The Gustavus women’s hockey team suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to UW-Stevens Point in double overtime in a first round NCAA Tournament game held at Don Roberts Ice Rink on the Gustavus campus. The thrilling, evenly played contest ended when UW-Stevens Point junior forward Jackie Schmitt found the upper right corner of the net at 5:58 of the second overtime. The Pointers will now advance to play Manhattanville College in the NCAA Division III Championship semifinals at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont next Friday, March 19.
The game, which was played in front of a vocal crowd of 717, lasted over three hours in elapsed time (3:05)and 85:58 of official game time. The two overtime game is the longest game in the three-year history of the Division III Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament.
The Pointers jumped out to a1-0 lead on a goal by Liz Goergen at 11:03 of the first period. Assists were credited to Ann Ninneman and Kim Lunneborg. UW-Stevens Point controlled play for much of the last 10 minutes of the opening period and outshot the Gusties 10-2. Gustavus trailed 1-0 after one period.
Gustavus came out of the lockerroom energized at the start of the second period and tied the score at 1-1 on a short-handed goal by Andrea Peterson (unassisted) at the 2:11 mark. The Pointers re-gained the lead when Jenn Dorff scored at 12:47 with an assist from Tracy Truckey. The period ended with UW-Stevens Point holding on to a 2-1 lead. Gustavus outshot the Pointers 11-8 in the period.
A pretty short-handed goal by Andrea Peterson at 9:32 of the third period allowed Gustavus to knot the score at 2-2. Both teams had some excellent scoring opportunities down the stretch, however both goaltenders were up to the challenge and regulation play ended with the score tied at 2-2. UW-Stevens Point held a 7-5 shot advantage in the third period.
The first 20-minute overtime was scoreless with both teams registering nine shots on goal. No penalties were whistled in the first extra session.
The Gusties looked sharp early in th second overtime and had two good scoring chances but Pointer netminder Amy Statz came up with the big save each time. The Pointers made their first good scoring chance of the second overtime count as Schmitt tallied the gamewinner with an assist to Ashley Howe.
Both goaltenders, Kristin Setterstrom of Gustavus and Statz of UW-Stevens Point turned in outstanding performances and kept their respective teams in the game. Setterstrom recorded 38 saves for Gustavus while Statz turned away 27 shots for the Pointers.
Gustavus was assessed two penalties for four minutes, while UW-Stevens Point drew four penalties for eight minutes. The Gusties were one-for-four on the power-play and scored one shorthanded goal. The Pointers did not score on either of their two power-play opportunities.
The Pointers improve to 18-6-4, while Gustavus ends its season at 22-6-0.