West wrap: March 5

Augsburg claimed its second consecutive MIAC tournament championship Saturday night, rallying for a 3-2 win over St. Thomas on the road.

The Auggies, the MIAC runner-up in the regular season, trailed 2-1 in the third period before fighting back to claim the title and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Corbin Chapman scored the game-winner with just over five minutes to play in the third. Chapman also punched in a first-period goal for Augsburg, which improved to 17-4-6 overall.

Max Pernhem tied the game less than a minute into the third and Nick Schmit stepped up in goal, making 31 saves. He stopped several point-blank shots by the Tommies en route to winning his 10th game of the season.

Michael Dockry and Brett Gravelle both scored for the Tommies, who entered the tourney as the regular-season champs in the conference. St. Thomas, seeking its first tourney crown since 2014, outshot Augsburg 33-32. Benjamin Meyers made 29 saves. The Tommies fell to 14-8-5 on the season. The loss ended their four-game unbeaten streak and marked only the third time this year they have lost at home.

Pointers repeat as champs
Wisconsin-Stevens Point left no doubt about which team is the best in the WIAC this season. The Pointers won their second consecutive Commissioner’s Cup Saturday night with a 3-2 win over rival Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Both teams failed to score in the opening period. The Pointers and Blugolds nearly went two periods without scoring, but Ethan Strong ended the drought with less than five minutes remaining in the period to give Wis.-Stevens Point a 1-0 lead.

Lucas Kohls scored for Wis.-Eau Claire to tie the game 1-1.

Lawrence Cornellier came through with a clutch goal early in the third, scoring his 10th career short-handed goal to give the Pointers a 2-1 advantage. He ranks third all-time in program history in short-handed goals. Cornellier also dished out an assist in the victory.

Tanner Karty stretched Wis.-Stevens Point’s lead to 3-1 with under five minutes to go before Wis.-Eau Claire pulled goalie Jay Deo and took advantage of the situation as Garrett Clement scored to cut the Pointers’ lead to one.

The Blugolds, who are 18-7-3 on the year, held a 28-25 advantage in shots. The Pointers, who improved to 21-4-3 overall, got a stellar effort from goalie Max Milosek, who made 26 saves. It was his 18th win of the season. Deo, who came in with 18 wins, racked up 22 saves.

The Pointers have won eight consecutive games and will now turn their attention to repeating as national champions. The Blugolds, who had their two-game win streak snapped, are in wait-and-see mode as far as their NCAA tournament hopes go.

Green Knights claim Harris Cup
St. Norbert ended Adrian’s bid for a three-peat as Harris Cup champions as it rallied from a third-period deficit to knock off the Bulldogs, 3-2, Saturday night at Adrian.

The two NCHA rivals were meeting for the third time this year, with St. Norbert having won the previous two games, both at Adrian.

The Green Knights led 1-0 after two periods before the Bulldogs struck back to take a 2-1 lead. Mathew Thompson and Dino Balsamo both scored in a two-minute span early in the third to give Adrian the lead. Riley Christensen tied the score 3-3.

Alfred Johansson then picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the year, punching one in with under eight minutes to go in the game.

The win secures an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament for the Green Knights, who are headed to the tourney for the 17th time in program history. The tourney title is their 13th in program history.

Steven Phillips scored the other goal for St. Norbert, which is 21-5-1 on the season. The Green Knights have won their last three games. T.J. Black racked up 32 saves and was named the MVP of the tournament.

Kevin Entmaa made 26 saves for the Bulldogs, who held a 34-29 advantage in shots. The Bulldogs were 1-for-7 on the power play. St. Norbert missed on all seven of its power-play opportunities.

Adrian had its seven-game win streak snapped as it fell to 19-6-2 on the year. Three of the five home losses the Bulldogs have suffered this year have been to the Green Knights.

Adrian could still make the NCAA tourney, though, and will find out its fate Monday morning.

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