ACHA D2 men’s hockey sweeps three games in Lindenwood Showcase

ACHA Division II men’s ice hockey completed a three-game sweep of the Lindenwood Showcase with a 7-3 victory over Iowa on Saturday night and a 9-2 win against DePaul University on Sunday afternoon at the Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights, Missouri.

In the final contest against the Blue Demons, Brett Robinson put the Lions on the board first when he scored his fourth goal of the season on a play set up by Steve Avalone and Chase McClellan at 3:46 in the first, but DePaul answered just under two minutes later to tie things at 1-1.

Lindenwood controlled the period from there with three unanswered goals, the first coming unassisted off the blade of McClellan at 8:05. After a tripping penalty to the Blue Demons, Sam Watson capitalized with a powerplay goal assisted by Avalone and Jacob Benen at 2:46 p.m. Watson made it back-to-back when he split the pipes again with 52 seconds remaining with a Michael Mullen and Behnen and it was 4-1 Lions heading into the second.

Bryce Leger (Credit: Don Adams, Jr.)

Lindenwood scored another powerplay goal midway through the period when Robinson scored his second goal of the contest at 9:49 to make it 5-1. Watson and Sean McMahon won the assists. Zach Maupin then scored his seventh goal of the season after a play set up by Gage Wierzba and McClellan at 11:41 and the Lions led 6-1 going into the final 20 minutes.

DePaul scored early in the third to cut the deficit to 6-2, but Lindenwood managed to score three more before regulation ended. Maupin blew the horn for his second of the game just 11 seconds later on a play hosted by Austin Mears and Vierzba. With the game clock winding down, McClellan beat the keeper at 17:07 to make it 8-2. Watson won his 10th assist while Mullen picked up the second. The final goal came from Stanley Lucas from issue of Anthony Tinsley at 18:27

The Lions outshot the Blue Demons 59-31 and Justin Grenon stopped 29 of 31 shots he faced to earn the shutout win. Lindenwood went 2/2 on the power play while holding DePaul scoreless on four power play chances.

In Saturday night’s game, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early lead, but the Lions countered with an equalizer midway through the opening period when Nolan Cal split the pipes for his eighth of the season with help from Mullen and Krueger at 9:32. McClellan gave Lindenwood the lead for good at 17:04 on a play set up by Praveen Dhaliwal and So Roofe.

The Lions controlled the second period, outscoring Iowa 18-4 and scoring four straight. The first came from Austin Mears and 5:14. Vierba and Brett Robinson tally the assists in the game. Vierba then converted the scorer at 9:45 off a feed from Robinson to make it 4-1 Lindenwood. Lucas then went back-to-back, scoring the first on a power play at 17:29 set up by Mullen and Krueger. The second came at even strength with 11 seconds left on a play set up by Krueger and McMahon and the Lions took a 6-1 lead.

Iowa edged Lindenwood in the final frame, but there was still no doubt about the final outcome. McMahon made it 7-1 Lions with 13:17 left in regulation, assisted by Behnen and Kruger, and the Hawkeyes scored twice in the final 12 minutes, the first on the power play and the second on an even strength.

Lindenwood outshot Iowa 49-26 and Ethan Pollin-Hatch stopped 23 of the 26 pucks he faced to earn the shutout win. The Lions went 1/4 on the power play and the Hawkeyes scored once on three advantage chances.

With the wins, Lindenwood improved to 10-1 on the season. The Lions host Miami (OH) University on Oct. 27-28. The opener is set for 8:10 p.m. Friday night and 7:40 p.m. Saturday night at the Centene Community Ice Center.

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Nolan Kahl (credit: Don Adams, Jr.)

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