MIAC Hockey Preview: Tommies, Johnnies and Auggies among teams to watch

MIAC
St. Thomas begins its final season in the MIAC this year. (Photo Credit: St. Thomas Athletics)

Hockey is back in the MIAC. And the usual suspects should be in contention for a title.

Saint John’s is coming off a regular-season crown but Augsburg and St. Thomas are expected to give the Johnnies a run for their money in 2021. This will be the last time St. Thomas plays in the MIAC as it is moving up to Division I.

Don’t count out Concordia either as a contender. The Cobbers were the tournament runner-up in the league a year ago, falling to the Tommies in the final. Saint Mary’s has the ability to be a surprise contender as well.

One team has opted out of the season, which will be played amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is St. Olaf.

Below is a look at the MIAC teams heading into the new season.

Augsburg

Head Coach: Chris Brown

2019-20 Record: 14-11-1 overall; 9-6-1 MIAC

Key Returning Players: Austin Martinsen (8 goals, 11 assists); Gavin Holland (12 goals); Patrick O’Connor (2 goals, 9 assists); Gunnar Goodmanson (6 goals, 8 assists); Austin Dollimer (1 goal, 13 assists); Grant Reichenbacher (10 goals, 3 assists); Charlie Parker (5 goals, 7 assists); Michael Redmon (5 goals, 7 assists); Jarod Blackowiak (4 goals, 7 assists); Erik Palmqvist (1 goal, 7 assists); Daniil Gerasimov (10-10, five shutouts).

Noteworthy: Four All-MIAC selections return for the Auggies, including Martinsen, who led the team in points, producing five multi-point games. Holland scored a team-high 12 goals and O’Connor tied for 10th among league defenders in points (11). Gerasimov recorded five shutouts and ranked second in save percentage (.928). Several newcomers could make an impact, including Kyler Yeo, the son of former NHL head coach Mike Yeo, who is a current assistant coach in Philadelphia. Yeo scored five goals and five assists last year for Topeka.

Bethel

Head Coach: Chris McKelvie

2019-20 Record: 7-14-14 overall; 6-6-4 MIAC

Key Returning Players: Jarrett Cammarata (6 goals, 11 assists); Josiah Roen (10 goals, 5 assists); Michael Piehler (4 goals, 4 assists); Luke Posner (6 goals, 2 assists); Ridge Gerads (370 saves)

Noteworthy:The Royals return their top six scorers. Cammarata led the Royals in assists last season and scored three game-winning goals.  Roen led the team in goals, scoring two game-winners, and has played in 50 career games. Piehler is a captain and has played in 62 games in his career. Ben Ward is among the key newcomers for the Royals. Gerads will compete with Travis Allen and Sam Metcalf for the starting goaltender position.

Gustavus

Head Coach: Brett Petersen

2019-20 Record: 11-12-3 overall; 7-7-2 MIAC

Key Returning Players: Caleb Anderson (16 goals, 18 assists); Connor Clemons (9 goals, 14 assists); Robbie Goor (8-1, 517 saves)

Noteworthy: Anderson led the MIAC in goals and points last season. Goor finished third in the conference in saves. Petersen is in his 21st season at Gustavus, winning 247 games in that stretch, good enough for second all-time in program history.

Hamline

Head Coach: Cory Laylin

2019-20 Record: 6-15-4 overall; 4-9-3 MIAC

Key Returning Players: Weiland Parrish (6 goals, 8 assists); Kyle Wendorf (5 goals, 1 assist); Bailey Martin (4 goals, 8 assists); Brandon Bisset (6 goals, 3 assists); Jeron Hirschfield (2 goals, 9 assists); Ryan Murray (7 assists); Evan Robert (187 saves);

Kevin Lake (122 saves).

Noteworthy: Bissett and Parish tied for second on the team in goals while Wendorf ranked third on the team in that category. Robert and Lake combined to play in 14 games for the Pipers last season. Hamline won three of its final five games to close out last year.

Saint John’s

Head Coach: Doug Schueller

2019-20 Record: 12-9-5 overall; 9-3-4 MIAC

Key Returning Players: Jake Dittel (2 goals, 29 assists); Jack Johnson (7 goals 15 assists); Auggie Moore (11 goals, 16 assists); Mac Berglove (4-1-3, 2.17 goals against average).

Noteworthy: The Johnnies won eight of their last 10 conference games in the regular season. They are the reigning regular-season MIAC champs. Schueller was named the coach of the year in the league. Moore led the Johnnies in goals and points. Dittel is a two-time All-MIAC selection and a team captain. Berglove made 272 saves last year before getting injured. Henry Eneback is among the newcomers after transferring in from St. Cloud State where he scored four goals and dished out four assists.

Saint Mary’s

Head Coach: Ryan Egan

2019-20 Record: 9-14-2 overall; 6-9-1 MIAC

Key Returning Players: Tommy Stang (11 goals, 17 assists); Ryan Stoynich (9 goals, 9 assists); Trevor Wilhelm (6 goals, 10 assists); Al Rogers (6-8-1, 2.94 goals against average).

Noteworthy: Stang is a two-time first-team All-MIAC selection. He set career highs in assists and points (28) last season. Stoynich finished third on the team in goals and was an All-MIAC honorable mention pick. Wilhelm earned an all-rookie team spot and was one of 10 Cardinals with at least 10 points. Rogers made 30 or more saves four times.

St. Thomas

Head Coach: Jeff Boeser

2019-20 Record: 15-10-3 overall; 9-6-1 MIAC

Key Returning Players: Luke Radetic (11 goals, 9 assists); Justin Kelley (10 goals, 3 assists); Phil Fromberger (16 assists); Jack Vincent (7 goals, 7 assists); Spencer Zwiener (6 goals, 6 assists); Jake Peterson (1 goal, 7 assists); Henry Baribeau (8-3-1, 2.23 goals against average)

Noteworthy: The Tommies won their last five games of the 2019-20 season and are coming off a MIAC tournament championship win. Boeser has been associated with St. Thomas hockey for nearly 50 years, starting as a player. He is retiring after this season ends. The Tommies have recorded 38 consecutive winning seasons. Ten different players ended the season with 10 or more points.

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