Saints report: CSS rights ship but title race will go to last weekend
A win of any kind in either of the last two games of the season will clinch the title for the Saints.
DULUTH — St. Scholastica men's hockey bounced back quickly from its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss of the season but still has some work to do after a 4-1 win over St. Mary's on Saturday at Mars Lakeview Arena.
Because of Augsburg's 4-2 win over eighth-place Hamline on Saturday night, CSS is not quite home free with the league championship. The Saints have a five-point lead in the standings with two games to play, and those games happen to be a home-and-home against the Auggies starting on Friday night in Minneapolis. If the Saints win either game in regulation, overtime or a shootout, they'll have their first men's hockey conference title and first MIAC title in any sport.
Saturday, Carsen Richels opened the scoring 8:42 into the game with assists from both Filimon and Arkhip Ledenkov. That remained the score until early in the second, when Nick Lanigan made it 2-0, and though St. Mary's scored shorthanded near the halfway point of the game, Nathan Driver re-established the two-goal lead 40 seconds later and Filimon Ledenkov notched a late empty-netter.
CSS (15-6-2, 12-1-1) got 31 saves from Jack Bostedt in goal.
CSS unable to gain playoff position
A 5-1 loss for the St. Scholastica women's hockey team in MIAC play at St. Mary's on Saturday in Winona sets up a three-way battle for the league's last playoff spot going into the final weekend.
Despite the defeat, St. Catherine and Hamline, which trailed CSS by one and two points respectively in the league standings, also lost. The battle for the fifth and final spot will come down to the Saints' home-and-home with second-place Augsburg, St. Kate's home-and-home with fourth-place St. Benedict and Hamline's home-and-home with Bethel.
Lisa LaRoche tied Saturday's game at 1 with a power play goal for the Saints 2:24 into the second period, but that would be all the offense they'd generate, as the Cardinals scored four unanswered goals, two of them on the power play.
Allie Urlaub had the game's opening goal and three subsequent assists for St. Mary's, which is out of playoff contention at 8-15-1 overall and 5-11 in MIAC play.
Ashlea Arvidson had 32 saves for CSS (8-14-1, 7-9-0 MIAC). The first game of the home-and-home with the Auggies is Friday at 7 p.m. at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth.
Cobbers offense too hot for Saints to handle
St. Scholastica couldn't slow down a Concordia-Moorhead offense that made nearly two-thirds of its second-half field-goal attempts, falling 81-67 to the host Cobbers in Moorhead.
CSS already started the second half down 41-35 but fell victim to a 17-for-26 performance from the field (65.4%) after the break and 31 for 56 (55.4%) for the game, trailing by as many as 23 before whittling down the gap in the closing minutes.
The Saints' Noah Winesett (Duluth East) led all scorers with 23 points, including four 3-pointers, and Nick Carlson (South Ridge) added 20 points and three triples, but only one other Saint scored more than five. The Cobbers had six players with more than five and a 28-15 edge in bench scoring.
CSS (7-16, 6-11 MIAC), which is eliminated from postseason contention, plays its last road game of the season at St. Olaf on Wednesday night.
Saints slip out of contention early
Giving up 26 points in the first quarter proved to be unsurvivable for St. Scholastica on Saturday as the second-place Cobbers strolled to an 87-57 MIAC victory.
CSS found itself down 26-9 after the first period against a Concordia squad that made 10 of its first 18 attempts from the field while CSS started 3-for-15. The deficit was 45-24 at halftime and was as big as 39 as both teams cleared their benches.
Makayla Anderson led Concordia with 17 points, while the Saints (1-21, 1-18 MIAC) got 18 points off the bench from Miranda Broberg and 15 points, including 8-of-10 from the free-throw line, from Jackie Johnson.
CSS hosts St. Olaf on Wednesday night.