The St. Thomas (11-6-5 overall, 8-2-3 MIAC) men’s hockey team tied Augsburg (14-6-2 overall, 10-1-2 MIAC) 1-1 Friday night at Augsburg Ice Arena after a second-period score from each team.
The Tommie defense allowed a goal to Auggie defender Max Pernhem after showing a strong defensive presence for nearly two periods. The sophomore received the puck near the blue line and rifled a slapshot past nearly every player, with the puck landing in the top left corner of the net.
The Tommie defense knew it had made a mistake, but was confident in the way it played as a unit.
“We try to have quick transitions to counter their fast offense and try to get some offense coming from the defensive side,” Tommie defender Johnny Roisum said. “We didn’t make too many adjustments; we just made sure we kept going hard, stick to the systems and we came back and got that tying goal.”
The game-tying goal came from the stick of forward Connor McBride. With just minutes left in the second period, he scooped up a rebound after missed shots from forwards Thomas Williams and Nick Nielsen and finished the play.
The third period was filled with aggressive defense and even puck control. The Tommie defense buckled down and killed off a penalty late in the period to solidified the regulation tie.
The five minute overtime period wasn’t enough to finish out the game. With rock-solid goaltending all night, the game came down to a shootout.
“We’re a veteran team, we got confidence … in all of each other,” Roisum said. “We’ve been in a few shootouts before. We just told each other we’ve got to believe.”
The close game continued in the shootout, with each team making one of their first three attempts, forward Eric Brenk for the Auggies and McBride for the Tommies.
The next two shots for each team were defended by the opposing goalkeeper until finally Auggie forward Luke Dietsch barely slipped the puck past Tommie goalkeeper Joe Morris. The Tommies couldn’t convert the rebuttal shot to prolong the game.
Although this tie helped Augsburg retain its first place spot in the MIAC, Tommie coach Jeff Boeser isn’t going to allow his team to dwell on this game.
“We’ve got to worry about the next game, we can’t worry about first place,” Boeser said. “Obviously that helped them, they’re in the driver’s seat, but we can’t worry about that. We just have to worry about tomorrow night.”
St. Thomas faces Augsburg again 7 p.m. Saturday at the St. Thomas Ice Arena.
Adam Kraft can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.