MOORHEAD, Minn. — St. John’s used goals by Joel Starke and Mike Possin in the third period to beat Concordia in the opening game of their MIAC playoff series Friday night.
St. John’s scored the game’s opening goal on Chad Helmer’s blast from the point at 13:23 of the first period, but Brady Burgess tied the game for Concordia five minutes into the second period on a shot from the top of the left circle.
St. John’s quickly went back on top two minutes later on Kevin Willey’s power-play goal. Willey took a cross ice pass from Possin and hammered a one-timer past Bryan Howard.
In the third period Concordia missed a chance to tie the score at 2-2 when Aaron Marsh skated by the Johnnie defense and put the puck past goalie Rick Gregory. But officials ruled that the net had been knocked off the moorings before the puck crossed the goal line. On the faceoff, Concordia did tie the game when Mike Gast won the draw back to Burgess, who snapped home his second goal of the game.
Once again, St. John’s was quick to answer as Starke intercepted a breakout pass, cut left in front of the goal and slid the puck under Howard. Five minutes later the Johnnies established a two-goal lead when Possin took a pass on the outside of the left faceoff circle and fired a low shot that found the right corner of the net. Concordia outshot St. John’s 40-26.
Both teams have 14-10-2 records. They finish their series Saturday at 7 p.m. If St. John’s wins or ties the game, the Jonnnies advance to the MIAC championship series. If Concordia wins, the ice will be resurfaced and the teams will play a 15-minute mini-game.