Comeback victorys lead Auggie’s past Cardinals

John Kipper, Staff Writer

The Augsburg men’s hockey team (7-1-0, 4-0-0) extended their winning streak to four in a row after sweeping conference opponent Saint Mary’s University (0-6-1, 0-2-1). The Auggies improved their record to 7-1, as well as remaining undefeated in MIAC play.

Augsburg mounted a late 2-1 comeback victory in the first game that began with a third period goal by senior forward Alex Rodriguez (9). Fellow forward Luke Dietsch and first-year defenseman Patrick O’Connor picked up the assists. The comeback culminated with senior Eric Brenk snapping a wrister past Saint Mary’s goaltender on a penalty shot early in the overtime period. It was Brenk’s first penalty shot goal of his career and his second goal of the season.

The game could have been a blowout, but the Auggies had the misfortune of sending five shots off the pipes while outshooting the opposition 24-21. The victory was not entirely down to luck, however; Augsburg dominated the faceoff circle, winning 45 of the 60 (75%) and controlling the pace of the game. Senior goaltender Nick Schmit made 20 saves, giving up only one goal. Schmit currently leads the conference with a goals-against average of 0.63.

The second game was a comeback win, albeit much less dramatic. After giving up a goal 28 seconds into the first period, the Auggies rallied and cranked out four unanswered goals to win 4-1. Despite being outshot 25-29, Augsburg never seemed overwhelmed or out of sync. Junior defenseman John O’Connor scored the equalizer in the second period with a power play goal. Augsburg dominated in the third period, getting three goals from Matt Hines, Austin Dollimer and Alex Rodriguez. Goalie Nick Schmit made 28 straight saves after giving up the early goal. Rodriguez’s nine goals led the team and put him second in the MIAC.

Roughly a third of the way through the regular season, Augsburg currently leads the MIAC with 12 points while St. John’s sits in second with nine points and Hamline is in third with six points.

The Auggies will take on St. Thomas this weekend, playing away on Friday and then at home on Saturday.

This article was originally published in the Nov. 30, 2018 issue.