Drew Fielding stopped all 18 shots he faced as the Tommies (18-4-2 overall, 13-2-1 MIAC) rebounded from Friday’s one-goal loss with Saturday night’s 2-0 victory over Augsburg College(10-14-1, 8-9-1) at home.
The No. 5-ranked Tommies killed six Auggie power-play opportunities in a game that was punctuated with penalties, earning the teams a combined 111 minutes in the penalty box.
After a scoreless first period, junior forward Brandon Bahnemann scored a power-play goal four minutes into the second period.
“It felt great,” Bahnemann said. “But tonight was for the seniors, and I’m glad I got that shot for them.”
Shortly after Bahnemann’s goal, a full brawl broke out in front of the Augsburg net. The brawl resulted in four penalties, which included two players getting ejected from the game, one from each team.
“Sometimes games like this get out of hand,” coach Jeff Boeser said. “I was worried, but I think that their coach did a good job keeping them under control.”
Junior forward Spencer Brendel scored St. Thomas’ second goal in the third period to give the team a two-goal lead over the Auggies. It was his second goal of the season.
“It felt good,” Brendel said. “I have to give credit to my linemates. All year we’ve been doing really well, and the chemistry’s really working.”
St. Thomas outshot Augsburg 41-18.
Fielding said that he “felt responsible” for the previous night’s score but felt confident about moving forward into the playoffs.
“I like the challenge and the pressure,” Fielding said. “That’s why you play the game.”
The win concluded the regular-season careers for seniors Nick Gorski, Chris Hickey, Matt Lipinski, Robby Phillip and Tommy O’Donnell. The five players were honored with their parents on the ice during the first intermission with a small ceremony.
St. Thomas will play its first playoff game Saturday night at home, but the opposing team is yet to be determined. The Tommies are the top seed.
The players expect rigorous practices in the coming week and are eager to discover which team will become next week’s competition.
“Obviously, we’ll have a game plan,” Boeser said. “We’ll go watch the other teams’ games. But we’re worried about St. Thomas. We can’t be worried about everybody else.”
Anastasia Straley can be reached at email@example.com.