The Gustavus men’s hockey team completed a two-game sweep of St. Mary’s by shutting out the Cardinals 2-0 at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Tim Ornell (Jr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) and Eric Bigham (Fy., Robbinsdale, Minn.) each had a goal in the game and each assisted on the other’s goal. The Gusties improve to 6-6-1 overall and a perfect 6-0-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. St. Mary’s falls to 3-7-1 overall and 1-4-1 in the conference.
In the first period, both teams had a number of odd man rushes that resulted in quality scoring chances, but at the end of the period both teams were still scoreless. St. Mary’s went on a power play at the 7:03 mark but were unable to get the puck past Gustavus goaltender Kevin Johnson (So., Wayzata, Minn.). The Gusties had a power play opportunity at 9:58 when A.J. Woodward tripped Bigham on a rush. Almost a minute later, Bill Leier was called for cross-checking and Gustavus held a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:02. However, the Cardinals survived the storm of Gustie shots and the teams headed to the locker room knotted at 0-0.
The second period was as evenly played as the first period, but it was Gustavus on top 1-0 at the end. At the 15:19 mark, Ornell received a pass from Bigham and shot a backhand up and over the left shoulder of Cardinal goaltender Dan Smith for a 1-0 lead. St. Mary’s outshot Gustavus 8-3 in the period and had three power play chances but the Cardinals could not find the net.
Gustavus added an insurance goal 29 seconds into the third period. Jon Keseley (Sr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) made a quick pass to Ornell from the top of the zone and Ornell quickly passed the puck across the goal to Bigham who one-timed it past Smith. The goal put Gustavus ahead 2-0 and forced St. Mary’s to play more aggressively, but solid goaltending from Johnson in the Gustavus net allowed the Gusties to post a victory.
St. Mary’s was 0-for-7 on the power play, while the Gusties were 0-for-4. Gustavus outshot the Cardinals 27-15 in the game. Johnson recorded 15 saves in his first shutout of the season to move his record to 6-3-0. Smith made 25 saves in the loss and falls to 2-6-0 on the season.
Gustavus leaves for its European trip on December 25 and will return on January 2. The team will make stops in Lake Lugano, Switzerland and Torino, Florence, and Rome, Italy.