The Gustavus men’s hockey team opened Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with a 4-1 win over Augsburg College at Don Roberts Rink in St. Peter. The Gusties took a 3-0 lead into the third period before claiming the 4-1 victory. Junior forward Jason Watters scored two goals to lead the Gusties and senior goaltender Dan Melde picked up the win in the nets. Gustavus improves to 3-5-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the MIAC, while Augsburg falls to 0-6-1 overall and 0-1-0 in the MIAC.
The Gusties took a 1-0 lead when Jason Watters scored a power play goal on a blast from an extreme angle at 15:27 of the first period. Gustavus controlled play for most of the first period, outshooting the Auggies 17-5.
Gustavus extended its lead to 2-0 when Watters tallied his second goal of the game, a slapshot from the right face-off circle, at 7:55 of the second period. The Gusties maintained there 2-0 lead until Craig Jankowski chased down a loose puck and slapped a shot past Auggie netminder Erik Young from near the blue line at 19:54 of the second period. Jankowski’s tally came while the Gusties were a man down. At the end of the period, Gustavus led 3-0 and held a 29-15 edge in shots on goal.
In the third period, Augsburg closed the gap to 3-1 when senior forward Collin Nash picked up a puck in front the net and slipped it around Gustavus goaltender Dan Melde at the 11:41 mark. The Gusties closed out the scoring just over a minute later when sophomore forward Loren Havemeier gathered a carom off the boards of a shot by Keith Detlefsen and wristed the puck into an open net.
Gustavus outshot Augsburg 43-24 in the game. Gustie goaltender Dan Melde recorded 23 saves and earned the win, while Auggie netminder Erik Young turned away 39 shots and suffered the loss. The Gusties converted two-of-eight power play opportunities, while Augsburg was 0-for-11 with the man-advantage.
The two teams will play the final game of the series tomorrow evening at 7:05 pm in Minneapolis.