St. Peter, Minn. - After sprinting out of the gates to a 1-0 lead on the first shift of the game, the Gustavus women’s hockey team found a way to grind out a 3-1 victory over Hamline on Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The Gusties scored :29 seconds into the game to take the early one-goal advantage. The Pipers responded 1:36 later with a goal of their own to tie the score at 1-1. From there, the Gustie women went on to score a goal in the second period and another in the third to capture the 3-1 victory. With the win, Gustavus improves to 17-0-0 (11-0-0 MIAC), while Hamline falls to 5-9-4 (2-7-2 MIAC).
Gustavus wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first period. Just :29 seconds into the game, Melissa Doyle (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) cleaned up a rebound in front of the net and buried it to put the Gusties on top 1-0 in the early going. However, the Gustavus lead did not last for long as the Pipers answered 1:36 later with a goal of their own to tie the score at 1-1, which is where it would stay for the remainder of the period. Following the flurry of goals, the two teams settled into a gritty up-and-down battle that set the tone for the entire game.
“Scoring on the first shift of the game gets everyone excited,” remarked senior Lindsey Hjelm (Sr., North Oaks, Minn.). ”You start thinking that this is going to be a great start for us with a goal so quickly, but they had a response scoring right after that and I think it took us a little while to come back from.”
Hjelm took matters into her own hands in the second and third periods, delivering a goal in each. The senior threw a bouncing puck on net that found its way across the goal line and in to put the Gusties on top 2-1 at the 11:32 mark of the second period. In the third and final frame, Hjelm scored again to push the score to 3-1. This time, she riffled a shot from the right side and used the shoulder of Hamline goaltender Sarah Schneekloth to go top-shelf for her second goal of the game. Hjelm’s eighth goal of the season was the final scoring play of the evening as the score remained 3-1 to the final buzzer.
“We played gritty for most of the night tonight,” added Hjelm. ”It wasn’t always pretty, but we found a way to pull it out. I am proud of the way we finished.”
Lindsey Hibbard (Fy., Princeton, Minn.) recorded the win for the Gusties. Hibbard allowed one goal and made nine stops in her ninth win of the season. Her counterpart, Sarah Schneekloth allowed three goals and tallied 44 saves after being peppered with 47 Gustavus shots.
Hjelm’s two goals tonight extends her current point-streak to four games and gives her six points in the last two games. In the four game stretch, she has racked up eight points on five goals and three assists.
“We are a true team in the sense that we rally around each other,” mentioned a humble Hjelm. ”Having that team support allows me to be the best I can be for this team. These last couple of games have been great, but we have bigger goals to achieve and a lot more to accomplish as a team.”
The Gusties will hit the ice once again tomorrow afternoon when they travel to St. Paul for the second game of the two-game series with the Pipers. Puck drop is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Warner Coliseum.