St. Peter, Minn. - After Saint Mary’s opened the scoring with a goal just 1:48 into the game, the Gustavus women’s hockey team came back to score three unanswered goals on its way to a 3-1 win over the Cardinals on Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The Gusties took control of the game immediately following a Kayla Ingbretson (Sr., Mound, Minn.) goal that tied the score 1-1 at the 7:16 mark of the first period and did not let go. With the win, Gustavus improves to 19-0-1 (13-0-0 MIAC) and extends its program-best unbeaten streak to 20 games. Saint Mary’s falls to 6-11-1 (4-8-1 MIAC).
The Cardinals shot out of the gate with a goal in the first two minutes of the game to take a 1-0 lead. Macki Fadness found herself alone in front of the net and rifled one by Gustavus goaltender Tara Hoverstad (Fy., Coon Rapids, Minn.) for her third goal of the season. It was just the second time all season the Gusties had trailed in a game, which sent them on their heals until Kayla Ingbretson tied the score 5:28 later. Ingbretson fired a shot that was deflected off of Saint Mary’s goalie Tori Herrmann’s shoulder and across the goal line to tie the score at one apiece, which is where it would stay headed to the first intermission.
Gustavus controlled the second period, outshooting Saint Mary’s 15-3 in the frame. The Gusties used that advantage to score the go-ahead goal at the 8:24 mark. Carolyn Draayer (So., Deephaven, Minn.) ended up with the goal in a scrum in front of the net. Draayer’s will and determination to put the puck in the back of the net was enough to put the Gusties on top 2-1 and eventually represent the game-winner.
“It was great to see Carolyn score tonight,” said head coach Mike Carroll. “She has had some tough luck lately, but she is about ready to burst through. She is a goal scorer, and those types of players come through when you need it most.”
The Gustie skaters tacked on an insurance goal on the power play midway through the third period to all but put the game out of reach for the Cardinals with 9:33 remaining. Kelly Thotland (So., Edina, Minn.) fired a shot from the right point that was deflected to the back post by Megan Wanecke (Sr., Delafield, Wis.). Wanacke’s deflection found Melissa Doyle (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) all alone on the doorstep with an open net in front of her. Doyle put the puck away to score her seventh goal of the season and give the Gusties the insurance they needed to seal the 3-1 victory.
“Melissa’s effort has been great all year,” mentioned Carroll. “She was another player who had some tough luck earlier in the year. She hit a lot of pipes, but she has worked through it. Mel has done a great job and she, along with some others, have really set the table for us with their speed, their effort, and their desire. It’s easy to coach kids like that”
For the game, Gustavus held Saint Mary’s to one goal on just eight shots, which ties a season-low. The Gusties put up 37 shots of their own to hold the 37-8 advantage. Tara Hoverstad was credited with the win in net after giving up one goal and making seven saves. She improves to 7-0-0 on the season.
“We got off to a slow start tonight, but as the game wore on I thought we played really well,” said Carroll. “I loved our team’s effort. We played extremely hard and did the things you need to do to win hockey games. We didn’t score as many goals as our effort indicated, but it was just one of those games where the puck didn’t want to go in the net. In the end, they gave us a great challenge. They played hard and it was good for our team to go through that.”
The two teams will head to Winona, Minn. tomorrow afternoon for the second of their two-game series. Opening face-off is set for 2:00 p.m. Live action for that contest can be caught here via the Saint Mary’s Sports Information Department.