It took just 28 seconds for ISU to jump out to a lead on Lindenwood at todays first round of regional playoff action. Connor Anderson popped a puck over the net to Eric Brown who swept it home for the 1 to 0 lead. Ryan Dunne helped the Redbrids take a 2 to 0 lead into the locker room with a smoking wrist shot that appeard to go through the goaltenders glove. Ryan Suizdak was OUTSTANDING in net for the Redbirds, making several spectacular saves on a relentless Lindenwood attack.
The second period belonged to the Lions. Three consecutive goals, put them in the lead. With six minutes left, Nick Santopoalo found Connor Anderson in the neutral zone and connected the 100 foot pass. Anderson was off to the races. He forced the put through low glove side before crashing hard into the boards with two defenders on his back. Tie game.
The Lions took a 4 to 3 lead early in the third period. Between Ryan Suizdak's goaltending and John Leonard's ability to block shots, the defense stayed strong, keeping the game close.
With just 44 seconds left the Redbirds were working a 5 on 3 power play when Eric Brown found the net off nice puck movement by Santopoalo and Anderson. Game tied at 4 as the third period buzzer rang.
As the ice was resurfaced for period four the two teams prepared to go at it 5 on 5 until a goal was scored. Again John Leonard and Ryan Suizdak had games fans will not forget as blocked shots and awesome saves kept Lindenwood off the scoreboard. The play was even and back and worth until the former St. Louis Jr. Blue (NA3HL) Eric Boning scored the game winner on a rocket of a wrist shot one hole and in. Lindenwood 5 - Illinois State 4 Season over.
Follow the conclusion of the playoff Sunday as SIUe takes on Lindenwood and DePaul faces Michigan. The two winners will join Michigan State and Grand Valley State Univesity (Grand Rapids, Michigan) on a trip to Fort Myers, Florida.