BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - With two weekends left in the 2018-19 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) men's hockey regular season, three spots in the conference playoffs remain up for grabs.
Augsburg and St. Thomas have already punched their tickets to the 2019 MIAC Playoffs. The Auggies boast a record of 11-1-2 in conference play, while the Toms are 7-1-4. Concordia can lock up a postseason berth with a win or tie in one of its final four games. The Cobbers take on last season's playoff runner-up, Gustavus, this weekend and will challenge the three-time defending MIAC Playoff champs, Augsburg, to close out the regular season next Friday and Saturday. Saint John's also has the inside track to another trip to the postseason with 21 points in the conference standings.
Augsburg is ranked to No. 6 in the nation in the latest USCHO.com and D3hockey.com Top 15 Polls. St. Thomas received 10 votes in the former and one in the latter. Both squads are also in the top 20 of the most recent PairWise rankings, with the Auggies at No. 11 and the Tommies at No. 20.
Augsburg has a winning percentage of 0.804 this season, fourth-best in NCAA Division III.
Auggies forward Alex Rodriguez (Miami, Fla. | Shattuck-St. Mary's) is tied for third in Division III with an average of 0.86 goals per game this season.
Concordia center Aaron Herdt (Moorhead, Minn.) ranks second in Division III with five game-winning goals this season. He also ranks fifth in goals per game at 0.82.
Cobbers forward Tyler Bossert (Moorhead, Minn. | Fargo Shanley) is averaging 1.29 assists per game - second-most in Division III - and 1.71 points per game - fourth-best in D-III.
Gustavus has a penalty-killing percentage of 0.908 this season, second-best in D-III.
St. Thomas goalie Cam Burggrabe (Marquette, Mich.) has a goalie winning percentage of 0.875 this season, third-best in Division III.
AROUND THE MIAC
Augsburg had 12 of its 19 skaters figure in the scoring of a 5-1 victory over Saint John's last Friday night. Senior forward Chandler Madry (Bakersfield, Calif. | Fairbanks B.E.S.T.) assisted on two of the team's five goals and has registered a point in nine of his last 10 games.
Bethel freshman Austin Langworthy (North Mankato, Minn. | Mankato West) scored a pair of goals in the team's 5-2 win over Saint Mary's last Saturday. He now has four goals on the season.
Concordia freshman Jacen Bracko (Calgary, Alta. | International School Rheintal) enjoyed his first multi-goal game as a Cobber, scoring twice against St. Thomas to close out January. Bracko now has nine goals and six assists on the season and is fourth on the team in total points.
Gustavus forward Evan Erickson (Woodbury, Minn.) assisted on three of the Gusties' five goals in a victory over Saint Mary's two weeks ago. Erickson has registered a point in three of the last four games.
Hamline sophomore Don Carter, Jr. (Antioch, Calif.) made his first collegiate goal a memorable one, as it proved to be the game-winner for the Pipers in a 2-1 victory over Bethel two weeks ago. HU returns to the ice after a weekend off for a two-game series with Saint Mary's on Friday and Saturday.
Saint John's earned an additional point in the MIAC standings by edging first-place Augsburg in a shootout last weekend. Junior forward Brady Heppner (Crookston, Minn.) scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season in the game.
Saint Mary's freshman Owen Sikich (Wolfeboro, N.H.) collected his first collegiate three-point game, scoring once and adding a pair of assists in the Cardinal's 4-1 win over Bethel last Friday.
St. Olaf goalie Noah Parker (Northfield, Minn. | St. Paul Academy) made saves on 40 of the 42 he shots faced for St. Olaf in a 2-1 loss to St. Thomas last Saturday night. Both Tommie goals came on a power-play. The junior goalie has recorded 40-plus saves in six games this season.
St. Thomas forward Brett Gravelle (Forest Lake, Minn.) tallied a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win at St. Olaf last weekend. The Tommies have not lost in 12 straight games and Gravelle has recorded a point in each of those contests.
|2018-19 MIAC Statistical Leaders|
|Goals||Alex Rodriguez, Augsburg||18||Brett Gravelle, St. Thomas||11|
|Assists||Tyler Bossert, Concordia||27||Tyler Bossert, Concordia||15|
|Points||Tyler Bossert, Concordia||36||Tyler Bossert, Concordia||22|
|Save %||Cam Buggrabe, St. Thomas||0.930||Cam Buggrabe, St. Thomas||0.942|
|GAA||Cam Buggrabe, St. Thomas||1.92||Cam Buggrabe, St. Thomas||1.62|