Men's Hockey upsets top seed Indiana Tech to advance to WHAC Tournament Championship

Men's Hockey upsets top seed Indiana Tech to advance to WHAC Tournament Championship

(Fort Wayne, IN) – The Concordia men's hockey team were back in Fort Wayne on Saturday afternoon for a Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference Men's Ice Hockey Tournament Semifinal matchup against the #7 ranked, hosts and top seed in the WHAC Indiana Tech Warriors. The Cardinals would score first, and jumped out to a 4-0 lead early in the 3rd period, using that advantage to eventually secure a 4-1 victory and a trip to the WHAC Tournament Championship.


Zachary Janis started in net for the Cardinals, making an incredible 44 saves and surrending just one goal in the winning effort. 


The opening period of play was back and forth, with both sides generating opportunities on net, but the goaltenders stood firm for the teams through the first 18 and a half minutes of play, shutting down any potential goals. Concordia would be the team to strike first, however, as Tyler Bieniek would corral the rebound off a Derek Hebner shot from the point and beat the Warrior goaltender to give CUAA the lead late in the first frame, carrying that advantage into the first intermission. 


The Cards would continue their momentum into the second frame, as Bryce Iott picked up a loose puck bouncing between sticks in the high slot and fired it into the net to double the Concordia advantage just under 4 minutes into the middle period. The Warriors provided a large push in the 20 minutes of play, firing 16 shots on goal during the period, but Zachary Janis shut the door in net and continued blanking IIT. Later in the frame, the Cardinals would be back on the attack, as Carson Ediger intercepted an Indiana Tech cycle, wrapped around to the right side of the net and ripped a shot into the goal to extend CUAA's advantage to 3-0 heading into the final break of regulation. 


The Concordia offense exploded once again early in the 3rd period, as Brandon Kucera would receive a pass from Zane Rydel on the powerplay and fire it through a sea of bodies into the net, picking up his first goal of the season at a crucial moment in the contest as the Cards led 4-0. Indiana Tech would push for a comeback throughout the remainder of the frame, firing 17 more shots on goal in the period and eventually scoring on their own powerplay with 3:06 to go in the game, but CUAA's lead would prove to be insurmountable as the Cardinals would win, 4-1. 


The Cards' win marked the first victory over Indiana Tech and first trip to the WHAC Tournament Championship in program history, as well as their highest ranked win (#7) since the start of Men's Hockey at Concordia in 2018. 


The Cardinals will be back in action next tomorrow, February 26th, when they play in the WHAC Tournament title game against the winner of the #2 UM-Dearborn/#3 Lawrence Tech being played Saturday night. Puck drop is set for 1pm at the SportONE/Parkview Ice House in Fort Wayne, IN.