Playoff Fate Needs Help

Senior Jon Grebosky jumps into the air to celebrate with the Cobber student section after his second-period goal in the series opener with Augsburg.
Senior Jon Grebosky jumps into the air to celebrate with the Cobber student section after his second-period goal in the series opener with Augsburg.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/16/18)---Concordia entered the final series of the regular season with the team's  playoff fate in their own hands. After the series opener with Augsburg, the Cobbers now need help from other in order to get into the postseason.

Concordia gave up three unanswered goals in the final 15 minutes of the third period and lost 6-3 to the Auggies.

The loss drops Concordia to 6-8-1 in MIAC play and keeps them at 20 points in the league standings. The Cobbers entered the weekend in fifth place in the race for the Top 5 spots for the playoffs. CC is now in sixth place – on the outside looking in at the playoff tournament – after St. Mary's beat St. Olaf on Friday. St. Mary's now has 22 league points. Concordia needs to beat Augsburg in the regular season finale and have the Oles beat the Cardinals in order to make the conference tournament for the sixth straight season.

Concordia (9-12-3/6-8-1 MIAC) received the perfect start to their playoff deciding series when freshman Alex Stoley tapped home a rebound at the 8:29 mark of the first period. Zak Lambrecht and Jake Ellingson earned the assists on Stoley's second goal of the year.

The Cobbers would take the 1-0 lead into the second period in spite of being outshot 14-8 in the first 20 minutes of play.

Concordia would be made to chase the game when a span of 1:09 at the start of the second period turned the 1-0 lead into a 2-1 deficit. Augsburg (16-8-0/10-5-0 MIAC) tied the game at 2:08 of the middle frame and then went ahead at 3:17 when they had an extra attacker on the ice following a delayed penalty call on the Cobbers.

The second period then turned into a stop-and-start affair as the game was chopped up by penalties. The final two goals of the middle frame came when the Cobbers were shorthanded in the final seven minutes of play.

Concordia tied the game at 2-2 when Jon Grebosky finished off an odd-man rush when CC was shorthanded at 13:18. Grebosky put together a nifty drag and snipe between the circles to record his seventh goal of the year. Bryan Kronberger was credited with the assist on the shorty.

The Cobbers then went down to a 5-on-3 situation and Augsburg was able to capitalize right after the first penalty expired. The power play goal at 15:12 put the Auggies back in the lead at 3-2.

Tanner Okeson would tie the game on the power play in the first five minutes of the final period. He took a cross ice pass from Grebosky and one-timed a shot into the upper corner from just below the faceoff dot. Zach Doerring also earned an assist on the play.

The teams then went back and forth in search of the valuable go-ahead goal in the final period of play. Unfortunately for CC that would come off the stick of an Augsburg player. The Auggies struck for the game-winning goal at 5:44.

Augsburg would then add an insurance marker at 14:11 and an empty-net special with 15-seconds remaining in regulation.

The Cobbers were outshot 37-29 in the game. Doerring and Ellingson both had a team-high four shots on goal in the game. Okeson, Kronberger and Beau Wilmer all had three shots each.

Sam Nelson made 31 saves in goal for Concordia.

The Cobbers were 1-for-5 on the power play while the Auggies went 1-for-2 on their man-advantage situations.

TWO-MAN SCORING RACE: With one game to play in the regular season both Zach Doerring and Jon Grebosky have 24 points on the year. Doerring has a team-high 13 goals and 11 assists while Grebosky has seven goals and a team-high 17 assists. Doerring's 13 nuggets are a career high and he is tied for third in the league in goal. Grebosky is second in the MIAC in assists and now has 93 career points.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will look to do their part of the playoff seeking equation when they host Augsburg in the series finale on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. If the Cobbers come up with a win they will have to wait until Saturday night to find out their playoff fate as St. Mary's hosts St. Olaf at 7 p.m.