Duluth, Minn. – Despite not being on the ice for 28 days and having to kick off the new year with a 220 mile trek to Duluth, the Gustavus men’s hockey team was able to come away with 3-2 victory over the College of St. Scholastica on Saturday night. Gustavus’ special teams units came through in the win, scoring two power play goals and hold the Saint scoreless on all of their power play opportunities.
With the victory, the Gusties improve to 8-6-1 overall heading back into conference play next weekend when they face Saint John’s. St. Scholastica takes its second loss of the weekend and will head back into its own league play next weekend at 4-10-0 overall.
The Gusties first took advantage on the power play with time winding down on the first period. At the 19:55 mark of the period, Gustav Bengtson (Stockholm, Sweden) scored on a feed from Tim LaBombard (Bloomington, Minn.) to put the Gusties up 1-0. The scoring play between Bengtson and LaBombard turned out to be each player’s first point since the Nov. 2 against UW-Stevens Point.
Gustavus kept the pressure on early in the second period, extending its lead 2-0 when Schyler Adams (New Prague, Minn.) knocked in a goal at 2:41. Adams was assisted by Blake Schammel (Red Wing, Minn.) and Adam Smyth (Burnsville, Minn.) on the play.
Following the Adams goal, the Black and Gold killed off three consecutive penalties to hold a one goal advantage. The Saints were blanked on all four of their power play chances in the game.
St. Scholastica would eventually cut the lead to 2-1 halfway through the second period when Bobby Lipsett scored at the 11:46 point.
Gustavus responded 18 minutes after the Lipsett goal with what would be the eventual game-winner, capitalizing on the power play for the second time of the night. At the 9:07 mark of the third, Adam Smyth scored his fifth goal of the year on assists from Brenden Baker (Edina, Minn.) and Ryan Johnson (Blaine, Minn.).
Saint Brandon Nowakowski brought the game to within in a goal at 3-2 in 16th minute, yet Gustavus netminder Tyler Venne (New Hope, Minn.) slammed the door shut over the remaining minutes of the contest.
Venne improved to 4-3-1 on the year after matching his season-high save mark with 30 on the night. Colin Rundell suffered the loss in an 18-save effort and is now 4-9-0.
St. Scholastica finished with the advantage in shots 32-21.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will head back into MIAC play next weekend with an away/home series with Saint John’s. The Black and Gold will kick off the weekend on Friday, Jan. 11 by traveling to St. Cloud for a 7:00 p.m. game at the National Hockey Center.