The Gustavus Men’s Hockey team started their season off with a bang, as they won their first two games this weekend.
On Friday, the Gusties beat Lawrence University by a score of 5-2.
The scoring started early, with a goal from Junior Logan Norman early in the first, assisted by Juniors Caleb Anderson and Nick Klishko.
A couple minutes later, the Gusties took a 2-0 lead with a goal from Klishko, assisted by Anderson and Senior Jared Bromberg.
The Vikings were able to cut the score to 2-1 with a goal late in the first period.
There was no scoring in a tightly contested second period, but both teams ramped it up in the third.
The Gusties started the scoring with a power play goal from Sophomore Connor Clemons, with Anderson and Sophomore Toby Sengvongxay assisting on the play.
Sengvongxay then got a goal of his own, with Junior Will LeNeave assisting. This gave the Gusties a commanding 4-1 lead.
However, Lawrence responded quickly with a goal to cut the lead to two.
After adding one more goal, the Gusties held strong and finished the game with a 5-2 victory.
Head Coach Brett Petersen was happy with his team’s all-around performance in their opening game.
“Great first win,” Petersen said. “I am happy for the guys as they played really hard. It was great to see some balanced scoring from multiple lines and our defensive core got on the scoresheet as well. Late in the game when we got into penalty trouble, Robbie [Goor] (Jr., Anoka) stood tall, made some key saves and shut the door in goal.”
Goor got the win in net, while making 26 saves in total, with 15 of them coming in the third period. He allowed only two goals on the day.
The Gusties knew the importance of starting strong, and made that a point of emphasis for the first game of the season.
“We focused on what we could control, and among those things was a relentless effort which I think all of us kept in mind,” LeNeave said.
The Gusties completed the weekend sweep of Lawrence on Saturday, winning by a score of 4-3.
Lawrence scored first, with a goal roughly three minutes into the contest.
The Gusties were aggressive offensively in the first period, with 13 shots on net. Sophomore Brendan Elliott was able to put one in the back of the net at about the 15-minute mark, assisted by Senior Casey Rock and Junior J.P. Eykyn.
Just 26 seconds later Gustavus scored again with a goal from Sophomore Brenden Payne, with assists from Senior Reid Brown and Sophomore Tyler Ebner.
The Gusties started the second period with a 2-1 lead, and quickly increased it to 3-1 with Payne assisting on a goal from Ebner.
The Vikings responded with a power play goal around the ten-minute mark of the second period to trim the deficit to one.
Gustavus was able to hold their 3-2 into the third period, but the Vikings were able to score a shorthanded goal to tie it up at three with about five minutes remaining.
Regulation ended with a score of 3-3, which sent the game to overtime.
The Gusties quickly scored the game winner with a one-time slap shot goal from Junior Tyler Rock.
First-year Filip Grancarov made his first collegiate start in net. He made 23 saves while allowing three goals.
Petersen was once again pleased with his team’s effort in the game on Saturday.
“I am really pleased for our guys,” Petersen said. “They battled really hard, fought through some adversity late in the game, and found a way to win. We had another solid performance in goal tonight from Filip Grancarov, who played his first collegiate game.”
The Gusties know that in order to keep winning games, they will need to put forth as much effort as they did in these first two games.
“I think we learned it takes a full 60-minutes of work to win every game, and it’s a lot more fun to emerge a winner after those 60 minutes than otherwise,” LeNeave said.
The Men’s Hockey team will try to build on this momentum when they travel to UW-Stevens Point Friday, Nov. 8 for a 7 p.m. contest.