West wrap: Nov. 20

Another weekend of hockey is complete in the west and Saint Mary’s highlighted the weekend with a sweep of St. Olaf to stay on top of the MIAC, while Augsburg continued its impressive unbeaten streak and is very much in contention for the title as well.

The biggest showdown of the weekend featured a rematch of the national championship game as St. Norbert hosted Wisconsin-Stevens Point and avenged last year’s loss to the reigning national champ. Meanwhile, Wisconsin-Eau Claire prevailed in a pair of games against NCHA foes.

Below is a look at some of the highlights from the action on the ice over the weekend in the MIAC, NCHA, and WIAC.

MIAC
Saint Mary’s is all alone in first place in the MIAC after a sweep of St. Olaf over the weekend. The Cardinals knocked off the Oles 4-3 and 3-0 to improve to 5-1-2 overall and 4-0 in the MIAC. Saint Mary’s is 4-0 in league play for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign.

The series finale on Saturday marked the first time all year the Cardinals have played in a game that was decided by more than two goals. Phil Heinle helped pave the way as he recorded the fourth shutout of his career, stopping 25 shots. Chad Cesarz tallied a goal and an assist to pace the Cardinals to cap off his big weekend. He scored twice in Friday’s win, giving the Cardinals an early 3-1 lead. Saint Mary’s has won its last five games overall.

Patrick Sivets scored twice in the series opener Friday for the Oles, who are 1-7 overall and 0-4 in the MIAC.

St. Thomas won for the third time in four games Saturday, knocking off Bethel 5-2. It opened its series with a 1-1 tie against Bethel on the road. The Royals, though, won the shootout as George Splichal and Justin Bonanno both scored while Joe Sheppard made a pair of key saves. Andrew Bjorklund scored with 30 seconds left in regulation to force an overtime that ended with neither team scoring.

In Saturday’s win, Thomas Williams and Brett Gravelle each came up with a goal and two assists to pace the Tommies offensively, while Benjamin Myers remained unbeaten in goal as he stopped 36 shots. He is 4-0-2 on the year.

The Royals are winless in their last five games, losing four times during the stretch and sit at 1-6-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the MIAC. The Tommies are 4-2-2 overall and 3-0-1 in the conference.

Augsburg pushed its unbeaten streak to eight games with a pair of wins over Gustavus. The Auggies topped the Gusties 3-0 and 2-1. They have won their last seven games. In Saturday’s finale, Nick Schmit nailed down the win in goal, racking up 34 saves as he improved to 4-0. All three goals in the game were scored in a span of 8:24 in the second period, with Adam Pancoast scoring his first collegiate goal and Lukas Gillett scoring the game-winner. Evan Erickson scored the only goal for Gustavus.

Brett Bukowski scored his first college goal in Friday’s shutout win. Luke Dietsch and Trevor Stewart also scored for the Auggies. Jordyn Kaufer was solid in goal, stopping 30 shots to earn his first shutout of the season and the fifth of his career.

The Auggies are 7-0-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. The Gusties fall to 1-6-1 overall and are 0-4 in the MIAC.

NCHA/WIAC
St. Norbert scored three first-period goals and never looked back in its 5-3 win over Wis.-Stevens Point in a showdown that featured the top two teams in the country. The Green Knights fell behind 1-0 thanks to a goal by Jacob Barber, the leading scorer for the top-ranked Pointers. St. Norbert answered when Pijus Rulevicius scored to tie the game at 1-1. Riley Christiansen and Jeremy Olinyk also scored in the first period as the Green Knights took control. Jon Davis cut the lead to 3-2, but Brad Pung responded with a goal of his own to push the lead to 4-2. Eliot Grauer scored the final goal for the Pointers, cutting the St. Norbert lead to 4-3. Roman Uchyn finished off the scoring for the Green Knights.

There were a total of 30 penalties in the game, including 18 by Wis.-Stevens Point. The Green Knights cashed in on three power-play opportunities, while the Pointers managed to score on only one. The Green Knights, who are 7-1, have won their last four games, including two by shutout. The stretch includes a 4-0 win over Wis.-Superior on Friday night.

The loss for the Pointers was their first of the year and was only the third time this season they haven’t scored more than three goals in a game. They are now 6-1-1 on the season. They opened the weekend with a 6-3 victory over Marian.

Lake Forest had mixed results over the weekend as it defeated Wisconsin-River Falls 3-2 on Friday, but lost 5-3 to Wis.-Eau Claire Saturday. Jack Lewis, who led the nation in goals entering the weekend, was tremendous in the win over the Falcons, tallying an assist on all three goals for the Foresters. George Argioropoulos made 19 saves and pushed his record to 3-1 on the year.

The Foresters weren’t as fortunate against the Blugolds, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back to finish off an unbeaten weekend on the road. Wis.-Eau Claire has won its last three games. Patrick Moore scored two of the Blugolds’ goals in Saturday’s game. Todd Koritzinsky and Mac Jansen also scored as Wis.-Eau Claire built a four-goal lead. Jay Deo helped Wis.-Eau Claire hold off a late rally against the Foresters, stopping 24 shots as he improved to 5-1-2 on the season. Zach Feldman scored his first collegiate goal for the Foresters in the loss to the Blugolds.

Concordia closed out its weekend with a 3-2 win over Wisconsin-Stout, bouncing back from its 6-2 loss to Wis.-Eau Claire one night earlier. The Falcons jumped in front 2-0 and led 3-1 after two periods. Jim Pearson scored twice to pave the way for Concordia. Eric Therrien scored the other goal for the Falcons, who picked up their third-ever win against a WIAC opponent. Two of those wins have come against Wis.-Stout.

Jack Romanuik picked up his 11th career win in goal for the Falcons. What is most impressive about that is he is only a sophomore and has played in only 24 career games. Romanuik, who has four wins this season, made 30 saves to help Concordia win for the third time in four games. Joe Kleven and Connor Valesano both scored for Wis.-Stout in the second period, but the Blue Devils lost for the second consecutive night.

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