Men’s hockey secures playoff berth with shootout win

Men’s hockey secures playoff berth with shootout win

MINNEAPOLIS - Trailing 6-4 late in the second period, the St. Thomas men's hockey team scored twice over the final 22 minutes of play to take Augsburg College to overtime and secure a tie on Saturday night at Ed Saugestad Rink.  

After a scoreless five minute overtime, Charlie Donlin made good on his chance in the shootout, and goaltender Andrew Rohkohl stopped all three Auggie attempts to grab two points in the MIAC standings.  

Those two points compare to one for the Auggies, and that -- coupled with a Saint Mary's loss -- leaves St. Thomas and Augsburg tied for first place at 30 with two games to go. SMU claims 29, but has a bye next week.

With Saturday night's result, the Tommies also wrapped up the program's 35th consecutive winning season.

All six goals and the lone shootout goal came from seven different Tommies.  Johnny Panvica got things started with a power play goal at the 3:08 mark of the first period.  His seventh goal of the season opened up a scoring surge that ended with a combined 12 goals on the night.  

The Auggies came back to score three more times in the opening period, and UST's Tanner Barnes scored to give Augsburg a 3-2 lead heading to the second. 

The scoring didn't slow down in the next 20 minutes.  Johnny Roisum scored to tie the game just after the midway point of the second, but the Auggies responded two minutes later with another goal.  Joakim Broberg answered one and a half minutes after to tie the game once more before Augsburg scored twice to take a 6-4 lead. 

But senior captain Thomas Williams came back with a key goal at 18:53 of the period to pull the Tommies within one.  His team-leading 10th goal of the season gave the Purple the momentum headed to the third, where Brett Gravelle tied the game just 2:01 into the frame. 

From there, the two teams skated to a scoreless tie through the final 17-plus minutes and five minutes of overtime yielded nothing different.  

In the shootout, neither team scored through their first two attempts.  Charlie Donlin connected on St. Thomas' third and final try, leaving Augsburg with just one opportunity to extend the game.  But it was not to be, and the Tommies took the shootout win. 

The Auggies held the shot advantage for the evening with a count of 34-26.  They also connected on two power plays in seven chances, while St. Thomas went an efficient 1-for-3 on its opportunities. 

Andrew Rohkohl allowed no goals in the final 27:36 in net and three shootout rounds to move to 1-0-2 on the season.  Nick Schmit was given the tie after allowing no goals in 22:59 of play. 

The Toms play St. Olaf next weekend while the Auggies face St. John's.