Foresters Take Down Concordia Wisconsin in a Thriller

Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

Sophomore forward Joey Sardina scored the game-winning goal with just 3:24 to play in the third period in the Foresters' 5-4 victory at Concordia University Wisconsin Saturday night.

The home team opened the scoring just 1:52 into the first period but the Foresters responded with three unanswered goals in the frame. Sophomore forward Aaron O'Neill tied the game just 2:36 later on his fifth score of the year with assists going to senior forwards John Nugent and Cody Guidorzi.

Senior forward Drew Cleereman struck with his first score of the season at 14:36. Junior forward Tyler O'Neill set up Cleereman's fourth career tally against the Falcons.

Sardina added to the Forester lead in the final minute of the first on an absolute snipe from the left circle, beating the goalie upstairs short side. Junior defenseman Zach Feldman assisted on the score. The Foresters took the 3-1 lead into the locker room and out-shot Concordia Wisconsin 11-8 in the game's first 20 minutes.

The Falcons were able to tie the game in second on goals at 6:35 and 15:17. The teams combined for 29 shots in the period with the Falcons having a slight 15-14 edge.

Senior defenseman Ryan Kruss pinballed one from the right point and found the back of the net to give the Foresters the lead 5:11 into the third. The unassisted score was his third goal of the year. Concordia, however, was able to answer at the 12:37 mark later, making it a 4-4 game with 7:23 on the clock.

After increasing his point streak to six games with his goal in the first, Sardina came through again with his second of the night at 16:24 in the third. Freshman forward Cullen Kane sauced one up at center ice to Sardina, who gained the blue line down the right side and roofed one far side. The fourth goal of the season for the Red Oak, Texas, native proved to be the difference in the 5-4 win.  

It was the third straight victory at Ozaukee Ice Center for the Foresters, who are now now 4-3-3 overall and 3-2-1 in Northern Collegiate Hockey association play his season. Concordia Wisconsin fell to 2-7-1 overall and 0-5-1 in the NCHA.

Lake Forest will go on the road next Friday night to take on Aurora University in a non-conference game beginning at 7:00 p.m.

by Cam McGuire

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