|Cobber freshman Aaron Wheeler scored the lone goal for Concordia in the team's heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to Bethel.|
Courtesy of GoCobbers.com, Release: December 5, 2009
Opponent's Website: Bethel Men's Hockey
MIAC Website: MIAC Men's Hockey
MOORHEAD, Minn. (12/5/09)-- Concordia was two inches away from sweeping Bethel and into a tie for second place in the MIAC standings. Unfortunately like most sports, hockey is a game of inches and the Cobbers had their hearts broken in overtime when the Royals netted a power play goal to capture the 2-1 win and slide out of town with a series split.
The loss snaps the Cobbers' three-game conference unbeaten streak and evens their MIAC record at 2-2-2. CC is now 3-8-2 in all games. The Royals move into second place in the league with a 4-2-0 record. Overall, BU is now 4-7-0.
(with head coach Chris Howe and Casey Olson)
The game was as tight as two teams could possibly play with neither team having more than a one-goal advantage in the game and Bethel holding a mere four-shot advantage in shots on goal for the three periods and 3:31 of overtime.
The story of the game for Concordia was the ability of their penalty kill unit to continually wipe out the Bethel man-advantage attack. The Royals went 0-for-8 in regulation on the power play before finally getting it right and scoring with the extra skater in overtime. The Cobbers even killed off a five-minute major that was called with just over six minutes left in the third period. Concordia's penalty killers were so proficient that they only allowed the Royals to get off nine shots on goal in the eight regulation power play chances. In the five-minute major, BU managed to get only one shot on goal while the Cobbers had two shots on goal in the five minutes. One of those shots almost sent CC home with the win. Cobber senior Shawn Goos found himself alone in front of the Bethel goal and his shot from the slot rattled off the post and bounced toward the boards. Two inches to the left and it would have give Concordia the 2-1 lead.
The teams went scoreless through the first 36:04 of the game before Bethel finally got on the board. Steffen Hansen scored his first goal of the year when he fired a shot from the left circle that ramped off a Concordia stick directly in front of Hansen and whistled into the top of the net past CC netminder Jacob Vatnsdal.
It took the Cobber just over three minute to come up with their first goal of the game. Aaron Wheeler was able to break around the defense at the top of the right circle and drove towards the net. The puck slid off his stick as he tried to pull it to his forehand. The misdirection fooled Bethel goalie Aaron Damjanovich and the puck slid underneath his pads for the goal. Wheeler's unassisted tally at 19:11 was third of the year and second of the weekend.
The game would stay deadlocked at 1-1 until the overtime period. Both teams tightened up in the last half of the third period, not wanting to turn the puck over in their own end and have the miscue lead to the go-ahead goal. The Cobbers killed off all three power plays in the final 20 minutes and nearly scored the game-winner when Goos' shot clanked against the pipe.
Bethel was handed their ninth power play chance of the game at the 2:46 mark of overtime when a Concordia player was whistled for interference while trying to win the puck in the Bethel end. Less than a minute later the Royals got the game winner on a shot by Mason Swenson from the top of the left circle that beat Vatnsdal over his right shoulder.
In the end, Bethel outshot the Cobbers 27-23 in the tight checking contest. Vatnsdal was solid in goal all day and made 25 saves in the 63:31. Damjanovich stopped 22 shots to pick up his fourth win of the year.
Concordia was held scoreless in their only three power play attempts of the game.
The Cobbers will now have a month break for final exams and the Christmas holiday. CC will return to action on Jan. 8 when they host No.3-ranked St. Norbert at 7 p.m. The game will be played on the north rink at the Moorhead Sports Center.