A Two-Game Playoff Push

Maiah McCowan (#20) is forced around the Gustavus net before setting up the Cobbers' lone goal against the Gusties.
Maiah McCowan (#20) is forced around the Gustavus net before setting up the Cobbers' lone goal against the Gusties.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (2/10/18)---Concordia gave up three unanswered goals in the second period and lost 4-1 to No.6-ranked Gustavus.

Sophomore Ally Wiitala tied the game at 1-1 in the eighth minute of the second period but then the Gusties counters with three goals in a span of 6:34 to seize control of the game and come away with the series sweep.

The two losses on the weekend drop the Cobbers' conference record to 6-7-3 but CC remains in fifth place in the league standings. The race for the MIAC playoffs includes six teams this season since third-place St. Thomas is ineligible for the postseason. Concordia is now three points clear of the seventh-place team and will most likely need only a split next week at fourth-place Augsburg. CC is now 9-11-3 in all games.

The Gusties win for the fifth straight game and are unbeaten in their nine games. GAC is second in the standings with an 11-2-3 conference mark. They are now 17-2-4 in all games.   

Concordia did a much better job in their own defensive end to start the game. They didn't allow a goal and only gave up two quality chances.

The second period had all five goals that were scored in the game. The Gusties got on the board first with an even-strength goal at 2:26. Wiitala then tied the game at 1-1 when she scored an even-strength marker at 7:41. Emily Goff and Maiah McCowan earned the assists. For Wiitala it was her second goal of the season and second in the past eight games.

The tie score would be short-lived as Gustavus started their three-goal spree just 30-seconds after Wiitala's marker.

The Gusties went ahead 2-1 at the 8:11 mark and then added insurance tallies at 12:40 and then again at 14:45.

The teams were unable to get on the board with the best chances after Concordia pulled goalie Amy Jost with 1:45 left in the third period.

Gustavus outshot the Cobbers 40-17 for the game. Jost made 36 saves while Maddie Ellingson and McCown led the offense with three shots each.

Concordia went 0-for-3 on the power play while Gustavus scored on their only man-advantage situation.

STREAK STOPPERS: Concordia's goal in the second period ended Gustavus' streak of 308 minutes without allowing a goal. The Gusties had four straight shutouts heading into Saturday but that streak was snapped by Wiitala's top-shelf snipe.

GETTING THE HANG OF SCORING: Ally Wiitala failed to score in the first 33 games of her college career but ended that string with a top shelf strike in the Cobbers' series-opening win against St. Benedict on Jan. 19. She liked scoring so much it only took her eight games to get back on the score sheet.

WHAT'S NEXT: Concordia will try and clinch its eighth straight MIAC playoff spot when they play at Augsburg in a two-game series on Jan. 16-17. The Auggies are currently in fourth place – four points ahead of the Cobbers.        

ALLY WIITALA GOAL HIGHLIGHTS: