By Kristian Evans, Sports Editor
Entering the weekend with a top-five national ranking and an undefeated record, the Augsburg men’s hockey team looked to continue on one of the most promising seasons of recent memory.
Unfortunately, this weekend played the role of road bump and a reminder that the season is far from over. Taking on the University of St. Thomas, a team the Auggies beat in last year’s MIAC playoff championship game, the Auggies fell 2-0 at home and 5-4 on the road.
Opening the weekend with just their third home game of the season, starting goaltenders Nick Schmit for the Auggies and Ben Myers for the Tommies took center stage. Scoreless until the third period, St. Thomas’ Johnny Panvica scored on the power play in the first minute of the final frame to break the tie. Despite a flurry of chances throughout the third, the only additional goal put on the board was a Tommie empty net goal by Cullen Wilcox to seal the game and hand the Auggies their first loss of the season.
In contrast to the tight checking game that took place at Ed Saugestad Arena, offence took the lead in the second game of the series. After jumping out to a 3-1 lead, the Tommies let the Auggies claw their way back into contention twice. Despite outshooting the Tommies 41-22, the Auggies could not find the equalizer in the final moments and fell 5-4.
Drew Anderson scored twice for the Auggies, and he also received goals from Nate Flynn, Gunnar Goodmanson and Lukas Gillett. The losses on the weekend drops Augsburg’s record to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the MIAC.
The men’s team schedule gets no easier; the team travels to Green Bay this weekend for a two game road series against top ranked St. Norbert’s, the team that has eliminated the Auggies from the national tournament the past two seasons.
This article first appeared in the Friday, December 8, 2017, Edition of The Echo.