Freshman forward Kyler Magus got his first career goal and added two assists in the Forester men's hockey team's 5-3 victory at Concordia University Wisconsin in Friday night's game one of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Harris Cup quarterfinal series.
In the opening period there was back and forth play between the Foresters and Falcons but no scoring. Lake Forest headed into the first intermission having outshot the home team 15-10 in the game's first 20 minutes.
Concordia Wisconsin struck first in the second frame, scoring just 30 seconds in to take a 1-0 lead. Just 67 seconds later Forester sophomore defenseman Zach Feldman collected a pass at the top of the point from junior forward Drew Cleereman. Feldman wasted no time and snapped along a wrister that caught the back of the net to even the score. The Foresters would head on the power play at the 13:37 mark of the middle frame and it was senior forward Charlie Izaguirre who received a pass from senior forward Billy Kent at the top of the right circle and beat the goalie low far side. The Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, native now leads the team in goals with 10, eight of which have come on the power play. Senior forward George Gerasmiou also picked up an assist on the tally to increase his team-leading total to 17. After a Falcon score in the last two minutes of the period, the teams went into the second intermission tied 2-2.
It was a third period that Magus will likely never forget. The Calgary, Alberta, native notched his first career goal, slapping home a rebound past the Concordia Wisconsin goaltender at the 5:10 mark. When asked about his first career goal, Magus responded, "it was definitely nice to get the first one. I thought my line was generating chances all night. On the goal I just went hard to the net and was lucky to put that one in." Magus would return the favor four minutes later when he threaded a beautiful pass to Cleereman, who buried it to make the score 4-2. The Falcons would make the Foresters work for the win, scoring with 1:55 left in the game to decrease their deficit to just one. Cleereman, however, sealed away the victory, collecting his second goal of the evening and sixth this season when he found the empty net with 29 seconds left in the contest.
Forester sophomore goaltender Louis-Philippe De Courcy stopped 34 of 37 shots on goal on the night to improve to 11-7-1 on the year. Just three goalies in recorded program history have earned more victories in a season than De Courcy in 2017-18.
Senior Davis Dekorte added two assists in the game and when asked about the victory said, "It was a huge win tonight and there were a lot of guys that contributed. Louis stood on his head early and the team rallied behind him coming out the next two periods and won through hard work and determination. It was extremely important to get the first win but it will take even more to end their season tomorrow."
Lake Forest is now 14-10-2 this season while Concordia Wisconsin fell to 16-8-2. The two teams will meet Saturday night for the second game of the NCHA Harris Cup quarterfinals at Ozaukee Ice Center at 7:00 p.m. The Foresters can clinch a birth into the semifinals with a win or tie. A Lake Forest loss would force a 20-minute minigame shortly after game two to determine who advances to the semifinals.
by Cam McGuire