It took four overtimes to decide a champion Saturday, as both Augsburg and Saint John’s refused to give in or give up in a thrilling battle for the MIAC tournament championship. Tommy Carey scored the game-winner off of a rebound. He did it 54 seconds into the fourth OT, lifting the Auggies to their fourth consecutive championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament with a hard-fought 2-1 win.
No other team in Division III history has ever won four conference crowns in a row. The Auggies now have five in all in their program history. Their latest title came in the second longest game in Division III history, and the longest in any division.
Alex Rodriguez got the Auggies on the board first, scoring his 21st goal of the season in the second period. Rodriguez also had an assist in the win.
The Johnnies tied the game in the third. They pulled their goalie late and knotted the score at 1-1 on a goal by Robb Stautz with 1:21 left in regulation.
Augsburg held a 37-18 advantage in shots in regulation and held and 88-58 edge overall. Nick Schmit made 57 saves for his 16th win of the year. Andrew Lindgren came up with 86 saves.
Pointers still perfect
Danny Kiraly was the hero for Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the WIAC tournament championship game Saturday night. Kiraly scored in the third period of a tight showdown between the conference rivals to help the Pointers extend their unbeaten streak to 28 games. Their winning streak stands at 20 games.
Steven Quagliata gave the Pointers a 1-0 lead in the opening period but the Blugolds tied the score on a goal by Andrew McGlynn. Carter Roo struck for a goal to give Wis.-Stevens Point a 2-1 lead at the end of one. Adam Parsells scored for the Blugolds to the score at 2-2 in the second.
Connor Ryckman racked up 27 saves for the Pointers. He now has 23 wins on the season, which is tied for the most in school history.
The Pointers are the No. 1 team in the nation and are assured of a spot in the NCAA tournament. They were a Frozen Four team a season ago.
Green Knights hold off Bulldogs
St. Norbert is the champion of the NCHA again. The Green Knights won their third consecutive conference crown Saturday with a 4-1 win over rival Adrian.
They led 1-0 after two periods and held off a rally by the Bulldogs in the third. Riley Christensen put the Green Knights up 2-0 39 seconds into the final period. Vincent Paquette cut the St. Norbert lead to 2-1 at the 9:10 mark of the third, but Adrian was unable to score again.
Peter Bates extended the lead to 3-1, and Timmy Nicksic punched in his second goal of the game to cap the scoring for the reigning national champs. St. Norbert, which looks to repeat as champs this month, has earned its 19th trip to the tourney in program history.
T.J. Black tallied 31 saves, including 15 in the third period.