A Great Eight

Senior Eddie Eades had the game-winning goal in the Cobbers' playoff-clinching 2-1 win at St. Olaf.
Senior Eddie Eades had the game-winning goal in the Cobbers' playoff-clinching 2-1 win at St. Olaf.

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (2/21/19)---An identical score line to last weekend's series finale against No.15-ranked Augsburg gave the Cobbers a win in the series opener at St. Olaf and clinched a spot in the MIAC playoffs.

For the second straight game the Cobbers needed only two goals to post a conference win. The 2-1 victory over the Oles gives CC 29 points in league play which clinches a spot in the 5-team conference tournament. Concordia is now only one point out of first place with one game remaining in the regular season.

For the second straight game Concordia also scored the first goal of the game – and for the second straight game it came in the first four minutes of play in a period.

The Cobbers held the majority of the offensive zone time in the first period, outshot the Oles 12-7 but went into the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.

That score line changed early in the middle frame when senior Aaron Herdt notched his team-leading 12th goal of the year on the power play at 3:39. Not surprisingly, junior All-American Tyler Bossert had one of the assists on the play. Junior transfer Christian Cakebread also earned an assist on the play.

The lead would dissolve in less than 25-seconds as St. Olaf gained control of the puck after the face-off, gained the Cobber zone and score the game-tying goal at 3:59.

The game would stay tied at 1-1 until the final six minutes of the second period. Senior Eddie Eades was able to snake a shot through traffic in front of the goal and have it get past the Ole goalie. The even-strength marker was Eades' third of the year and would prove to be the eventual game-winning goal.

Jaret Lalli and Brock Montgomery recorded the assists on the goal at the 14:18 mark.

And for the second straight game the third period would belong to the Cobber defense and senior goalie Jacob Stephan. Concordia only conceded eight shots on goal in the final 20 minutes of play and Stephan turned aside all eight.

Stephan stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced to earn his eighth win of the year. He now has 29 career victories between the pipes for Concordia.

The Cobbers held a 45-20 advantage in shots on goal in the game. Beau Wilmer and Alex Stoley had six shots each to lead CC.

Concordia went 1-for-4 on the power play in the game while the Oles were 0-for-2.

EIGHT IS GREAT: The win clinched Concordia's eighth consecutive MIAC playoff appearance. The Cobbers have also made the conference postseason in nine of the past 10 seasons.  

QUARTRFINALS, WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' QUARTERFINALS: The win on Friday also assured the Cobbers they can finish no worse than third place in the league standings which means they will automatically play in one of the two semifinal games. The last time that Concordia advanced to the semifinals of the league playoffs was in 2017 when they were the No.5 seed and beat Hamline 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

INSIDE STAT INFO: The 45 shots on goal are a season-high for the Cobbers. It marks the second time that CC has cracked the 40-shot mark in a game this year. They put up 42 pucks on the net in the series finale against Bethel. The 45 shots on goal is more than Concordia in a single game in all of last season and most since Dec. 8, 2017 when they posted 46 at Hamline.

INSIDE STAT INFO II: Senior goalie Jacob Stephan lowered his MIAC-leading goals against average to 1.70 in conference games. He is the only netminder in the league that has a GAA under 2.00 in MIAC contests. Stephan is also second in save percentage with a 93.7% mark and leads the MIAC in win percentage (.750). He is 7-2-1 in MIAC games this year.

INSIDE STAT INFO III: Junior All-American Tyler Bossert earned his team-leading 20th assists of the year on the Cobbers' opening goal of the game. It is the second straight 20-helper season for Bossert. Last year he led the MIAC with 28 assists. His 20 assists this season is second in the conference. He now has 12 assists in MIAC play which is also second in the league.    

UP NEXT: Concordia will try and capture its first MIAC title since the 1987 season when they finish off the regular season against St. Olaf on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. The Cobbers can earn the championship with a win and a loss or tie by St. John's who plays at St. Mary's on Saturday.