The Gustavus men’s hockey team hosted Augsburg College on Saturday night in St. Peter. The Auggies and Gusties entered the final regular season conference game with a chance to advance to the MIAC post-season playoffs. The Gusties needed to win, while the Auggies needed a win and a Saint Mary’s loss to Saint Olaf. The game was tied at 1-1 after one period of play and the Gusties held a 2-1 advantage at the second intermission. Head coach Brett Petersen’s squad tallied four goals in the final period to skate to a 6-2 victory and clinch the fifth and final MIAC playoff spot.
Three seniors that were playing in their last game at Don Roberts Ice Rink connected to open up the scoring for Gustavus. Forward Jason Watters lit the lamp at 9:15 into the first period with assists going to Joe Ulwelling and Reegan Rehm. The Auggies equalized at 16:54 with a goal from freshman Dann Clements.
Senior Drew Keller gave Gustavus its second lead of the night with a goal at 15:02 of the second period. Sophomore Steven Jensen and junior Keith Detlefsen assisted on the goal. The last five minutes of the second period remained scoreless and the Gusties went to the lockerroom with a 2-1 advantage.
Senior Jason Watters added his second goal of the night 9:44 into the final period. Sophomore Jon Keseley and senior Joe Ulwelling recored the assists. Augsburg pulled within one goal when sophomore Aaron Johnson scored at 11:43. The senior trio of Watters, Ulwelling and Rehm connected again with a goal at 14:52. The goal completed the hat-trick for Watters and gave the Gusties a 4-2 advantage. Sophomore Steven Jensen found the net for Gustavus at 15:27. Senior Nick Droogsma and junior goaltender Erik Kraska tallied the assists. With 24 seconds remaining, senior Reegan Rehm scored to record his third point of the night to make the final score 6-2 in favor of the Gusties.
Gustavus goaltender Erik Kraska turned away 24 shots and earned an assist to claim his eighth win of the season. Auggie goaltender Tony Ciro made 25 saves and was credited the loss in between the pipes for Augsburg.
Gustavus’ regular season ended with an overall record of 10-14-1 and 7-8-1 in the MIAC, while Augsburg’s season ends with an overall record of 9-11-5 and 5-8-3 in the MIAC. Gustavus will play #4 seed Saint Olaf on Tuesday, March 1 in Northfield. The Oles swept the Gusties in the conference series earlier this season. The winner will play at Saint John’s on Thursday, March 3 in the conference semifinal game.