The Gustavus men’s hockey team got back on track as they defeated Bethel University 7-2 on Saturday night in St. Peter. Gustavus’ execution on the power play and physical play seemed to be the difference in tonight’s game. Coach Brett Petersen’s squad went 5-8 on the power play and outshot the Royals 41-26 to claim an important conference win.
The Gusties took a 1-0 lead with 8:16 off the clock in the opening period. Mike Hosfield scored the goal for Gustavus, while Kyle Menken and Loren Havemeier were credited with the assists. Two minutes and seven seconds later Jon Keseley gave the Gusties a two-goal lead on the power play. Keith Detlefsen and John Arundel were tallied the assists. Bethel responded with a goal thirty-three seconds later to cut the Gustie lead in half. Steve Eastman scored the Bethel goal.
Steven Jensen lit the lamp on the power play 7:23 into the second period to give the Gusties a 3-1 lead. Kyle Menken and Drew Keller assisted on the power play goal. Loren Havemeier scored Gustavus’ third power play goal of the night at 17:05 to help build a three goal advantage for Gustavus. Ben Ollila scored on a break-away with 1:12 left in the second period to make it 5-1 in favor of the Gusties.
Bethel opened up the final period with a power play goal from Ryan Adams with 1:03 off the clock. The Gusties put the game out of reach with power play goals from Craig Jankowski at 10:01 and Kyle Menken at 15:20 to make the final 7-2 in favor of Gustavus.
Gustie goaltender Erik Kraska denied 24 shots and allowed two goals to record his seventh win of the season. Bethel goaltender Dustin Thompson made 34 saves and allowed seven goals recording the loss in between the pipes for the Royals.
The Gusties improve their overall record to 9-12-0, while the Royals fall to 13-8-0. Gustavus and Bethel are tied for the fifth and final play off spot with identical records of 6-6-0 in the MIAC. Gustavus will return to action next weekend against the University of St. Thomas. The Gusties will host the Tommies on Friday night in St. Peter. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm.