Greg Miller, Staff Writer
Men’s hockey is back to the National Tournament for the fourth year in a row after pulling out a 2–1 win in four overtimes against St. John’s to be crowned MIAC playoff champions for the fourth time in as many years.
In the first game of the playoffs, the Auggies cruised to an easy 8–1 win over St. Mary’s. Luke Dietsch recorded his second hat trick of the season; Austin Dollimer recorded four assists in the win.
In the MIAC Championship game, neither team gained an advantage in the first period, but midway through the second, Alex Rodriguez scored a power play goal off assists from Eric Brenk and Chandler Madry. Augsburg outshot St. John’s 21–3 during the second period. The Auggies looked to contain their lead and finish out the game, but St. John’s scored an empty net goal, forcing overtime.
During regulation, the Auggies dominated in the shots department, leading the Johnnies 37–18. After three complete scoreless overtimes, Tommy Carey put a rebound into the back of the net. The goal, coming on the powerplay, sealed the Auggie’s MIAC Championship along with an automatic National Tournament bid. During OT, Augsburg outshot St. John’s 51–40, which brought the totals to 88–58. This game was the second-longest in D-III men’s hockey history and eighth-longest in NCAA men’s hockey history, lasting two hours and 54 seconds.
During the playoffs, the Auggies went six of eight on the powerplay, pushing their Power Play Percentage up to 26.2 percent—top in the MIAC and seventh in all D-III. Rodriguez’s goal gave him 21 goals on the season, and his assist on Carey’s goal gave him 18 on the year. Rodriguez’s 21 goals lead the MIAC and are tied for fifth in all D-III. His 39 points are top in the MIAC. Madry’s two assists on the night brought him up to 21 on the season, good for second in the MIAC. Goalie Nick Schmit who had 57 saves on the night got his 16th win which is top in the MIAC, and his 1.91 goals against average is also leads the MIAC.
The Auggies first game of the national tournament is against St. Norbert in Ashwaubenon, Wisc., a matchup we’ve seen each of the last three national tournaments. The Auggies have not had much success against St. Norbert in the postseason as they have lost all three matchups, but in the two matchups during the regular season this year, the Auggies played them to 6–5 OT win and a 3–3 tie. The puck drops at 7 p.m. on Sat., March 9.
Augsburg Mens Hockey celebrates their fourth MIAC Playoff Championship after quadruple overtime against St. Johns on 3/2. Photo by Kevin Sethre.
This article was originally published in the March 8, 2019 issue.