Two shootouts highlight first day of MIAC Showcase

Two shootouts highlight first day of MIAC Showcase

BLAINE, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) dropped the puck to start the 2016-17 in style Friday with the first day of the 2016 MIAC Men's Hockey Showcase at Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. Six of the MIAC's nine teams opened the season at the marquee event, with the other three ready to join the party Saturday. Two of Friday's three games went to a shootout, with the other tied after two periods, resulting in high drama on the first day of the season.

| PHOTO GALLERY (all available for purchase) |

Augsburg and Hamline opened the season with a thriller that finished 2-2 after an overtime period, and the Auggies prevailed in the shootout (1-0). Saint John's scored the game's final four goals to turn a 2-1 deficit into a decisive 5-2 victory over Gustavus in the second game of the day. The final game of the day was another action-packed affair, with Saint Mary's scoring late to force overtime, and St. Thomas netting the only goal of the shootout on its third attempt to put an exclamation point on a great game – and first day – to open the 2016-17 campaign.  

The Showcase will continue with three games Saturday at 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m., and the popular three-day event will conclude with games at 2:30, 3 and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. 

AUGSBURG 2, HAMLINE 2 (OT – Augsburg wins shootout 1-0) | Box Score |
The last two MIAC Playoff champions started the season with an epic game that needed an additional five minutes and then a shootout to decide a winner. Auggie goalie Jordyn Kaufer stopped all three Hamline attempts in the shootout and Augsburg's Corbin Chapman buried his chance, as the Auggies prevailed in the shootout 1-0, with the game officially going down in the books as a 2-2 tie.

Hamline started the scoring just 4:06 into the young season when Mitch McPherson scored on an assist from Russ Jordan to put the Pipers up 1-0. Augsburg tied it 2:19 into the second period with Erik Brenk tallying the equalizer, with assists going to Andy Faust and Evan Hesse. Things stayed knotted at 1-1 heading into the final period.

About midway through the third, Chapman took a pass from Trevor Stewart and buried it to put the Auggies up 2-1, with Stewart and Eli May each notching an assist. However, the one-goal lead didn't hold us as Hamline's Parsa Monsef scored with less than four minutes to play on an assist from Jaycob McCombs to tie things up at 2-2 and force overtime. Neither team managed a goal in the extra five minutes, and the shootout went in Augsburg's favor thanks to Kaufer and Chapman.

Kaufer stopped 24 shots for the Auggies, and Piper goalie Justin Quale made 36 saves on 38 shots in a solid all-around debut by both teams. The Auggies out-shot Hamline 38-36, but were whistled for more penalties – 38 minutes on eight penalties for Augsburg to 15 minutes on six infractions for the Pipers. Each team opens the season 0-0-1.

SJU's Kevin Becker celebrates his game-tying goal Friday.
(Photo by Matt Higgins, MIAC) 

SAINT JOHN'S 5, GUSTAVUS 2 | Box Score |
For two periods, Saint John's and Gustavus engaged in an entertaining, back-and-forth battle in their 2016-17 debuts. Then the Johnnies took over with three goals in the third period en route to an eventual 5-2 win. Kevin Becker scored a pair of goals – including the game-winner – and had a three-point night and Tyler Nelson made 41 saves to give SJU the win.

Mitch Fritz started the scoring with a power-play goal for Saint John's with Matt Colford and Sam Valerius notching an assist 6:58 into the season, but Gustavus evened things up just 10 minutes later. Colin Hernon scored the Gusties' first goal of the season, with Garrett Elmore and Jake Bushey picking up assists. Evan Erickson added a power-play goal to put Gustavus up 2-1 early in the second with Bushey and Van Sullivan assisting, but five minutes later momentum swung in Saint John's direction.

Becker scored the first of his two goals from the right circle on a power play to tie things up at 2-2 midway through the second, then he scored the eventual game-winner midway through the third. Less than two minutes later Evan Okeley added an insurance goal for Saint John's, and Sean Lang scored a power-play goal with just 31 seconds left to put an exclamation point on the win.

Nelson's 41 saves came on 43 shots, as the Gusties out-shot the Johnnies 43-27. Chris Amsden took the loss for Gustvus, making 22 saves in defeat. Colford also had a solid deubt with two assists for SJU, which had 10 penalty minutes to eight for the Gusties. The Johnnies opened the young season 1-0, while Gustavus dropped to 0-1. 

ST. THOMAS 3, SAINT MARY'S 3 (St. Thomas wins shootout 1-0) | Box Score |
The third and final game of the first day was a fitting conclusion to a fantastic first day. St. Thomas built a 3-1 lead over the first two periods, only to see Saint Mary's come storming back, using a last-second goal with an extra attacker to force overtime. After neither team scored in the extra period, Tommie goalie Benjamin Myers snuffed out all three Cardinal tries, and Brett Gravelle used a nifty move to score on UST's third attempt and give the Tommies a 1-0 edge – and a thrilling end – to the shootout.

St. Thomas scored three of the game's first four goals to take a two-goal lead into the final period, where Saint Mary's worked its third-period magic. Cullen Willox got the Tommies on the board with four minutes left in the opening period, and Ben Vikich added another UST tally midway through the second for a 2-0 lead. Mike Mezzano score for Saint Mary's less than three minutes later to cut the lead in half, but Willox netted his second goal of the game with 4:17 left in the second to make it 3-1 St. Thomas after two.

But the Cardinals weren't done yet. With nine minutes left, Joey Marvin scored a huge goal for Saint Mary's to keep them in the game into the final minutes. Head Coach Bill Moore pulled his goalie as the clock ticked toward zero, and the move paid off as Bob Kinne buried the game-tying goal with just 25 seconds left to knot things up at 3-3 and force overtime, and ultimately the shootout.

Willox (two goals) and Michael Dockry (2 assists) both had multi-point efforts for St. Thomas, and Myers made 35 saves – plus three more in the shootout – in a strong performance in net. Kinne had a goal and an assist as five different Cardinals each recorded a point, and Phil Heinle made 27 stops in goal. Saint Mary's out-shot UST 38-30 and was 2-for-7 on the power play to 0-for-4 for the Tommies, and UST had 18 penalty minutes to 12 for Saint Mary's Both teams opened the season 0-0-1. 

The 2016 MIAC Hockey Showcase continues with three more games on Saturday. St. Olaf and new Head Coach Mike Eaves take the ice for the first time this season at 6:30 p.m. against Gustavus on Rink 1. Concordia will also make its 2016-17 debut against St. Thomas at 7 p.m. on Rink 2, and Bethel opens its season against defending MIAC champion Augsburg at 7:30 p.m. on Rink 4.

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: St. Olaf vs. Gustavus | 6:30 p.m. | Rink 1 | Live Stats |                                    
Game 5: Concordia vs. St. Thomas | 7 p.m. | Rink 2 | Live Stats |
Game 6: Bethel vs. Augsburg | 7:30 p.m. | Rink 4 | Live Stats | Live Video |

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