Women’s hockey still top dog

Parker BurmanStaff Writer

This past weekend the Gustavus women’s hockey team traveled to Winona to face off with conference rival Saint Mary’s. Over the past four years the Gusties and the Cardinals have tied in every matchup and this year’s team looked to break that streak. They did just that in a dominating 3-0 victory with all three goals coming via the power play.

In the first period, the Gusties were quickly on the power play after Saint Mary’s committed a hooking penalty at the 3:04 minute mark. Just over a minute later Sophomore Kaitlyn Holland buried her fifth goal of the year with assists coming from Junior Brooke Remington and Junior Brooke Power.

“On the first power play goal my teammates did a great job of moving the puck around to create a passing lane and I was able to get the puck across to my teammate on the back side who then scored,” said Remington.

The Gusties went back on the power play at 5:59 on a tripping call and then again at 13:02 from a hooking. However, they were not able to find the back of the net for a second time in the period, instead having to enter the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.

Having played nearly the entire first period in their opponents zone and on the power play while not allowing a shot on Senior goalie Katie McCoy, the Gusties wanted the score board to match their dominance. Gustavus would have to wait till the 13:30 mark before they were able to find the back of the net once again.

After a face-off win by Senior Molly McHugh the puck went to Senior defenseman Kayla Vrieze who ripped a shot from the point. This shot was deflected by Saint Mary’s but was put right on the stick of First-year Lily Mortenson. Mortenson’s second goal of the year was the second for the Gusties on the power play in the game.

“Kayla Vrieze had a great shot from the point which caused a perfect rebound. It just found my stick and all I had to do was hit it in,” said Mortenson.

“It was definitely an all around team effort. We all moved the puck well and communicated well. The more that we work together on the power play, the more opportunities we have and it definitely paid off,” said McHugh.

Six minutes later with just seconds left on the clock, the Gusties were back on the power play once again in the second period. An offensive zone face-off was won by Gustavus and was directed back at Remington who sent the puck over to Holland who buried her second goal of the day. 

“I was able to bury two power play goals because we were playing as a team and working together to be one. We were there for one another and it was a team effort to get those two goals in the back of the net,” said Holland.

“On the second one, our center did a nice job off the face-off which allowed us to get the puck to the net,” said Remington.

The last-second goal in the second period sent the Gusties into the second intermission with a commanding 3-0 lead. Saint Mary’s had been held out of the Gustavus loan for nearly all of the first 40 minutes totaling just three shots in two periods compared to 37 for Gustavus. This dominance would not change once the third period got going.

The third period saw very little action for either team as both played clean hockey and stayed mostly out of the box. Saint Mary’s was able to get six more shots on McCoy but never really had any high danger chances in the Gustavus zone. Gustavus fired 11 more shots at Saint Mary’s but was shut out in the third period.

The Gusties had done what they had done to so many other teams throughout the young season, showing they are worthy of being No.1. Goalie Katie McCoy collected her second straight shutout after facing nine shots on net, Holland was able to bury two power play goals, both with help from Remington who picked up a pair of assists. In the face-off dot McHugh won 14 of 17 faceoffs which helped keep the offense going while Mortenson highlighted the advantage of the youth on the team.

Even after another dominant performance, the Gusties are not getting overconfident and are taking each game one at a time.

“The goal for us is to keep playing hard and working hard taking it one game at a time. Our long term goal is to make it as far as possible with the hopes that we can end at number 1 in the nation, but that starts with winning games now and focusing on how we can get better every day,” said McHugh.

“We can’t get overconfident because of the ranking. We need to keep pushing and working hard and not underestimating anyone,” said Mortenson.

This weekend the Gusties will matchup at an away game with cross-state rival River Falls in a battle of the top two ranked teams in the nation.

“Our goal is to come out strong and that we are ready to work hard and give it our all everytime we are on the ice,” said Holland.

“The team is feeling very excited heading into this matchup. There has always been a strong rivalry between these two programs; it just makes it that much more special to play them as the two top-ranked teams,” said Remington.