The temperature is dropping, late October snow is softly brushing the southern Minnesota landscape and winter is coming. With winter in Minnesota comes hockey season for Gustavus’ Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams. The women started their season with a 5-1 beatdown of Augsburg. The men started with back-to-back home games against Dubuque on Friday and Saturday. On Friday Gustavus triumphed over Dubuque 3-2 and on Saturday a tie with a final score of 2-2.
Starting with the women, the defending NCAA champions started the season strong with a win on the road against Augsburg in Minneapolis. They won 5-1 thanks to two goals from Senior Brooke Power, along with one goal from First-year Kylie Ligday, First-year Kalle Reed, and Senior Sophia Colvet. Senior Katie Mcoy was the goalie for Gustavus putting in a great game. She totaled 22 saves with only one goal allowed. Mccoy (who won the MVP award of the NCAA tournament last year) stated about how she prepares to play, “Before I even leave for the game I usually watch some of the best saves for the NHL and visualize myself making those saves.” She aspires for greatness, and more often than not achieves greatness on the ice.
The game started with a bang for Gustavus as only a minute in, when Colvet scored the opening goal off the assist from Ligday. Gustavus struck yet again nine minutes into the period when Power scored a shorthanded goal to put Gustavus up 2-0, a commanding early lead, however, they weren’t done as with seven minutes remaining in the period Reed scored yet another goal off an assist from First-year Kylie Scott, putting Gustavus up 3-0 all in the first period.
After this, it was relatively smooth sailing for the Gustavus women, other scoring included Ligday’s second-period power-play goal, Augsburg’s lone goal of the day on a power play of their own late in the second period, and an empty net goal late in the third from Power to reach a final tally of Gustavus: 5 Augsburg: 1.
The Gustavus women had two exhibition games prior to the official opener on Friday, Power said on the transition from exhibition to regular season “Going into the exhibition games, our mindset was to play as if it were a regular season game while also understanding that these are the games for the first years to get used to the pace and our style of play. After two exhibition games, our first years had some experience and we started to form chemistry and play as a team.” The chemistry definitely showed on the ice through this dominant performance.
The Gustavus Women’s season will pick back up again on Nov. 9th when they will travel up to Duluth and play against St. Scholastica.
As for the men’s team, they also had a successful start to their season, with games Friday, and Saturday against Dubuque. On Friday Gustavus triumphed in a 3-2 battle that was capped off by a late third-period goal from First-year Grant Ellings. Other goal scorers from Gustavus were Sophomore Nate Stone and First-year Drew Holt. For Holt, it was his first goal as a member of Gustavus, “It felt great scoring my first goal for Gustavus at home, and it was also great scoring in a close game to help the team win.”
Saturday’s game resulted in a tie, as a goal was not scored by either team during the five-minute overtime. Gustavus started strong with two goals from Junior Artem Korolev, however, Dubuque answered with two goals of their own in the second period, evening the score, and the score stayed at 2-2 for the duration of the game.
Sophomore Nate Stone said of the difference between the two games, “I thought we played well in both games but we were just able to capitalize on more of our opportunities in the first game which helped us get the win.” Overall it was a strong start to the season for the Men’s Hockey team. Next, they will turn their attention to UW-Stevens Point and UW-Eau Claire as they will face them this upcoming Friday and Saturday.
“Both UW-Stevens Point and UW-Eau Claire are very good teams and we are taking this week of practice very seriously to prepare for them. We are a very fast, hard-working team and I think if we can play a full 60 minutes on both Friday and Saturday, we will be able to come out of the weekend with two more tallies in the win column,” Stone said of the upcoming matchups.
Both Gustavus hockey programs are off to a strong start this year, and as we plunge deeper into winter, the hockey season will continue to ramp up here in St. Peter, Minnesota.