Cobber sophomore Mark McNaughton crashes into the goal during the first period in CC's 4-1 win over MIAC-leading Bethel on Friday.
Three In The Third = Big Win!

Courtesy of, Release: December 4, 2009


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Opponent's Website: Bethel Men's Hockey

MIAC Website: MIAC Men's Hockey

MOORHEAD, Minn. (12/5/09)--
Concordia exploded for three third-period goals and downed league-leading Bethel 4-1 in Moorhead on Friday. The Cobbers never trailed in the game as they got goals from four different players and outshot the Royals 32-26 in moving to 2-1-1 in the MIAC and into a second -place tie in the league standings. The win also extends the Cobbers' conference unbeaten streak to three games.

- Cobber Postgame Interviews

(with head coach Chris Howe and forward Ben Payne)

Concordia had the more aggressive play from the opening faceoff as they used their forecheck to cause turnovers in the Bethel defensive end. The Cobbers had a pair of chances early but were unable to convert. It took until the 8:07 mark of the opening period before CC would get on the board. Staked to their first power play of the game, Concordia got the opening goal of the game when freshman Brian Kang fired a shot from the near boards and it snaked its way past BU goalie Aaron Damjanovich and into the net. Marc Harrie and Jared Collen were credited with the assists on the play. For Kang it was his fourth goal in the last five games.

The 1-0 lead would last until the third period. Bethel got on track on offense in the second period. They were able to get the puck out of their own end and into the Cobber zone without turning the puck over. The two teams battled through the middle 20 minutes without a goal and went end-to-end for most of the period. There were only four penalties called in the second frame and neither team was able to capitalize on the man-advantage situations.

The third period started off much like the second until the five-minute mark when Concordia once again went on the power play. The Cobbers were able to hold the puck in the BU zone and Erick Galt's shot from the point was redirected into the net by freshman Ben Payne who was standing on the left side of the crease all alone. The tally at 6:25 was Payne's first collegiate goal and it turned out to be the game winner. Collen was also given an assist on the play.

It looked as if the Cobbers might skate away with a shutout victory until the 14th minute of the final frame when Christian Fogerty was the recipient of an early Christmas present as the puck rolled off a Cobber defenseman's stick and it went right to Fogerty who tucked it into the net before CC netminder Jacob Vatnsdal could react to what had just happened.

The goal gave life to the Royals and they started to press for the game-tying goal. The comeback attempt would be thwarted less than three minutes later when Nick Thielen banged home a rebound after Aaron Wheeler had broke free on goal and fired a backhand attempt that Damjanovich made the initial save on. Thielen's team-leading sixth goal of the season at 15:39 cemented Concordia's win and allowed CC to play the final four minutes of the game without any extra pressure.

The Cobbers added an empty-net goal when Wheeler stole the puck at center ice and turned to fire home his second score of the year at the 18:59 mark.

For the game, Concordia held the six-shot advantage in shots on goal. Vatnsdal finished with 25 saves in the game and picked up his third win of the season. Damjanovich stopped 28 shots and was saddled with his fifth defeat of the year. CC was 2-for-4 on the power play while the Royals were held scoreless in their three power play attempts. The team's only combined to take nine penalties in the up-and-down, clean skating affair.

The two teams will finish off their two-game series on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. at the Moorhead Sports Center.