Magic Mario Punishes Pipers

Magic Mario Punishes Pipers

ST. PAUL, Minn. (12/08/17)---He scored the first goal and then finished off the night with Concordia's two goal goals as Mario Bianchi's hat trick propelled the Cobbers to a 5-2 win over Hamline.

Mario's magic coupled with a defense that didn't allow a goal until midway through the third period helped Concordia earn their third win in the last four games. The Cobbers are now  5-3-2 in all games and move above .500 in conference play at 3-2-0.

Concordia scored a single goal in each of the first and second periods to take a 2-0 lead into the third frame. Sophomore goalie Sam Nelson only had to make 10 saves in the first 40 minutes of play to keep the Pipers off the board.

Bianchi got his three-goal night started when he netted the opening goal of the game at the 11:49 mark of the first period. Eddie Eades and Jon Grebosky earned the assists on the even strength goal.

All five of Concordia's goals would come with the teams at full strength.

Jake Ellingson staked the Cobbers to a 2-0 lead late in the second period. He tallied his second goal of the year at 17:01 with helpers from Zak Lambrecht and Ean Goos.

Concordia put the game on ice in the first six minutes of the third period when Quinn Fuchs and Bianchi pushed the lead to 4-0. Fuchs got his first goal of the year at the 57-second mark and then Bianchi added his second tally of the night at 5:56.

Dalton Mills and Grebosky were credited with the assists on Fuch's goal and then Goos and Turk Scatliff set up Bianchi's marker.

Hamline (3-6-0/1-3-0 MIAC) would finally get on the board on the power play midway through the final period and then added a second at the 15:24 mark.

Bianchi then finished off the game with his hat trick goal at 17:44. Zach Doerring and Blake Berg had the assists to give Concordia 11 players with a point in the game.

Concordia outshot Hamline 28-27 for the game and held a 19-10 edge through the first two periods of play. Not surprisingly Bianchi led all players with five shots on goal. Fuchs and Joe Burgmeier had four shots each.

Nelson made 25 saves to pick up his second win of the season.

HAT TRICK TRACKING: Mario Bianchi's hat trick was the first for the Cobbers since the 2015-16 season when Jordie Bancroft had three goals against St. Olaf on Feb. 13. Bancroft also had a hat trick during the 2014-15 campaign.  

THE ROARING 20'S: Concordia has had a final shot total in the 20's in five of their 10 games this season. They have only eclipsed the 30-shot mark in three games. CC has been held under 30 shots in three straight games.

THE ROARING 20'S II: One the other end of the rink, the Cobber defense has only allowed more than 30 shots in one game this season – and that came in the second contest of the season. CC has limited their opponents to under 30 shots for eight straight games.

It looks like the Cobbers might be allergic to power plays this season. Concordia was 0-for-1 on the power play in the series opener at Hamline. It marked the third straight game that Concordia has only had one power play chance for the entire 60 minutes. The Cobbers have had one or fewer power play attempts in half their games this year.

Concordia has only had 22 power play chances total this season which is the fewest of any team in the MIAC by 14 power plays. The Cobbers have also had the second fewest power play chances of any team in Division III. Only Middlebury (21) has had fewer man-advantage situations in the nation. On the other end of the table – Morrisville leads all DIII teams with 80 power play chances this year.                     
WHAT'S NEXT:  Concordia will look for their first conference series sweep of the year when they square off against Hamline on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.