BY RYAN MOORE, MANAGING EDITOR
The men’s hockey team split a crucial series against MIAC rival St. Thomas this past weekend. The Auggies were in full control of the first game before dropping the second in a shootout. The Auggies traveled to St. Thomas Ice Arena to play the first game of the series against another opponent near the top of the conference leaderboard.
The Auggies had full command of the first two periods as they built a 4-0 lead midway through the second period. Drew Anderson opened the scoring with a goal from Evan Hesse and Eric Brenk in the first period. The team scored their next three goals in under four minutes as Corbin Chapman, Dylan Meier, and Brenk all netted goals in the second period.However, the game would not end without the Tommies battling back in the second and third periods, scoring three goals to cut the lead to one. Thomas Williams cut the Auggies’ lead to one as he scored on a power-play in the middle of the third period.
In the final six seconds of the game, Nate Flynn would bury an empty-net goal to put the Auggies back up by two and seal the game. Flynn has been the leading goal-scorer for the team this year.
In addition to the win, that Friday also saw Augsburg, St. Thomas and St. Mary’s all clinching playoff berths for the five-team MIAC playoff. The following night, the Auggies looked to protect the Ed as they hosted St. Thomas. Unfortunately, the Auggies would lose a close game in a shootout to the Tommies. The first two periods of the contest were all offense for both teams, as eleven goals were scored in total by the two teams.
Brenk scored two goals in the second period to add to the scoring barrage. After a four-point series against the Tommies, Brenk was named MIAC Men’s Hockey Athlete of the Week.
The Auggies held a one goal lead heading into the final period of regulation; however, the Tommies struck quickly tying the game just over two minutes into the period. Neither team would score for the remainder of regulation. The two teams headed into a tense overtime period, but neither team would score despite several chances. St. Thomas gained the bonus point for the standings as Charlie Donlin scored the only goal of the shootout. Chis Nuth, Paul Soubry, Chapman, and Flynn all contributed goals in the contest, and both teams ended up pulling their starting goalies as they each allowed six goals.
Both teams will enter the final weekend of regular season play tied for first place in the conference standings. There- fore, the Auggies final series against the Johnies of SJU will be of the utmost importance for playoff seeding.
This article first appeared in the Friday, February 17, 2017, Edition of The Echo.