SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Midland University took on Missouri State University in non-conference action this weekend on the road in Springfield, Missouri. The games were the first ever between the two schools and the first of four matchups slated for this season. The Bears earned the victory in both games, winning 8-5 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday.
FRIDAY: Missouri State 8, Midland 5
The Ice Bears, as they are called by their fans, needed a third-period rally to take the opening game over the Warriors.
Midland jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Ryan Donovan scored a short-handed goal off an assist by Ondrej Blaha in the first. The Bears would respond with three goals before the close of the period though, taking a 3-1 lead into intermission.
After the break, Midland regained the lead as they played a dominant second period. First, it was Phil Liakakos finding the back of the net off a Fletcher Chun assist. Then, Donovan scored his second of the game at the 16:37 mark on the power-play. Blaha and Zach Eddington were credited with the assists as Midland pulled even. With 2:06 left in the period, the Warriors took the lead back as Chun scored off a pass from Blaha and Eddington. They would take a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.
In the final period, it took Missouri State just 22 seconds to pull even as they took advantage of a penalty carried over from the second period. Midland would push back ahead five minutes later as Luke Sanko scored an unassisted goal at the 5:18 mark.
A little over a minute later momentum shifted to the home team as the Bears scored three goals in a matter of 1:05 of game time to go up 7-5. They would add another with 39 seconds left to seal their third win of the year.
Jaden Gardner went the full 60 minutes and suffered the loss. He stopped 16 shots by the Bears. Midland outshot their opponents 40-34.
SATURDAY: Missouri State 5, Midland 3
In the weekend finale, the Warriors once again jumped out to an early lead. Ondrej Blaha took a Fletcher Chun pass to the back of the net in the opening minute as Midland staked a 1-0 lead. After allowing the Bears to pull even at the midway point, Midland would get a second goal in the period. At the 16:08 mark, Kean Kontor lit the lamp as Phil Liakakos picked up the assist.
Missouri State would respond before the break not once, but twice, with goals coming at 18:32 and 19:34 of the first. They kept that lead throughout the second period, extending it with a fourth goal of the game at the 16:09 mark of the second.
In the final period, things were quiet on the score portion of the scoreboard. The penalty section though got plenty of action though as the two teams combined for 13 penalties in the period.
After allowing a short-handed empty-net goal with 38 seconds left, Midland was finally able to take advantage of a power-play chance. Ryan Donovan scored with 22 seconds left to make it a 5-3 game. Liakakos and Chun assisted on the final goal of the game.
Midland was 1-of-11 on the power-play while Missouri State was 2-of-7. The Warriors outshot the Bears once again, 34 to 25.
Angus Laing suffered the loss. He went 59:26 in net, saving 20 shots.
Midland (6-12) will look to bounce back with a pair of home games this upcoming weekend against Maryville University (4-5). The team split a two-game series last month in St. Louis.