The Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team advanced to Sunday’s MIAC Playoff Championship game with a 4-1 win over Hamline Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink in St. Peter. Kelly Crandall (Sr., Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) scored a pair of goals for the Gusties, who will host third-seed St. Thomas Sunday at 1 p.m. at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Molly Doyle (Jr., Eagan, Minn.) added a goal and an assist, while Melissa Mackley (Fy., Burnsville, Minn.) added a pair of assists.
The Gusties took a 1-0 lead just 4:25 into the game as Christine Wicker (So., Burnsville, Minn./Apple Valley) took a pass from Laura Vannelli (Jr., Eagan, Minn.) and put the puck past Piper goalie Crystal Testolin. Gustavus extended its lead to two goals at the 2:27 mark of the second period as Crandall netted her school-record 23rd career power-play goal off assists from Mackley and Doyle.
The Pipers cut the lead in half midway through the second period as Emily Dusold answered with a power-play of her own off assists from Sophie Davidson and Marie Gross. The goal moved Dusold into a tie for first place with Angie Erickson on Hamline’s career scoring list with 45 points.
Doyle gave the Gusties a 3-1 lead with 6:08 to play in the second period with a power-play goal off assists from Margaret Dorer (Jr., St. Paul, Minn./St. Anthony) and Mackley. Crandall netted her second goal of the game when she dumped the puck into an empty Hamline net with 45 seconds to play.
Breanna Scavo (Fy., Blaine, Minn./North St. Paul) recorded 13 saves and allowed just the one goal to pick up the win in net for Gustavus and improve to 6-1-0 on the season. Testolin made 46 saves, including 24 in the first period, but closed out her year at 12-6-2.
With two goals, Crandall moved into a tie with Katie Deschneau (2000-04) for seventh place on the school’s career goals list with 52 and closed to within four points of Laura Stypulkowski for third place on the career points list with 131 (52g, 79a).
Gustavus (24-2-0) will meet St. Thomas (15-11-0), a 6-2 winner at St. Olaf in Friday’s other semifinal, Sunday at 1 p.m. at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Gustavus has never finished lower than second in the eight years of the MIAC Playoffs, capturing titles in 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2006 and placing second in 2000, 2002, and 2003. The Gusties are guaranteed of at least a second-place finish. The winner of Sunday’s game will receive the MIAC’s automatic bid to the 2007 NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Championships.
Sunday’s game will be carried over the air by KRDS 95.5 FM with Tom Wheeler providing play-by-play.