The Gustavus men’s hockey team kicked off the MIAC regular season with a 5-2 road victory against St. Olaf in Northfield, Minn. on Friday night. Five different Gustavus players hit the back of the net as the Gusties scored two goals in both the second and third periods on the way to their first conference victory of the season. Gustavus improves to 4-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf falls to 2-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the MIAC.
Zach May put Gustavus on the board first with a goal at the 11:43 mark of the first period (1-0). Gustavus has scored first in all five games this season. The Gusties ran into penalty trouble after the go-ahead goal when Sam Blaisdell went to the box for hooking (12:21) and Ross Ring-Jarvi was tagged with a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for elbowing (12:43). Gustavus’s penalty kill responded in the big way, keeping the St. Olaf power play out of the net and allowing just three shots. St. Olaf’s Dyaln Porter scored the game-tying goal (1-1) even up at the 18:32 mark and the two squads went into the locker rooms tied 1-1 after one period.
Matt Schugel scored the go-ahead goal at the 9:38 mark of the second period, and Shael Hechter recorded the eventual game-winner at the 12:52 mark with a power-play goal. The Gusties extended the lead to 4-1 with a goal by Mitch Carlson at 2:40 of the third period. The Gusties were 2-for-5 on the power play in the game, while St. Olaf was 1-for-4.
“Our young guys handled adversity really well and found a way to get out of the first period tied 1-1. We settled down, played really hard, and had good goaltending by Swartie,” said Gustavus Head Coach Brett Peterson.
St. Olaf’s Derek Grogan scored on the power play in the ninth minute (4-2), and Gustavus capped with game with a goal by Adam Smyth in the 14th minute (5-2). Gustavus goaltender Josh Swartout got the victory between the pipes, allowing two goals and making 24 saves in a complete game performance. He is now 2-1-0 on the season with a save percentage of .926.
St. Olaf had the slight edge in shots on goal 26-to-24. May and Smyth each registered one goal and one assist, while Brian White was credited with two assists in the game. Dane Erickson was on the ice for all five goals, as Smyth and Schugel were both +4.
“We have a really young team with a lot of young guys who don’t have a lot of college hockey experience under their belt. To go over to that environment and play as well as we did, I am very proud of the group,” said Peterson. “We are growing up pretty quick, which is great.”
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will return home to the ice of Don Roberts Arena tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 13 for game two with St. Olaf at 7:05 p.m.