(Chelsea, MI) – The Cardinals hosted their home opener at the Arctic Coliseum on Saturday evening in a rematch with the Western Michigan Stallions. The Cards overcame a two-goal deficit against Western Michigan and eventually won 5-4 in a dramatic overtime victory.
The first period consisted of a back and forth battle between the two teams, with each side managing opportunities for goals. However, both goalies stood up to the test, including Concordia starter Anthony Seykora, who made 14 saves in the first period during his first career collegiate start.
The momentum would continue to build as the flood gates opened for goal scoring. The Stallions would get on the board first with a pair of goals halfway through the period. CUAA would strike back quickly, though, as Tyler Bieniek got on the board with a goal assisted by Abel Christians and Joseph Nagle. Western would tack on another goal just a minute later to extend their lead back to two.
The Cardinals bounced back, however, as Derek Hebner recorded his first career goal of his collegiate career on the powerplay with just over three minutes remaining in the 2nd. Tyler Groth and Quinn Bieniek added assists on the score.
Concordia continued the momentum into the third, scoring the game tying goal just five minutes into the third. Kyle Hebner took a chip pass from Thomas Hendry and scored from the right side to knot the game up at 3. Liam Kenney recorded an assist on the goal.
The push continued, as with 8:35 remaining in the third, Thomas Hendry took a backdoor feed from Brandon Troyer and put it into the back of the net to give the Cardinals the 4-3 lead midway through the third.
Western would bounce back with a goal with just over five minutes remaining in regulation as Western tied the game back up at 4. The game would go back and forth for the remainder of the period, but the goalies would stand firm and keep the game tied through the rest of regulation, sending the game into overtime.
Overtime was controlled by Concordia, as they maintained possession throughout and outshot Western Michigan 10-2 in the extra period. As overtime was coming to a close, Abel Christians was sent on a breakaway and taken down from behind by a trip. He would be granted a penalty shot, and as Christians came down the right side, he hit the goalie with a hesitation and fired the shot top left to beat the goalie for the game winning goal.
The Cardinals will be back in action next Friday on the road against Concordia-Wisconsin. Gametime is set for 6:30pm CT in Mequon, WI.