Spectacular Senior Season Start

Senior Mario Bianchi scored five goals in the Cobbers' two wins at the MIAC Showcase.
Senior Mario Bianchi scored five goals in the Cobbers' two wins at the MIAC Showcase.

STORY LINE: Mario Bianchi started his senior season in spectacular fashion as he scored five goals in two games and helped Concordia beat St. Mary's and Gustavus in the annual MIAC Showcase. Bianchi scored two goals, including the game winner in overtime, in the Cobbers' 4-3 victory over St. Mary's on Saturday and then netted all three goals in Concordia's 3-0 win over Gustavus n Sunday.

MIAC SHOWCASE SENDOFF: This was the final year of the annual MIAC Showcase which started at the beginning of the 2009-10 season. In the 10 seasons of the showcase the Cobbers posted an 11-7-2 record. Concordia swept both game this year which marked the fourth time in showcase history that CC won both games on the opening weekend. The Cobbers also accomplished the feat in 2011-12, 2013-14, 2016-17.

BIG D-FENSE: The shutout on Sunday marked the first time since the 2016-17 that Concordia's defense had blanked an opponent. That shutout also came against Gustavus.

SUPER MARIO WORLD: It was the second hat trick of Mario Bianchi's collegiate career on Sunday. He also had three goals against Hamline last season before he was shut down by a lower leg injury. Bianchi's five goals in two games mark the first back-to-back multiple-goal stretch of his career in maroon and gold. His five goals are also two shy of his season total from last year when he played in 19 games. Bianchi now has 31 goals and 32 assists for 63 points in his college career.

SUPPORTING CAST SHINES: Bianchi's first-year linemates also had a point-grabbing weekend. Junior Aaron Herdt collected five assists in the two games and sophomore Tyler Bossert added four helpers. Herdt, who played for Moorhead HS, transferred to Concordia after playing two seasons at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.       

STEPHAN SHUTS IT DOWN: Junior goalie Jacob Stephan was also overshadowed by Bianchi's goal-scoring bonanza but he played a huge role in the Cobbers' second win of the weekend. Stephan made 42 saves against Gustavus to record his first collegiate shutout. The 42 saves are the second highest single-game total in Stephan's Cobber career and the fourth time in his career he has reached the 40-save mark.

FIRST OF MANY COBBER W's: Concordia had another transfer make an immediate impact. Sophomore goalie Cam Haugenoe earned his first win in maroon and gold on Saturday against St. Mary's. Haugenoe, who is originally from Williston, transferred to Concordia from Wis.-Eau Claire. He was between the pipes for 10 games for the Blugolds in 2017-18 and won six games.

SPECIAL TEAMS STUFF: Concordia didn't score, or allow, a power play goal on the weekend. The Cobbers were 0-for-3 on the power play and held their opponents scoreless in five power play opportunities.

UP NEXT: Concordia will host its home opener on Friday, Nov. 2 when they square off against Wis.-Stout 7 p.m. The Cobbers will then turn around and host Wis.-Superior on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Both games will be at the Moorhead Sports Center. Stout went 1-1 on opening weekend while Superior is 1-0-1 on the year.