At the 6:25 mark in overtime, first-year Carolyn Draayer took the puck from the left corner of the Bethel zone and fired a centering pass to fellow rookie Courtney Boucher where she buried it in the Royals net from the low slot for the game-winner. The game-winning goal was Boucher’s third of the season and seventh goal overall.
“It was a great goal by Courtney,” assistant coach Steve Carroll said. “We could see from the bench that she had an opening from the far side and she buried it.”
Gustavus went hard to net in each period, outshooting the Royals 14-to-3 in the first, 16-to-6 in the second and 12-to-4 in the third, but couldn’t convert any of those shots for a goal in regulation. The Gusties took four shots in the extra frame before Boucher netted the game-winner. When it was all said and done, Gustavus outshot the Royals 47-to-15.
Bethel was strong with its special teams, killing four Gustavus power plays and stopping seven shots in the player disadvantage. The Royals went 0-for-3 in the power play, including a missed power play opportunity to start the overtime period.
“I think our players really took it to a new level on the penalty kill to start the overtime period,” Carroll added. “It’s a tough way to start the overtime down a player for two minutes, but the girls really dug down deep and held them off. Danielle made a few nice saves, we got a break and we’re moving on.”
In goal, the Royals couldn’t have asked for much more out of their goaltender. Jess Newstrom stopped 46 consecutive shots before the final shot made it through. On the other end of the ice, Danielle Justice tallied 15 saves in her sixth shutout of the season.
Gustavus moves to 22-2-2 on the season and will face off against Concordia (15-4-5) Saturday at Don Roberts Ice Rink at 2:00 p.m. for the MIAC Playoff Title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Gusties won game one of the regular season series 4-1 on Jan. 27 and the two squads skated to a 3-3 tie the following day.