Hebda brothers play crucial role in rebuilding of Concordia’s program

Jake Hebda of Concordia (Tim Brule)

When Buster and Jake Hebda began looking at colleges, they weren’t sure they would end up at the same school. The 22-year old twin brothers played the majority of the 2011-12 season together with the Minot Minatauros of the NAHL, before Buster was traded to the Bismarck Bobcats for the last 18 games of the season.

“I don’t think that we necessarily wanted to play together; both of us were looking for the best fit, and if it happened to be the same school, that would be a plus,” Buster said, “Initially, coach Wise talked to Jake; as he recruited him, coach talked to me, and Concordia was just the right fit.”

The fraternal twins came to Concordia at an interesting and exciting time for the program. Buster, a forward, and Jake, a goalie, entered their rookie the season with 22 other freshmen. Buster was given the captain title almost immediately, and Jake earned the starting goalie nod just as quickly.

“I think it’s cool that we have such a young team,” Buster said, “For Jake to get the starting goalie spot and have such a presence and role, a lot of guys don’t get that chance. With a team that is rebuilding, it is fun to come in right away and have an impact.”

“His presence in the locker room is awesome,” Jake said of Buster’s leadership role. “He’s respected. He’s always been the responsible one, waking up early, getting me up early for practice.”

The brothers are enjoying their time on the ice together. Buster has played in all 21 games for the Falcons this season, tallying one goal and three assists. Jake has backstopped 19 tilts, holding an .880 save percentage and 3.88 goals-against average.

“It’s really fun; if I make a big save, or Buster makes a big play, the first person to congratulate me is my brother,” Jake said, “It’s really exciting playing with each other, especially since we can always talk about the game, with nothing to hide.”

Although the brothers are quick to give each other compliments, they are also the first to admit their disagreements.

“We fight all the time!” Jake said., before Buster interjected, “It’s not fighting, it’s brotherly love. Just bickering back and forth.”

Concordia has had its fair share of ups and downs this season. With a 6-15-0 record, it has tripled its wins from last season. Concordia is currently sitting in the fifth spot of the MCHA standings, along with Lawrence and Northland.

The Falcons will have to battle the final two weekends of the regular season to make playoffs; with 12 points they are two points behind Lawrence in the South Division. They will first battle first place Adrian this weekend before wrapping up the regular season with a weekend series against Marian.


Around the League

With a win and tie this weekend over Lake Forest, the Adrian Bulldogs earned their sixth-consecutive MCHA regular-season title. The Bulldogs remain unbeaten in the conference with a 13-0-3 record. They are also the only team in the nation that has not lost a game in their conference.

Marian earned a sweep over Lawrence, giving them 18 points in the standings, which is good for a solid first place hold of the North Division.

Milwaukee School of Engineering swept Concordia. Northland and Finlandia split their series. Northland beat Finlandia, 11-4, on Friday night. The 11-goal output marks the highest for the Lumberjacks in 15 years.

Tyler Klein earned MCHA Player of the Week honors, as he helped the Marian Sabres sweep Lawrence. Klein scored the game-tying goal, making the score 2-2, before scoring the game-winning goal with eight seconds left in the third period.

The Sabres also had the MCHA Defensive Player of the Week honoree, as goalie Josh Baker backstopped Marian in its sweep of Lawrence. He made 77 saves in the two games for a .962 save percentage.

The MCHA Freshman of the Week award went to Nick Kohn, the netminder for MSOE. He made 44 saves on the weekend, only allowing one goal in each game, earning a .957 save percentage on the Raiders sweep of Concordia.