The Gustavus women’s hockey team defeated St. Thomas 3-2 Saturday afternoon at the St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights, Minn. The Gusties claimed an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Finals by winning the MIAC championship.
Coach Mike Carroll’s squad has won ten consecutive games and improve to 22-5-0 on the season. Gustavus out-scored its opponents 55-7 in the last ten games and earned its second NCAA appearance in three seasons. Pairings for the seven-team playoffs will be announced on Sunday.
Four first-year players made their first appearance in the MIAC Championship game a memorable one. Ingrid Neve, Andrea Peterson, and Michelle Guimond each had a goal for the Gusties. First-year Kristin Setterstrom improved her record to 13-5-0 making 21 saves in her first championship game.
All-conference forward Ingrid Neve scored an unassisted goal at 6:13 in the first period to give the Gusties a 1-0 lead. Sue Heinmiller tied the game with a power-play goal at 16:30 in the first period. The Gusties outshot the Tommies 11-8 in the first period.
The 2004 MIAC Player of the Year Andrea Peterson lit the lamp at 13:13 in the second period to put Gustavus back in the lead. Laura Stypulkowski, senior all-conference forward, recorded the assist on Peterson’s goal.
First-year Michelle Guimond scored the third and final goal of the afternoon for the Gusties on the power-play at 12:11 in the third period. Sophomore Abby Randall assisted on the goal. Rachell Reinhart pulled a goal back for the Tommies at 15:35 in third period to make the score 3-2 in favor of Gustavus. The Tommies had two penalties in the final five minutes and the Gusties ran out the clock with a two-player advantage.