WINONA, Minn. (2/06/21)--- A 7-minute span at the start of the second period proved to be the downfall of Concordia in their season opener at St. Mary's. After skating through a scoreless first period, the Cobbers conceded three goals in the first 8:52 of the middle frame and lost 3-1.
GAME RECAP: Concordia started slowly in their opener as they stepped on the ice for the first time in over 330 days. The Cobbers were outshot 5-4 in the first 20 minutes of play as neither team had an advantage in zone time. The game changed at the 2:03 mark of the second period when SMU got on the board to break the 0-0 deadlock. They would add their second at 7:16 and push the margin to 3-0 just 96-seconds later on the power play.
Concordia was able to weather the 3-goal storm and started to find their offensive legs late in the middle frame. The Cobbers scored a huge goal in the final minute of the period when Matt Donnelly opened the season stat sheet. Jaret Lalli and Nicholas Ness earned the assists on the nugget that gave CC a huge momentum boost heading into the final period.
After being outshot by a combined total of 14-12 in the first 40 minutes of play, Concordia tilted the ice and hammered the SMU goal for 15 shots in the final 20 minutes. CC only allowed four shots in the period as they tried to post a comeback win and wound up outshooting the Cardinals 27-18.
The Cobbers had a pair of power play chances in the third but couldn't find the net despite getting four good looks and shots on frame. Concordia made one final push for the net and put up eight shots in the final four minutes of play but were denied the net.
CARDINAL FEVER: The loss against the Cardinals continues a recnt trend for the Cobbers. Concordia has now lost five straight against St. Mary's. CC dropped both games against SMU last year in Moorhead. They lost a 5-2 decision in the 2019 playoffs and fell in Winona in the final game of the regular-season series that year.
CAM TIME: Senior Cam Haugenoe got the start in goal as he looks to take control of the goaltending duties for CC in 2021. He made 15 saves in the game and stopped the final seven shots he faced. Haugenoe is now 5-6-2 in his career in maroon and gold.
LALLI LOVES HAMBURGER HELPER: Lalli continued his trend of helpers. Last year he had five points – all via the assist. He now has six assists in his Cobber career.
UP NEXT: Concordia will face St. John's in an away-home series next week. The Cobbers will play in St. Cloud on Thursday in a non-conference game at 7 p.m. The teams will then meet back up in Moorhead on Saturday at 7:00 for the conference contest.
RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Red River Trails. Red River Tails has been the official bus company of the Cobbers for decades. Everett Ballard has been the Cobber hockey driver for years and always gets Concordia to their destination on time and ready to go.