Just When You Think You've Seen It All

Zach Doerring (#10) scored a hat trick in span of just over eight minutes in the third period to help Concordia earn a 7-7 OT shootout victory at Hamline.
Zach Doerring (#10) scored a hat trick in span of just over eight minutes in the third period to help Concordia earn a 7-7 OT shootout victory at Hamline.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (12/09/17)---Just when you think you've seen it all a five-goal comeback and shootout win comes around to completely shock everyone.

Concordia rallied from a 7-2 deficit to tie their game at Hamline at 7-7 in the final two minutes of regulation and then outscored the Pipers 2-1 in the shootout to gain the extra point in the conference standings. The game goes down as a 7-7 overtime tie but the Cobbers earn two points and come away with five, of a possible 6, points on the weekend.

The five-goal comeback is believed to be the biggest deficit overcome for a tie or a win in Cobber history.

The game seemed lost from the first seven minutes of the opening period. Hamline scored twice in the first seven minutes of play, built up a 4-0 lead in the first minute of play and forced Concordia to make two goalie changes along the way.    

Any hope for a result seemed completely lost when the Pipers pumped in two more goals in the first five minutes of the middle period to bolt to a 6-1 lead. The Cobbers lone goal of the first 25 minutes of play came on the power play when Dalton Mills scored his third goal of the year.

Concordia (5-3-3/3-2-1 MIAC) would cut the lead to 6-2 on another power play goal at the 6:08 mark. Tanner Okeson tallied the first of his three points in the game on his first goal of the year.

Hamline (3-6-1/1-3-1 MIAC) countered with a goal at 12:42 to regain the lead at 7-2 and it looked like it would only be a mere formality to skate through the final 27 minutes of play in order for Hamline to earn the series split.

The Cobbers got the kick start to their unbelievable comeback from a little-used forward. Senior Mark Huneke scored on a mini-breakaway at 16:35 of the second period to pull CC within four goals at 7-3 heading into the third period.

The third period belonged to senior Zach Doerring and a savvy coaching ploy from the Cobber bench. Doerring scored a hat trick in the final 11:45 of the final period and Concordia scored three times with an extra skater after pulling their goalie.

Doerring pulled the Cobbers within three goals when he started the third-period barrage at the 8:15 mark. He then added a second goal less than 40-seconds later when he scored at 8:54. Doerring's second goal of the period was the first when Concordia used the tactic of pulling the goalie on a face-off in the Hamline end of the ice. That strategy not only paid off once, it worked three times and helped CC tie the game in the final two minutes of play.

Sophomore defenseman Eddie Eades piled more wood on the Cobber rally bonfire when he netted his first goal of the year at 15:05. Suddenly Concordia had a realistic chance at coming away with a positive result and forcing an overtime period.

Doerring then finished off the comeback by netting his third goal in a span of 10:33. Doerring's game-tying tally at 18:48 evened the score at 7-7 and gave CC a hope for a game winner late in regulation. The Cobbers almost won the game in the final minute of play on chances by Okeson and Mario Bianchi.

In addition to facing a 7-3 deficit heading into the third period, Concordia had also been outshot 30-20 in the first 40 minutes of play. The Cobbers then went on the offensive and held a 22-8 advantage in shots in the third period and then a 4-1 margin in overtime.

The teams couldn't come up with a game-winning goal in the 5-minute overtime session so the extra point was determined by a shootout.

The Pipers went first and missed their first but made their second shootout attempts. The Cobbers had their first chance stopped but then Jon Grebosky tied the shootout at 1-1 after the second round. CC goalie Sam Nelson then stood his ground and stopped the third Piper shootout attempt which set the stage for Okeson. He skated down the right side of the ice, started to cut across the middle and then fired a shot which beat the Hamline goalie to the waffle pad side.

Concordia wound up outshooting Hamline 46-39 in the game. Bianchi and Alex Stoley had six shits each to lead the Cobbers. Okeson had five shots while four others put up four shots on target.

The Cobbers traded goalies in the first and second periods and then Nelson finished off the final 40:19 to earn the win. Nelson also started the game but was relieved by Jacob Stephan after the Pipers' third goal at 10:46 of the first period. Stephan then played the next 13:55 and allowed three goals as well and was then pulled in favor of Nelson in the second period.

A PLETHORA OF POWER PLAYS: After only having seven power play chances in the last six games, Concordia had seven man-advantage situations in the 65 minutes of play on Saturday. The Cobbers scored on two of their season-high seven power play chances. The two power play goals are also a season best for Concordia.            

A STORY OF SEVEN: The seven goals scored by the Cobbers is the most in a single game since the 2015-16 season when Concordia also scored seven goals against Hamline in a 7-3 win on Jan. 16, 2016. The Cobbers are now 8-0-1 in the past 10 years when they score at least seven goals in a game.

TWO TOUCHDOWN TALE: The combined 14 goals scored in the game is the most since 2007 when the Cobbers and St. Mary's combined for 17 goals in a 14-3 win for the Cardinals.

POINT A GAME: Jon Grebosky and Mario Bianchi are now tied for the team lead in points. The pair has 12 points each in the team's first 11 games of the year. Zach Doerring is right behind with 11 points in 11 games.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will now have the rest of 2017 off to study for final exams and enjoy the holidays. The Cobbers will return to action on Friday, Jan. 5 when they play at Wis.-Stevens Point at 7 p.m. The Pointers are 8-3-2 on the year and ranked ninth in the latest USCHO.com national rankings.