The Gustavus women’s hockey team suffered its first loss against a MIAC opponent Saturday afternoon in Northfield, Minn., falling 5-2 to St. Olaf. Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period, the Gusties allowed five unanswered goals by the Oles to split the series. The Gusties fall to 19-2-2 overall and 14-1-1 in the MIAC, while the Oles improve to 8-11-4 overall and 8-6-2 in conference action.
At the 5:45 mark in the first, Kristen Latta was flagged for hooking, giving the Gusties the player advantage. And :30 into the power play, Courtney Boucher and Marissa Brandt teamed up to find Kelly Thotland for a 1-0 Gustie lead, which the score remained headed into the first intermission.
St. Olaf got into penalty trouble early to start the second as Latta and Alison Umland were sent to the box :34 into the period. The Gusties wasted little time in the two-player advantage as Allie Schwab connected with Lindsey Hjelm for a power play goal and a 2-0 Gustavus lead.
The Three Crowns maintained a two-goal lead throughout most of the second, but a goal off the stick of Umland with 1:06 left in the frame provided a much needed spark for the Oles and they went into the locker room trailing 2-1.
Margot Fleming netted the equalizer for St. Olaf at the 4:25 mark in the third with the help of Alana Patrick and Courtney Nelson. Four minutes later, Jenna Christensen was sent to the box for interference and St. Olaf capitalized in a hurry. Sixteen seconds into the player advantage, Latta scored the go-ahead goal which proved to be the game-winner. Kira Clunis added an insurance goal at the 12:36 mark for a 4-2 Ole lead and Alex Meyer scored the final goal on an empty net with :04 left on the clock for a 5-2 final.
Marah Sobczak defended the Gustavus net and allowed four goals with 16 saves. For the Oles, Sam Ubl turned away 42 shots and allowed two goals. Gustavus converted on 2-of-7 power plays, while the Oles cashed in on 1-of-5 player advantages.
The loss marked the first time the Gusties gave up a two-goal lead since Feb. 2, 2006 against Plattsburgh.
One series remains in the regular season for the Gusties as they’ll take on Saint Benedict next weekend. Gustavus will play host Friday night at 7:00 p.m. for Senior Night and then travel to St. Cloud, Minn. Saturday for a 1:15 p.m. faceoff.