After mounting a furious last-minute comeback, Augsburg narrowly defeated St. John’s University 4-3 in the MIAC semifinal playoff game. Augsburg scored once in the first and did not score again until St. John’s scored three times in the second period. The deficit got cut to two goals after sophomore Jason Krych found the back of the net for his third goal of the season. With a minute and sixteen seconds left in regulation, junior Luke Dietsch scored his second goal of the game and tied the score. One minute later, junior Chandler Madry scored the game-winning goal on a three-on-two attack with Lukas Gillett and Alex Rodriguez assisting. As a team, Augsburg outshot SJU 40-29 with 11 shots on goal in the final period. Goalie Nick Schmit made 29 saves with seven coming in the third.
Augsburg will play Gustavus Adolphus on Saturday, and the winner of that match will be the conference champion and receive a berth in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Gustavus reached the championship game by beating Concordia in a quarterfinal match and then upset St. Thomas with a 4-3 overtime victory. Augsburg has played the Gusties three times this season with the Auggies winning two out of the three games. While it is tough to beat a team three times in a row, home-ice advantage should play a large factor as Augsburg won seven out of their ten home games this season. Gustavus has struggled on the road, going 5-6-2 this season.The puck is scheduled to drop in front of a packed arena at 7 p.m. Saturday.
This article first appeared in the Friday, March 2, 2018, Edition of The Echo.