Jeff Braun, Sports Information Director
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Midland University opened up the North American Intercollegiate Hockey Association (NAIHA) with a 4-2 victory over Lindenwood University-Belleville. The 2nd-seeded Warriors outshot the 4th-seeded Lynx 42-26 and controlled the game from the first puck drop.
“Lindenwood is a tough team and the first game of a tournament is always the toughest,” commented head coach Jason Cirone. “Our guys showed up focused today and played well enough to get the win.”
Blake Neumann scored first goal of the game off a nice pass from Drew Carriere on the goalie’s right shoulder. The goal came midway through the opening period at the 10:48 mark.
Four minutes later the Lynx evened the score with a power play attack that caught the Midland defense off guard on the backside.
Just before the first intermission, Sam Zwiener putt the Warriors up again off a pass from Luke Sanko and Colton Jones. Jones sent the puck to into the crease and it was redirected by Sanko, then Zwiener.
After the intermission Lindenwood was able to knot the game once again as they scored on their second power play opportunity of the night. Midland would shore up their penalty kill after that though as they snuffed out the Lynx’s next two chances.
The second period saw another pair of Warrior goals. The first came off the stick of Drew Carriere while Midland was on a five minute power-play. With both Sanko and Carriere at the net, Cy Jenson fired the puck to the net. Sanko took the rebound and slid it in front of the goalie and Carriere buried for the go-ahead goal with 11:44 left in the game.
Four and a half minutes later it was Jake Mullendore getting on the scoresheet as he blasted a shot from the top of the slot past the goalie’s glove hand. Zach Voss and Blake Neumannassisted on the goal to make it 4-2.
The third period was uneventful when you look at the game sheet. The Warriors’ defense played smart and physical during the final 20 minutes. The backline made stop after stop while dishing out a few hits in between.
Midland will look to build upon their solid opening game on Friday as they take on 6th-seeded Concordia-Ann Arbor. The Warriors and Cardinals will play at 3:30 p.m. inside the Ford Ice Center once again. The Cardinals lost their tournament opener 6-2 to top-seeded Indiana Tech.