West wrap: Nov. 19


Auggies still perfect
You have to wonder if Augsburg is ever going to lose. The third-ranked Auggies rolled through a weekend series against Saint Mary’s, winning both MIAC games by a 5-1 score. The eight-game win streak matches the longest to start a season since 1981-82, when Augsburg won the NAIA national championship.

Alex Rodriguez scored twice in Saturday’s win to pave the way. Augsburg is one of only five teams still undefeated, and the offense has been instrumental to its early-season success.

Friday’s game was perhaps the perfect example of just how deep and talented this Augsburg team is, with John O’Connor scoring twice and tallying two assists as well en route to the first four-point game of his career. He entered the weekend with three points.

The Auggies have five of the top seven scorers in the conference, and Luke Dietsch leads the way with four goals and eight assists. Nate Flynn is off to a hot start as well, scoring five goals and dishing out six assists. Rodriguez is also thriving in the early going, and his stat line has four goals and six assists on it.

You can’t discount the play of goaltender Nick Schmit either. He’s been phenomenal, fashioning a 1.61 goals-against average and stopping 181 shots.

First time for everything
Each of Bethel’s first seven games ended in defeat.

The fortunes of the Royals changed Friday night as they edged Concordia 3-2 behind third-period goals from Kurtis Redding and Dallas Marvin. Joe Sheppard was rock solid in goal, stopping 42 shots, with 18 of those saves coming in the third period to help Bethel secure its first win of the season. It’s the fifth time this season Bethel has scored at least two goals in a game.

The hope for a win streak, though, ended Saturday with a 2-1 loss to the Cobbers.

Clean sweep for the Gusties
Gustavus Adolphus notched its first series sweep of the season, topping Hamline 5-2 and 4-1 to improve to 4-3 on the season. The Gusties have now won three of their last four games.

Evan Erickson scored twice and also dished out two assists Friday, while Colin Hernon came through with three assists. Chris Amsden played a pivotal role in Saturday’s game, earning his second win of the year behind 31 saves. The Gusties also forced the Pipers to go 0-for-6 on the power play.


Green Knights make another statement
Facing both Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Wisconsin-Stevens Point, St. Norbert knew nothing would come easy over the weekend, but the top-ranked Green Knights prevailed in both games, defeating the Blugolds 3-1 Friday before finishing out Saturday with a 2-1 win over the Pointers.

St. Norbert was outshot 38-17 against Wis.-Eau Claire and still managed to escape with a win. T.J. Black was the hero, coming up with 37 saves as he pushed his record to 5-0.

The storyline was similar Saturday against Wis.-Stevens Point as the Green Knights once again scored twice in the second period and never looked back. Tanner Froese scored for the second consecutive night and Black tallied 30 saves for his sixth win.

St. Norbert has dominated opponents on the defensive end of the ice thanks in part to Black, with the team holding four of its six opponents to a goal or less. Only one team has scored more than two goals against the Green Knights this season.

Stunning win for the Sabres
Gianni Mangone and Derek Thorogood both scored in a span of 18 seconds in the opening period to help Marian secure a surprising 3-1 win over fifth-ranked Wis.-Stevens Point Friday night. Thorogood’s goal was his fourth of the season, while Hunter Vorva won his third game of the year behind a 22-save performance.

Marian finished off the weekend with a 3-0 win over Wisconsin-Stout, extending its win streak to three games. Mangone punched in a goal for the second straight night and Vorva notched the first shutout win of his collegiate career as the Sabres improved to 4-2.


Wait is over for the Falcons
A tough start to the season came to an end for Wisconsin-River Falls Friday night as they dominated Finlandia, 6-1.

Peter Karavos and Mitchell Vanderburg both scored twice to propel the Falcons to their first win of the season. Zach Quinn stepped up in goal and stopped 20 shots as Wis.-River Falls ended its six-game winless streak. It’s the first time this season the Falcons have scored more than three goals in a game.

The Falcons, who had lost three games by a goal and tied in another prior to Friday, carried the momentum into Saturday’s game against Northland and earned a 2-1 win.

Charlie Singerhouse struck for two goals, while Eddie Matsushima tallied two assists. Quinn was phenomenal again as he racked up 24 saves.

Yellow Jackets notch second win
For only the second time this season, Wisconsin-Superior has come out on top on the scoreboard. The Yellow Jackets edged Finlandia, 3-2, Saturday. It’s their second win in the last three games after losing their first four games of the season.

Ian Ecklund scored twice to help lift Wis.-Superior to the win on a night when the Yellow Jackets held a 38-24 edge in shots. Ecklund pushed his goal total to five for the season and leads the team in that category.


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