After a difficult series against MIAC rival, No. 9 Hamline, the Gustavus Women’s Hockey Team got back on last weekend against Concordia. With their 4-0 and 3-1 wins, the Gusties reclaimed their spot at No. 5 in the national rankings.
Coming into their series with fellow MIAC heavyweight Hamline, the Gusties were 13-2-1 overall and 9-0-1 in the Conference.
The first game of the series was played in St. Paul, and Hamline got on the board first just 4:32 into the first period.
“We didn’t start the game very well. All of a sudden we settled down a bit and started playing a little harder, and good things happened,” Head Coach Mike Carroll said.
With under three minutes to go in the opening period, the Gusties converted a power play as First-year Hailey Holland scored her eighth goal of the season.
In the second period, the Gusties had two power plays in the first half of the period but Hamline was able to shut down both opportunities.
With 1:14 left in the period, the Pipers took the lead on a powerplay goal.
Down 2-1 for almost the next 20 minutes, the Gusties pulled their goalie with 1:47 left in the third period. The extra skater paid off, as Sophomore Jordyn Peterson beat the Hamline goalie with just 27 seconds left to tie the game at two.
In overtime, both teams played solidly and played to a 2-2 tie. First-year Goalie Katie McCoy stopped 34 of 36 shots for the Gusties.
“It’s good to go on the road and be able to get a point in the standings. Hamline plays a little different style so we have to work through that. We should learn from tonight and give a good effort tomorrow,” Carroll said.
The two teams traveled to St. Peter for the second game of the series, and Hamline took the lead early. In the first two minutes of play, the Pipers netted two goals and set the tone for what would be a high scoring game.
Sophomore Tina Press responded for the Gusties roughly halfway through the first period to cut the lead to 2-1. However, just over a minute later, the Pipers scored once again to extend their lead to two goals.
The Gusties were able to respond with just under five minutes to play in the opening period as First-year Emily Olson netted her fifth goal of the season.
After an action-packed first period, the Pipers led 3-2.
Just over four minutes into the second period, First-year Molly McHugh tied the game up at 3-3 off an assist from Press.
After giving up their early lead, the Pipers reclaimed the lead with six minutes to go in the second period. Despite outshooting their opponents 17-9 in the second period, the Gusties found themselves trailing 4-3 going into the final period of play.
The Pipers extended their lead to two goals with just under eight minutes left in the game and skated to a 5-3 decision.
“There were a lot of lessons to learn from today’s game. It was an uphill battle after the start but we fought hard, and I’m very proud of the girls for their effort,” Coach Carroll said.
Coming off the loss, the Gusties traveled north to Moorhead this past weekend to take on the Concordia Cobbers and put together a convincing 4-0 shutout.
The Gusties got going halfway through the first period as Press assisted McHugh to give Gustavus a 1-0 lead.
In the second period, First-year Alaina Halverson netted her second goal of the season to extend the lead for the Black and Gold.
Peterson and Holland added two more insurance goals for the Gusties in the third period to cap off the game.
In the second game of the series, the Gusties got started early in the first, as First-year Lindsey Bjerke scored just three minutes into the contest.
Halverson added a second unassisted goal for Gustavus with five minutes remaining in the opening period to give the Gusties a 2-0 lead.
The Cobbers were able to score their first goal of the series with six minutes into the second period to cut their deficit to one goal, but Press responded with eight seconds left in the period to extend the Gusties’ lead once again.
Neither team scored in the final period, and the Gusties earned a 3-1 victory behind 15 saves from McCoy.
“We got things to work early on and played a great first. We let them back in it in the second but had a great goal late in the period that allowed us to play differently in the third. Very proud of the effort today,” Carroll said.
The Gusties are tied with Hamline atop the MIAC standings and sit at No. 5 in the national rankings.
They take on Saint Benedict on the road this Friday and then play again at 2 p.m. on Saturday in St. Peter.