Luke Siegle – Staff Writer
The No. 6 ranked Gustavus Women’s Hockey team swept conference rival St. Ben’s this past Friday and Saturday in a home and home series. The Gusties were in complete control throughout both games, winning 2-0 on Friday, and 5-0 on Saturday. The two wins pushed the Gusties record to a perfect 7-0 and a 6-0 record against MIAC opponents.
Game one of the series was at St. Ben’s and the Gusties spent no time getting on the board as Junior forward Emily Olson scored her third goal of the season 2:02 into the game. First-year Kaitlyn Holland picked up her second assist of the season on the goal. In the second period, the Gusties stretched the lead to 2-0 as sophomore Brooke Power netted a power-play goal, her third of the season, at the 11:52 mark. Assisting was Junior Hailey Holland, her eighth, and Senior Kayla Vrieze, her fifth. The Gusties continued to pester the Bennies goal as they notched 35 shots, but 2-0 proved to be more than enough as Junior goaltender Katie McCoy stopped all 16 Bennie shots to earn her fifth straight shutout. “The defense has been playing great, not allowing many shots which has made my job really really easy,” McCoy said after the game.
With the win Friday and the momentum picking up, the Gusties returned home to Don Roberts Ice Rink Saturday looking for their seventh straight win. Once again they pounced early with Senior forward Steph Anderson scoring her second goal of the season on the power-play 1:14 into the first period. Emily Olson notched the helper and it was 1-0 Gusties early. Later in the first Anderson scored again to make it 2-0 at the first intermission. The Gusties continued their dominance in the second as Sophomore defender Sophia Coltvet notched an unassisted goal for her first of the season. That made the score 3-0 going into the final period of play. In the third Haily Holland found the back of the net for her third goal of the season. With the assist was Senior forward Tina Press who continued her strong start to the season. Then at the 18:40 mark in the third, First-year Rachel Wieland scored with the help of Coltvet and First-year Hannah Gray on the power play. It was Wieland’s first career collegiate goal. “It was so exciting to see Rachel get her first goal,” Coltvet said after the game. All in all, the Gusties won in a 5-0 rout of the Bennies. McCoy had yet another shut-out, this time stopping all 13 shots the Bennies fired her way. With the shut-out, she pushed her streak to 6 shut-outs in a row.
Goals have certainly been hard to come by as McCoy has allowed just one which was in the Gusties season opener. So far she has faced 87 shots this season while only allowing one to slip past for a goal. “Katie has been calm, cool, and collected back there,” Coltvet said. McCoy has also been a consistent presence in the net for the Gusties as she has played all seven games thus far. Her 0.14 average goals against per game is on pace to shatter the current record of 0.69 set in 2008-2009 by Emily Klatt. Another thing to watch for with these Gusties is their defense. With 6 shutouts in the first 7 games, the Gusties are also on pace to potentially break the single-season record which sits at 13. However, the goal is not to break records, but instead to just keep winning games.
“We just take it one game at a time. Focus on what we have coming up next and try not to think about the overall picture,” McCoy said. With a big series against River Falls looming, the Gusties know what’s ahead. “The goal is to keep on our winning streak, especially going into our big series this week with River Falls,” Coltvet said. As for the rest of the season, the goals are simple, “The long term goal is to be MIAC champs and go to the NCAA tournament and then see how far we can go from there,” said Coltvet. With the strong start, they have been on the Gusties look to be set for a strong run and hopefully will be able to skate to their goals as the season continues.
The Gusties will host River Falls in the first game of the series this Wednesday, December 8th at 7 p.m. They will then travel to River Falls this Saturday, December 11th for the second game of the series which will be at 2:05 p.m.