The Gustavus men’s hockey team opened up conference play by hosting sixth-ranked Saint John’s on Saturday afternoon. The Johnnies claimed their first conference victory of the season and kept their perfect record entact as they defeated the Gusties 7-0. The Johnnies improve to 6-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the MIAC, while the Gusties fall to 3-6-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the MIAC.
A scrappy Gustie defense held the Johnnies to just one goal in the first period of play on 19 shots. The lone goal came at 5:01 of the first period when forward Andy Johnson was able to force the puck past Gustavus goaltender Steve Witkowski. Witkowski recorded 18 saves in the first period, which is the most saves a Gustie goaltender has had to make in a single period of play this season.
Gustavus had an opportunity to tie the game a couple minutes into the second period when forward Jason Chase picked off Johnnie goaltender Adam Hanna’s pass in front of the goal. Unfortunately, Chase was unable to place the puck into the net as it took a bad hop as he went to strike it and the puck went wide of the goal. The Johnnies took a 2-0 lead with a goal from forward Ryan Langenbrunner at 6:11 into the second period. Andy Johnson recorded his second point of the afternoon with the assist. Saint John’s made it 3-0 just 10 seconds later as they scored off of the face off. Defenseman Dustin Mercado and forward Justin Wild were awarded the assist on forward Casey Parenteau’s first goal of the afternoon.
With less than five minutes to play in the second period it looked as if the Gusties would get on the scoreboard with an outstanding individual effort by forward Shea Roehrkasse. Roehrkasse beat a Johnnie defenseman to the puck at mid-ice and held him off as he skated into his offensive third of the ice. The freshman lifted the puck into the upper right corner of the goal and it looked as if he had slipped the puck past the Johnnie goaltender’s left shoulder. However, Johnnie goaltender Adam Hanna lifted his blocker pad just in time to deflect the puck over the goal. After 40 minutes of play the Johnnies held a 28-5 shot advantage and a 3-0 lead.
Saint John’s made it 4-0 just 27 seconds into the third period when forward Brady Lundblad scored off of assists from Andy Johnson and Ryan Langenbrunner. At 3:03 of the third period forward Mike Hanke lit the lamp for the Johnnies to make the score 5-0. Blake Williams and Nick Levar recorded the assists on the goal. Gustie goaltender Steve Witkowski was replaced by goaltender Scott Mickelson with 16:37 to play in the game. Witkowski faced 33 shots and made 28 saves allowing five goals in 43:03 in between the pipes for Gustavus.
Forward Casey Parenteau recorded his second goal of the afternoon on the power play at 7:05 into the third period. Justin Wild and Blake Williams tallied the assists on the goal. Nick Levar scored the final goal of the game at 15:30 of the third period. Mike Hanke and Pat Eagles recorded the assists.
Johnnie goaltender Adam Hanna made 10 saves to record his fourth win and third shutout of the season. Gustie goaltender Scott Mickelson recorded 9 saves and allowed two goals in approximately 17 minutes of play.
Saint John’s will look to keep its perfect record alive as they host Gustavus tomorrow afternoon in St. Cloud, Minn. The game is scheduled to begin at 2:05pm. The Gusties hope to duplicate their performance from last season’s meeting in St. Cloud. Gustavus upset Saint John’s 3-0, handing the Johnnies their only conference loss of the regular season.