STORY LINE: Junior Aaron Herdt scored the game-winning goal with 4-seconds left in overtime to give Concordia a 4-3 win over Gustavus and help the Cobbers earn their seventh consecutive MIAC playoff berth. Herdt took control of the puck just over his own blue line, raced down the right side of the ice on a 2-on-1 with teammate Mario Bianchi and then fired a shot which beat the Gustie goalie along the ice.
RECORDS: Concordia ends a 3-game winless streak and is now 12-7-3 in all games and 8-3-2 in MIAC play. The Cobbers have 28 conference points which is tied for second place and clinches a spot in the 5-team MIAC playoffs. Gustavus falls to 7-14-1 overall and 4-8-1 in the league. The Gusties have 13 points in the standings and are in seventh place – five points shy of the final playoff spot.
FIRST MINUTE LETDOWN: Concordia gave up a goal in the first minute of each of the first two periods of play. The Cobbers trailed 1-0 after the opening 39-seconds of the game and then fell behind 2-1 after 33-seconds in the second period. Concordia was able to tie the game on each occasion. Mario Bianchi knotted the score at 1-1 when he slid home a shot from the slot at 7:22 of the first period. Freshman Parker Simonson scored the most acrobatic goal of the game when he carried the puck over the GAC blue line, stepped between two defenders, was knocked to the ice and then controlled the puck and chipped the puck into the net at 2:46 of the second to tie the game at 2-2.
PARKER SIMONSON GOAL:
THE BIG HERDT: Aaron Herdt gave the Cobbers their first lead of the game when he scored at 11:02 of the third period. Concordia went on the power play at the 10:55 mark and proceeded to winning the ensuing faceoff. The puck went to the left side of the Gustie zone and then found Herdt standing wide open just inside the right faceoff circle. Herdt settled the puck and then sniped home CC's third goal of the game.
THE BIG HERDT 2: Mario Bianchi's goal in the first period tied him with Aaron Herdt for the team lead in goals at 14. Herdt then broke free again with his two goals in the third period and OT. Herdt now has 16 goals on the year which is tied for second in the MIAC. He now has 10 nuggets in MIAC play which is also second.
AARON HERDT FIRST GOAL:
3-BAGGER FOR BIANCHI: Mario Bianchi added two assists to his first-period goal to record a 3-point night. Bianchi had the helpers on both of Herdt's goals and now has 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points on the year. He is second on the team in scoring and third in the MIAC. Bianchi's 29 points are a single-season career high and he now has 86 career points.
GIVE IT UP FOR THE GOALIES: Both goalies put on stellar performances. The Cobbers' Jacob Stephan made several clutch saves in the first period to keep CC close and then Gustie netminder Chris Amsden did the same in the second and third frames. Stephan finished the game with 35 saves while Amsden turned aside 40 shots.
STAT STUFF: Concordia outshot Gustavus 44-38 in the game. The Cobbers put up a game-high 17 shots in the third period. Jake Ellingson led all players with five shots on net. Concordia was 1-for-2 on the power play while Gustavus failed to score in their only chance of the night.
UP NEXT: Concordia will try to stay in the Top 2 of the MIAC when they square off against Gustavus in the series finale on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. at the Moorhead Youth Rink. The Cobbers are 0-4 on Saturdays in 2019 while the Gusties are 2-2.