Strong Series-Opening Statement

Senior Jeremy Johnson has the puck carom off his skate and into the net for the game-winning goal in the Cobbers' series opener with Gustavus.
Senior Jeremy Johnson has the puck carom off his skate and into the net for the game-winning goal in the Cobbers' series opener with Gustavus.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (1/27/17)--- Concordia received goals from four different players, got another strong goaltending performance from freshman Sam Nelson and beat Gustavus 4-0.

The Cobbers scored three times in the second to end a four-game winless streak. The victory evens Concordia's MIAC record at 4-4-1 while the team earns its 10th overall win and moves to 10-7-1 in all games.

Concordia had several golden opportunities before scoring the first goal of the game at the 12:24 mark of the first period. Sophomore Mario Bianchi was robbed on the doorstep early in the game before senior captain Jeremy Johnson drove to the goal and netted the game-winning goal. Johnson had the puck carom off his skate and rebound into the net. The referees allowed the goal because Johnson did not score the goal from a kicking motion.

Mario Bianchi and Quinn Fuchs got the assists on the goal. It would be the first of three assists for Bianchi and the first of two points for Fuchs.

The Cobbers pushed the game wide open by scoring three goals in a span of 7:45 starting at the 7:29 mark of the second period.  

Jordan Christianson tapped in his own rebound after he was fed at the top of the crease and redirected the pass on net. His second chance found the back of the net and ignited the scoring spree. Bianchi and Dalton Mills started the play for the second goal of the game.

Fuchs then sniped his third goal of the season only 1:03 later. He broke over the blue line, received the puck at the top of the right faceoff circle and snapped a shot just inside the left post. The goal at 8:32 was Fuchs' third of the year and Johnson and Bianchi picked up the assists.

Senior Sam Coborn finished off the scoring when he made a silky move to his forward hand to slide the puck into an open net on a breakaway from the top of the faceoff circles. Connor Kelly started the scoring play by driving down the right wing and then played the puck back to Coborn in the middle of the ice.

The third period was all defense for the Cobbers as they tightened their play in the neutral zone to not allow odd-man rushes and quality chances from around the goal.

Concordia allowed 18 shots on goal in the third period and relied on Nelson to finish off the win.

Nelson finished the game by stopping all 40 shots he faced.

The Gusties outshot the Cobbers 40-29 in the game. Bianchi led CC with six shots and Christianson added four.

SEVEN STRONG: The win against the Gusties is the 10th overall victory of the season for the Cobbers which marks the seventh straight season they have won at least 10 games. Head coach Chris Howe has posted a double-digit win total in seven of his nine seasons.   

BIANCHI BUSINESS: Mario Bianchi's three assists in the series opener were a career high and his three-point game was also a career high. Bianchi now has four goals and 11 assists for 15 points which is tied for the team lead.

JOHNSON JIVES: Jeremy Johnson had his third multi-point game of the season. His assist on the third goal tied Bianchi for the team lead with 11 assists. His 11 helpers are the second most in a single season for his career. He had 14 assists in his sophomore season in 2014-15.

NELSON NUGGETS: Sam Nelson earned his second shutout of the season. His first one came in the season opener. His 40 saves marks the sixth time in his 11 starts he has made at least 35 saves in a game. Nelson lowered his season goals against average to 2.48 and upped his save percentage to 93.2%.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will try for its second series sweep of the year when they battle Gustavus in the series finale on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. at the Moorhead Sports Center. The Cobbers are 4-3 in games played on a Saturday this year.