Auggie rivalry continues into hockey

The Augustana-Mankato rivalry is no longer just in the world of division II sports. It enters new territory as the Vikings begin Division I play in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In their first series, they gave the Mavs a run for their money. 

Auggie skated right with the Mavs through both games of the series and gave the Mavs a tough test, forcing them to come back from deficits in both games. 

Friday’s game ended in an Augustana shootout victory after the game was at a standstill of 3-3. The Mavs took Saturday’s game 2-1. 

Following the series Keenan Rancier won CCHA Goaltender of the Week while Evan Murr earned Defenseman of the Week. 

“I was proud of our group to play a mature and connected team game,” said head coach Luke Strand in a press statement by the Maverick Athletics. “We showed signs of a team with purpose. The guys stood tall at timely moments. Hopefully, we can carry some of that positive energy into next week.”

Friday night, the Mavs struggled to find the net despite a big advantage of 47-23 in shots on goal. Augustana took a 2-0 lead in the first period which left MSU to play from behind the remainder of the game. 

In the second, the Mavericks’ Sam Morton struck on a slapshot and scored his CCHA-leading 14th goal of the season. This cut AU’s lead in half, 2-1. 

Following Morton’s goal, Augustana took full advantage of its first power play opportunity and scored its third goal of the game. 

Mankato’s offense surged in the first quarter as it had 16 shots on goals to the Vikings’ two. This resulted in two goals for the Mavs. After a big hit in the Mavericks zone, they found themselves able to score in the power play. Brett Moravec scored his second goal of the season to bring the score back within one. 

The Mavs made the comeback possible as Connor Gregga crashed the net and scored off a rebound. Murr and Morton assisted. This concluded regular play and the game entered a 3-on-3 overtime session. 

After a scoreless five-minute overtime, the game was decided by Auggies’ two goals in the shootout. MSU wasn’t able to pull off the victory despite a 47-23 advantage in shots. 

Saturday’s game was similar. The Mavs trailed 1-0 despite notching 30 shots on goal going into the second intermission. They ultimately prevailed 2-1. 

“I like that they stayed on a team plan,” said Strand. “Guys didn’t go rogue trying to do things by themselves. That showed some maturity out of our group.”

In the first, scoring came off a power play goal for Auggies’ Luke Mobley at the 11:05 mark. 

With no team scoring in the second, it came down to the final minutes once again. Again, the Mavericks persevered with a comeback. 

Morton struck once again  for the Mavs, retrieving a slapshot rebound that hit his forehand which he buried into the back of the net for his 15th goal. Another 11 minutes went by with no scoring but it was the Mavs that ended the drought to go up 2-1. 

Adam Eisele slid across the ice in celebration in front of 3,363 fans at Denny Sanford PREMIER Center after  securing the win with a one-timer with only 2:01 remaining. 

Minnesota State totaled 42 shots on goal, following 47 on net the previous night. Kaden Bohlsen led the category with seven. The Mavericks finished 1 for 5 on the power play while Augustana went 1 for 4. Keenan Rancier made 26 saves in goal for his third win of the season.

“We needed to win after break here,” Strand said. “I thought we showed a lot of good signs of our game improving over the last six periods.”

Maverick men’s hockey (9-8-3, 5-4-1 CCHA) returns to conference play this week when it hosts Ferris State for two games, beginning 7:07 p.m. Friday.

Header Photo: MSU plays the remainder of its regular season schedule against conference opponents, with seven of their next 14 at home. (Photo courtesy Maverick Athletics)

Write to Luke Jackson at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.