The Augsburg Auggies spoiled the home-opener for the University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s hockey team with a 5-1 victory Friday night at Wessman Arena.
The Yellowjackets (0-3) and Auggies (3-0) opened the game by playing whistle-free hockey for nearly nine minutes with the first stoppage of action coming on a save by UWS goaltender Kyle Miller with 11:34 on the clock.
Three minutes later Augsburg took a 1-0 lead when Eric Brenk completed a 3-on-1 advantage by poking the puck past Miller.
Twenty seconds later, and before the announcer finished calling the Augsburg scoring, UWS tied it up on Tyler Skaja’s first goal of the season. Connor Hamonic also picked up his first collegiate point with the assist.
The Auggies took a 2-1 lead than three minutes later on Drew Anderson’s break-away goal, his first of the year.
It appeared the score was going to remain 2-1 through two periods, but that was until former Superior Spartan Brett Bukowski scored on a rebound with 35 seconds left.
Nate Flynn started the scoring play by putting a shot on net. Miller made the save, but didn’t cover up the rebound, which allowed the senior defenseman score his first goal of the season, and second of his collegiate career.
Nine seconds later Bukowski picked up a hooking penalty.
But that didn’t hurt the Auggies as they took a 4-1 lead when Andrew Faust scored short-handed 54 seconds into the third period.
“It felt great scoring,’ said Bukowski a 2012 graduate of Superior High School. “I think I was a little excited about that goal and lost my battle and ended up taking a hook. But the guys picked me up and not only killed the penalty, but ended up getting a shorty.”
It went to 5-1 at 10:26 of the third period when Luke Dietsch beat Miller with a one-timer from just outside the crease after a drop pass from Will Peterson.
The Auggies completed the scoring with Chandler Madry’s goal with 2.8 seconds remaining.
“It’s nice to go on the road for the first time, come back home, and get a big win against a team that’s hungry,” Bukowski said. “We knew they lost both games last weekend, and we know we have a target on our backs, so it’s nice to get the win.”
Augsburg defeated St. Thomas 3-2 in last year’s MIAC championship game the lost to St. Norbert College 4-3 in overtime in the NCAA DIII quarterfinals.
“We have a really deep team,” Bukowski said. “We return a lot of good guys, including our goalie and we have some pretty good transfers. We reloaded pretty well and should be a contender again this year.”
Miller finished with 26 saves for UWS and Nick Schmit stopped 21 shots for Augsburg.
The Yellowjackets hit the road this weekend, playing at Gustavus Adolphus at 8 p.m. Friday and at St. Olaf at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
’JACKET JOTTINGS: UWS sported new bright gold jerseys with Wisconsin Superior across the front. … Augsburg also won 3-2 Saturday at UW-River Falls 3-2.
Augsburg....................... 2 1 3 — 6
UW-Superior................... 1 0 0 — 1
First Period – 1. Augsburg, Eric Brenk (Gunnar Goodmanson, Lukas Gillett), 11:24. 2. UWS, Tyler Skaja 1 (Connor Hamonic 1), 11:44. 3. Augsburg, Drew Anderson 1 (Luke Dietsch, Nate Flynn), 14:18.
Second Period – 4. Augsburg, Brett Bukowski (Flynn, Dietsch), 19:25.
Third Period – 5. Augsburg, Andrew Faust (Jake Larson, Jason Krych), 0:54 (sh). 6. Augsburg, Dietsch (Drew Anderson, Flynn), 10:26. 7. Augsburg, Chandler Madry (Jake Larson, Jason Krych), 19:57.
Saves — Nick Schmit, Augsburg, 7-4-10—21. Kyle Miller, UWS, 10-11-5—26. A—410.