Three different, exciting games highlight Day 2 of Showcase

Three different, exciting games highlight Day 2 of Showcase

BLAINE, Minn. – The second day of the 2016 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Men's Hockey Showcase featured three very different, but very exciting games. Gustavus and Augsburg both cranked up the offense, as they combined to score nine goals in their wins, and Concordia used a clutch early goal and a strong defensive effort to prevail in its season debut.

The Gusties scored the first two and last two goals of the game as they beat St. Olaf 4-1 in Saturday's first game. The Cobbers netted the only goal of their game midway through the first period in a dramatic 1-0 win over St. Thomas, and the Auggies used three first-period goals to hold off a stirring comeback attempt by Bethel in a 5-3 win.

Saturday marked the second of three days for the MIAC's marquee, season-opening event, and it will conclude with three more highly anticipated matchups Saturday.

GUSTAVUS 4, ST. OLAF 1 | Box Score |
Friday in its season debut, Gustavus held a 2-1 lead in the second period over Saint John's only to see the Johnnies rally for four goals and a 5-2 win. Saturday, the Gusties held a familiar 2-1, second-period lead, but this time they backed it up with two more goals to lock up a 4-1 victory over St. Olaf. The Gustavus win spoiled the debut of new Ole Head Coach Mike Eaves.

After a scoreless first period, the Gusties needed just 11 seconds to break the tie in the second, as Colin Hernon scored quickly to put his team up 1-0. The lead grew to 2-0 when Russell Barone scored less than four minutes later, but St. Olaf answered with its first goal of 2016-17 when JT Paine lit the lamp midway through the period. However, Gustavus pushed it back to a two-goal lead late in the period when Van Sullivan scored, and Sam Majka added a third-period to cement the Gustie win.

Erik Johnson played well in the net for Gustavus, stopping 23-of-24 shots, to earn the win, and Eric Hancock made 33 saves in the losing effort for St. Olaf. The Gusties, which closed its Showcase performance at 1-1, held a 37-24 edge in shots over St. Olaf, which started 0-1. The clean game featured just three penalties and six total penalty minutes on two minor infractions by the Oles and one by Gustavus.

CONCORDIA 1, ST. THOMAS 0 | Box Score |
For the second-straight day, St. Thomas found itself in a closely-contested early-season battle, but this time the game was decided in the first period and settled in regulation. Concordia opened its season in style, with Dalton Mills scoring on an assist from Mario Bianchi just 10:22 into the game, and it turned out to be the eventual game winner as the goalies and defensemen took over the rest of the way in a 1-0 thriller.

The Tommies really ratcheted up the urgency in the final period, as they out-shot the Cobbers 16-7 in the final frame and pulled their goalie for the final 53 seconds, but Concordia goalie Sam Nelson and the rest of the team stood tall and kept the puck out of the net to earn an impressive shutout win.

Nelson finished with 35 saves on 35 chances in a dazzling season debut, to give his team a win on a night where they were out-shot 35-24 and had to successfully kill off seven penalties. His St. Thomas counterpart, Devin Tappenden, was nearly as good with 23 saves on 24 shots. Garrett Hendrickson led Concordia with five shots, and Johnny Roisum and Brett Gravelle each had six to lead St. Thomas. The Cobbers start 1-0, while UST ends its run at the showcase 0-1-1.

AUGSBURG 5, BETHEL 3 | Box Score |

Augsburg – the defending MIAC regular-season and Playoff champ – prevailed in a shootout to open its season Friday night, and that momentum appeared to carry over to Saturday's game against Bethel, as the Auggies raced out to a 3-0 lead over the game's first 14 minutes. The Royals certainly didn't give in as they rallied to cut the lead to 3-2 and 4-3, but Augsburg finished things off with an empty-netter to earn a 5-3 win.

Paul Soubry started the Auggie first-period scoring party just 6:50 into the game, and Nate Flynn made it a 2-0 game three minutes later. Four minutes after that Friday's shootout hero Corbin Chapman lit the lamp again to make it 3-0. However, Bethel got the second period's lone goal when Jeff Flicker scored with 6:25 left in the frame, and Justin Bonanno netted the Royals' second goal to make it a 3-2 game midway through the third.

But Augsburg had a pair of big answers in the game's closing minutes. Lukas Gillett scored for the Auggies with 1:21 remaining to regain a two-goal lead, only to see Bonanno net his second goal of the night with 32 seconds left to again make it a one-score game. Bethel pulled its goalie to try and find the equalizer, but Chapman found the open goal with just two seconds left to seal the win and close his spectacular 2016-17 debut weekend.

Chapman's two goals and Flynn's two-point night (goal, assist) led the Auggies in a game that saw 10 different Augsburg players record a point. Nick Schmit got the win in goal with 22 saves on 25 shots. Bethel also had a balanced attack, as Bonanno led with two goals and eight different Royals recorded at least one point in the loss, and Jesse Garcia made 24 saves on 28 shots in a losing effort. Augsburg outshot Bethel 29-24 and committee one more penalty, six-to-five. The two were a combined 0-for-9 on the power play. The Auggies closed their run at the Showcase with a 1-0-1 record, while the Royals started their season 0-1 with another game coming Sunday. 

The 2016 MIAC Hockey Showcase will conclude with three more games Sunday. Saint Mary's and Concordia square off at 2:30 p.m. on Rink 1, Hamline faces Bethel at 3 p.m. on Rink 2 and Saint John's meets St. Olaf at 3:30 p.m. on Rink 4.  

The MIAC Men's Hockey Showcase features all nine MIAC teams playing two games over the course of the three-day event, with all games counting as nonconference games in the standings. Fans can follow on the action all weekend long on the MIAC Showcase home page, and can track the scores on the MIAC Scoreboard or with the free MIAC mobile app.

2016 MIAC Men's Hockey Showcase

Friday, Oct. 28 | PHOTOS |
Game 1: Augsburg 2, Hamline 2 (OT - Augsburg wins shootout 1-0) | Box Score |
Game 2: Saint John's 5, Gustavus 2 | Box Score |
Game 3: St. Thomas 3, Saint Mary's 3 (OT - St. Thomas wins shootout 1-0) | Box Score |

Saturday, Oct. 29 |
Game 4: Gustavus 4, St. Olaf 1 | Box Score |                                   
Game 5: Concordia 1, St. Thomas 0 | Box Score |
Game 6: Augsburg 5, Bethel 3 | Box Score |

Sunday, Oct. 30
Game 7: Saint Mary's vs. Concordia | 2:30 p.m. | Rink 1 | Live Stats |
Game 8: Hamline vs. Bethel | 3 p.m. | Rink 2 | Live Stats | Live Video |
Game 9: Saint John's vs. St. Olaf | 3:30 p.m. | Rink 4 | Live Stats | Live Audio |

*The second team listed will be the "home" team and will wear white

2016 MIAC Men's Hockey Showcase Home Page