outscored 60-7 in those eight games. Concordia had also given up six shorthanded goals in the past four games and led the nation in allowing goals while on the power play.
On Friday, Concordia battled all the way to the end, scored timely goals, played solid defense and did not even give up a shorthanded goal. Score one for the Cobbers as they try and get back off the canvas after being flattened in their first four MIAC series of the year.
Concordia goalie Jeremy Boniface kept the Cobbers in the game throughout with his ability to make the clutch save, and Ryan Clukey and Chris Babich were able to score key goal in the narrow defeat.
St. Olaf scored the lone goal in the first period as John Egge notched his fifth goal of the season at 17:50. The fact that the Cobbers were within one after the first period was cause for another celebration. Concordia entered the game having been outscored 18-1 in the first period in conference games.
The Oles added to the lead midway through the second period when Sam Windsor scored at 9:04. The Cobbers were able to stay close to St. Olaf throughout the first period-and-a-half because of the superb goaltending of Boniface. Boniface stopped 16 of the 18 shots he faced in the first two periods and made several in-close saves.
Concordia then pressured the Oles even more as they scored a power play goal at 13:42 to bring the game to within one at 2-1. Clukey finished off the play to score his fourth goal of the year. Cory Johnson and Alec Holen were credited with the assists. The goal was only Concordia's second goal in the second period in their first nine conference games.
The game got even more interesting 5:22 into the third period when Chris Babich scored his fifth goal of the season to even the score at 2-2. Mike Vlasak and Mark Buchholz picked up the assists. It was the first time that Concordia had been tied with a team after the opening period of play in the entire MIAC season.
The Oles continued to press and started to feel the frustration of an upset brewing. They were able to stave off the defeat when Will Wetterlin scored from the point with just over 5:00 to play in the game.
St. Olaf peppered the Cobber net for 13 shots in the final 20 minutes but was only able to beat Boniface the one time.
For the game, Boniface stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced as the Oles outshot Concordia 31-18.
St. Olaf goalie Dan Kehler made 16 saves to pick up his fourth win of the year.
The two teams will finish the series tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm at the Northfield Ice Arena.