The Gustavus women’s hockey team exploded for six goals in the third period and defeated Saint Olaf 7-0 in a MIAC Playoff semifinal game on Thursday night in St. Peter. With the win, the Gusties advance to the MIAC Playoff Championship game for the fifth time in the five year history of the MIAC Women’s Postseason hockey tournament. Laura Stypulkowski led Gustavus with three goals and one assist.
The Gusties opened the game aggressively and took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Becky Steiner just over three minutes into the contest. The Oles, however put the clamps on the Gustavus attack and did not allow a goal the rest of the first period or the entire second period. The Gusties did manage to outshoot the Oles 23-6 during that stretch, but Coach Mike Carroll’s squad could not extend its lead. Gustavus led 1-0 after two periods of play.
The third period would turn out to be all Gustavus, as the Gusties outscored St. Olaf 6-0 and outshot the Oles 18-1. Laura Stypulkowski started the scoring barrage with a breakaway goal just :24 seconds into the final session. Stypulkowski would tally the pure hat trick by adding a second goal at the 2:19 mark and a third goal at 11:06. The Gusties would also get goals from Anne Katz at 4:50, Ellen Doyle at 13:08 (short-handed), and Andrea Peterson at 15:55 (power-play).
The Gusties outshot the Oles 41-7 in the game and controlled play throughout the match. Gustavus netminder Kristin Setterstrom turned away seven shots in the game including an important pickup against a St. Olaf breakaway midway through the second period. Andrea Smith recorded 34 saves for the Oles. With the win, Gustavus improves to 21-5 overall, while Saint Olaf ends it season with a mark of 13-11-2.
Gustavus will now travel to Mendota Heights to play regular season champion St. Thomas in the MIAC Playoff Championship game on Saturday at 2:00 pm. The Tommies advanced to the final with a thrilling 6-5 win over Augsburg in double overtime. The winner of Saturday’s game will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the Gusties and the Tommies. Saint Thomas swept Gustavus (3-1, 4-2) in a key early season series in November. The Gusties have not lost to a conference opponent since falling to St. Thomas. The Tommies beat the Gusties 4-0 in the MIAC Playoff Championship game last year.