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Waldorf falls to No. 6 Lewis in series split

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Matt Oliver

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – A third-period rally wasn’t enough as the Waldorf College hockey team fell short in an 8-5 loss to Lewis University during Sunday’s Northern Collegiate Hockey League (NCHL) matchup.

The Warriors (13-9, 5-3) came into the contest ranked No. 10 in the latest American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division II Central Region poll and were forced to settle for a series split with the league-leading No. 6 Flyers (15-1-1, 9-1).

Senior Reed Loucks, freshman Ryan Veillet, sophomore Buddy Napier, juniors Artem Savelyev and Spencer Johnson provided goals for Waldorf. Sophomore Jeffrey Bartel and Johnson registered two points apiece.

Justin Adams led the Flyers with three points, turning in two goals and an assist. They received two points apiece from John Schwarz and Brendan Bednarz.

Matthew Eberhardt put Lewis in front, scoring unassisted 14 minutes into the game.

Loucks connected on the equalizer for the Warriors with 21 seconds remaining in the opening period. Sophomore Matthew Liggett assisted on the play.

The Flyers reclaimed the lead as Craig Tomassi converted on a power play less than three minutes into the second period.

Veillet answered on a power play, evening the score in the fifth minute of the second period. Sophomore Travis Park and Bartel contributed assists on the goal.

Lewis notched three goals in less than five minutes to build a 5-2 advantage through two periods. Bradley Hojek started the scoring outburst in the 13th minute following assists from Justin Adams and Tyler Adams. Bednarz delivered a goal on a power play in the 15th minute while Nicholas Johnsen added a goal off an assist from Patrick Nelson in the 18th minute.

Waldorf battled back in the third period, trimming the deficit to one goal with less than 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Napier started the comeback with a goal in the ninth minute of the final period with assists coming from sophomore Drew Soderberg and Bartel.

Thirty seconds later, Savelyev drove home a goal on a power play behind assists from Johnson and freshman Robert Danyo.

Tanner Todd notched the game-winning goal for Lewis in the 11th minute while Bednarz dished out the assist.

The Flyers pushed their lead to 7-4 as Justin Adams put the puck in an empty net in the 18th minute. Schwarz was credited with the assist.

Nineteen seconds later, Johnson turned in Waldorf’s final goal on a power play courtesy of assists from junior Alex Fleming and sophomore Jeremy Navarro.

Justin Adams added an empty-net goal with 41 seconds left in the game to help Lewis salvage a series split.

Junior Nicholas Carroll and sophomore Ronald Paulson shared goalkeeper duties for the Warriors. Carroll collected 18 saves while facing 23 shots. Paulson stopped eight of the nine shots fired in his direction.

For the second straight contest, Waldorf outshot the Flyers. The Warriors attempted 40 shots and Lewis ended the day with 34 shots.

The Flyers hold first place in the NCHL standings with 26 points. Waldorf (16) owns second, sitting one point ahead of No. 12 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (10-3, 5-3).

The Warriors resume play Dec. 5-6 against St. Mary’s University (4-7, 2-6) in a conference series at Winona, Minnesota. Waldorf opens the series with the Cardinals on Dec. 5 at 10:15 p.m. and the Dec. 6 series finale is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.