In a heated conference rivalry, it’s expected to see a tough, physical game and that was no different Friday night on Don Roberts Ice Rink in St. Peter, Minn as the Gustavus women’s hockey team battled to a 5-3 victory over St. Thomas. The win was made even more celebrated with senior goalie Danielle Justice recording her 1,000th career save. With the win, the Gusties picked up two points in the MIAC standings and increased their win streak to five games at 5-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 in the MIAC, while the Tommies fall to 1-1-2 overall and 1-1-1 in league play.
Gina DeNucci put home the game’s first score at the 11:17 mark in the first period for the Gusties. Gustavus got its first power play opportunity of the night in the 17th minute and took advantage on a goal by Carolyn Draayer :47 seconds into the power play. Draayer’s goal was her MIAC-leading seventh of the season. The Deephaven, Minn. native increased her goal-scoring streak to five games.
St. Thomas tilted the momentum in its favor, though, with a goal off the stick of Mackenzie Holm as time expired in the first period. The Tommies carried that momentum shift into the second as Korinne O’Connor netted the equalizer 1:38 into the period. St. Thomas had an opportunity to take its first lead of the game on a power play in the fourth minute of the second, but Amanda Cartony took a loose puck all the way down in front of the Tommie goal and top-shelved the short-handed goal past Alise Riedel, putting the Gusties back in front 3-2.
The Tommies evened-up the score once again at the 15:23 mark in the second on goal by Aislinn Leonard, but the Gusties took the momentum right back :33 seconds later on score from Allie Schwab.
Gustavus held on to a one-goal lead into the third period and its defense buckled down for the final 20 minutes, not allowing a goal the rest of the way. Schwab knocked in her second goal of the night at the 7:29 mark to secure the 5-3 victory.
Justice picked up her third win of the season after recording 23 saves, including her 1,000th career save – the first player in Gustavus women’s hockey history to do so. Riedel saw 39 shots in goal for the Tommies, tallying 34 saves.
The Gusties will put their undefeated record on the line once again in game two of the weekend doubleheader against the Toms on Saturday afternoon. The two conference rivals will square off at the Saint Thomas Arena in Mendota Heights, Minn. at 2:00 p.m.