ADRIAN, Mich. — The Adrian Bulldogs used a five-goal first period to help cruise to a 9-2 victory over the Concordia Falcons Friday night.
Sdrian captain Andrew Dovey led the way for the Bulldogs, netting a pair of goals and adding an assist. The Bulldogs also got a big night from senior Chris Stansik who had three points on a goal and two helpers.
Stansik started off the scoring at the 3:47 mark of the first period when he beat Concordia goalie Josh Lehr to give Adrian a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons answered back just over a minute later as Dan Shilts used his speed to beat the Adrian defenseman to a loose puck before finding Bradley Lukasz wide open in the slot, where he beat Scott Shackell to tie the game at 1-1.
Dovey gave the Bulldogs the lead once again just over a minute later when he beat Lehr, putting the score at 2-1. The Bulldog offense struck again just over two minutes later when Dan Barczuk took a stretch pass from Stansik before breaking in on Lehr and beating him to put Adrian up 3-1.
Justin Basso also took advantage of the stretch pass just over three minutes later when took Riley Hughes’ pass and broke in on Lehr before beating him five-hole.
Basso’s goal would mark the end of Lehr’s night as the Falcons replaced Lehr with Everett Devlin after Lehr gave up four goals on eight shots.
“I thought Basso played really well tonight,” said Adrian coach Ron Fogarty. “He is finally starting to rise to what we expected from him. He’s going to be a special player for us.”
Freshman Duston Hebebrand rounded out the scoring for the first period as he beat Devlin to the five hole extending the Adrian lead to 5-1.
“We didn’t play well in the first ten minutes and gave them a 4-1 lead,” said Concordia coach Tony Hrkac. “They are a team we can’t afford to give that kind of lead to. We knew that they liked to use the long lead pass and even warned our guys about it today, but we didn’t defend it.”
Fogarty was impressed with his team’s effort on the forecheck in the first period as well as the game.
“Our first guy on the forecheck did a good job retrieving the puck,” explained Fogarty. “We did the little things right tonight.”
The second period was a more evenly-matched game as both teams only netted one goal apiece putting the score at 6-2 after 40 minutes of play. Both teams played scoreless for the majority of the period until Jordan Watts beat Devlin to the glove side on the power play to give Adrian a 6-1 lead.
Cole Weiser answered back for the Falcons at the 18:24 mark as he beat James Hamby, who had come in to relieve Shackell, to cut the Adrian lead to 6-2.
“I thought we played well in the second period and the first ten minutes of the third,” said Hrkac.
In the third period it took Adrian 12 minutes to break through the Concordia defense, but once the Bulldogs did, they netted a trio of goals.
Lukas Ciotti pushed the Bulldog lead back to five goals when he scored at the 12:33 mark of the period. Dovey got his second of the night at the 14:50 mark putting Adrian up 8-2. Josh Cousineau rounded out the scoring with just about a minute remaining of the period.
For the Bulldogs, the game was a must-win if they wish to continue their reign atop the MCHA.
“We control our own fate right now,” said Fogarty. “It doesn’t really matter who we play, we’ve got to be ready for everyone at this time of the year.”
Adrian and Concordia will meet again Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.