(Canton, MI) – The Concordia men's hockey team was back at the Arctic Edge Saturday evening to host their final regular season matchup with Cleary this season. The Cardinals would take the lead in the opening frame, then following a scoreless second period, would pile on three goals in the third to secure a 4-1 victory.
Zachary Janis started in net for the Cardinals, making an impressive 37 saves in 60 minutes of play.
Concordia got off to a quick start, firing 16 shots on goal in the first period of play, including 10 in the first 10:00 of hockey. Kyle Hebner would get the Cards on the board first, grabbing the puck in the right slot and firing it past the Cleary goaltender to take the early lead. Hunter Kepple picked up the assist on the score, and both goalies would stand firm the rest of the frame, making it a 1-0 CUAA advantage at the break.
The second period was back-and-forth, as the sides combined for 25 shots on net and 3 different powerplay opportunities. Despite the chances, however, neither team could fire the puck into the back of the net, and the second intermission arrived with the Cardinals still leading by a goal.
Concordia would open the scoring back up in the third period, as a loose puck in front ended up on the stick of Seth Francois, who ripped the puck into the net to double the CUAA lead. Brandon Troyer and Derek Hebner recorded assists on the score. The Cardinals would then take advantage of the powerplay later in the period, as Seth Francois would feed Hunter Kepple down low, who drifted towards the net and fed a pass across the crease to Carson Ediger, as he finished the shot to extend the lead to 3.
Cleary would respond later in the frame with a goal while on a 5-on-3 advantage, but with just under 2 minutes to go and with the Cougars net empty, Quinn Bieniek would grab the puck near the CUAA defensive zone blue line and fire the puck off the boards all the way into the Cleary goal to seal the 4-1 win with 1:55 to go.
The Cardinals will be back in action next Friday, January 27th, when they play host to the Rochester Warriors. Puck drop is set for 6:30pm at the Arctic Edge in Canton, MI.