Going Out As Winners

Senior Matt Donnelly scored two goals, including the game winner, in the Cobbers' 3-2 win at Bethel in the season finale.
Senior Matt Donnelly scored two goals, including the game winner, in the Cobbers' 3-2 win at Bethel in the season finale.

BLAINE, Minn. (3/10/21)---It took Concordia 28 minutes to shake off the rust from not having played a game in 32 days. The Cobbers overcame a 1-0 deficit by scoring three straight goals and beat Bethel 3-2 in the finale of the 2-game season.

Concordia only other game of the year was the opener on Feb. 6 at St. Mary's. Due to COVID-19 protocol, the Cobbers were unable to step on the ice against another opponent until Wednesday in Blaine. The Cobbers trailed 1-0 after the first 28 minutes of play but then Matt Donnelly and Kevin Ness put CC up 2-1 before Donnelly netted the eventual game-winning goal at 5:57 of the third period.

The Cobbers needed a period of play to get their game legs back. They gave up a goal at 16:21 of the first frame and trailed 1-0 heading into the break. CC was outshot 11-6 in the opening 20 minutes of play. It would be the only period where Concordia didn't register at least 14 shots.

Donnelly broke the ice in the ninth minute of the second period when he scored an even-strength goal at 8:46. Donnelly's second goal in as many games was assisted by Nicholas Ness and Jaret Lalli.

The teams would finish off the period without scoring another goal setting the stage for the game-winning third period. Concordia held a 14-8 advantage in shots on goal in the period – and that was with the Royals having a pair of power play opportunities as compared to none for CC.

Ness would give Concordia the lead for good when he scored at the start of the third period. His first collegiate goal at 1:18 gave the Cobbers a 2-1 lead. Cole O'Connell and Keaton Leininger were credited with the helpers.

Donnelly would double the margin for Concordia when he scored less than 5-minutes later. Concordia was awarded a power play for a Bethel interference call at 5:14 and then Donnelly added his second goal of the game at the 5:57 mark. Fittingly, one of the assists would come from senior All-American Tyler Bossert who owned the assist category for the Cobbers the past two seasons. Leininger picked up his second assist of the day on the game winner.

The Royals would make the game interesting with a power-play goal of their own. They netted their second goal of the game at 11:21 after Kevin Ness was whistled for a hooking penalty.

Concordia would control the play until the final 1:31 when Bethel pulled their goalie. CC held a 5-2 edge in shots after Donnelly's goal until the Royals came through with four straight to end the game.

Senior goalie Cam Haugenoe made sure that Concordia would go out as winners in 2021. He stood tall in the final-minute flurry to turn aside the four game-tying chances.

Haugenoe finished the game with 34 saves as he earned the sixth win of his career. He had at least one win in three straight seasons and finishes his Cobber career with a 91.0% save percentage and a 3.02 GAA.

Concordia outshot the Royals 37-36 in the game. Both teams finished with one power-play goal. CC was 1-for-3 on the man advantage while BU was 1-for-4.

HELPING HAND: Not only was it fitting that Tyler Bossert earned an assist on the game winner but it was fitting that the helper would be a milestone. His assist in the third period pushed his career assist total to 50. He had 28 dimes in his All-American season in 2019 and then added 21 last year.    

SPONSOR RECAP: Today's sponsor recap is RDO Equipment. If you want to go out into the field as a winner, then call on the incredible people at RDO Equipment for any of your equipment needs. They are a major supporter of Cobber athletics.