The Gustavus men’s hockey team suffered a dissapointing loss on Friday night as Bethel University defeated Gustavus 6-5 at Columbia Arena in Fridlley, Minn. The teams entered Friday night’s game tied for fourth place with records of 5-5-0 in the MIAC. The loss moved Gustavus to seventh place in the MIAC, as St. Mary’s and St. Olaf won their games on Friday night to move into a three-way tie for the fifth and final playoff spot with Augsburg. The Royals are in sole possession of third place in the MIAC.
Bethel held a 2-0 lead after the first 20 minutes of play. Steve Eastman opened the scoring for the Royals on a power play goal at 9:59 of the first period. Neal Carlson made it 2-0 with a goal at 16:43 of the opening period.
Thirty-seconds into the second period, Jason Watters cut the lead in half with a goal for the Gusties. Joe Ulwelling and Reegan Rehm were credited with the assists. The Royals responded thirty-seconds later with a goal from Ryan Adams to give the home team a two-goal advantage (3-1). Approximately six minutes later, Josh Storm made it 4-1 in favor of the Royals. Loren Havemeier scored his eighth goal of the season for Gustavus to cut the lead in half with 7:14 remaining the second period of play. Mike Hosfield and Jay Phillips assisted on the Gusties’ second goal of the night. After 40 minutes of play, the Gusties trailed 4-2 despite outshooting the Royals 36-28 in the first two periods.
Dan Bonne made the score 5-2 in favor of the Royals with 2:51 off the clock in the third period. Two-minutes and ten seconds later Steven Jensen scored for the Gusties to make the score 5-3. Jon Keseley and Nick Droogsma assisted on Jensen’s fifth goal of the season.
Keith Detlefsen tallied his 12th goal of the season on the power play for Gustavus at 6:46 in the third period to pull the Gusties within one goal of the Royals. Kris Birch scored an unassisted goal with 2:38 left in the final period to give Bethel a 6-4 lead. Gustavus responed just seven-seconds later with a goal from Mike Hosfield, however it wasn’t enough as the Royals held onto the 6-5 conference victory.
The Gusties recorded 51 shots and went 1-3 on the power play, while the Royals tallied 36 shots and went 1-2 on the power play. Goaltender Erik Kraska turned away 30 shots and suffered the loss in the nets for Gustavus. Royal goaltender Dustin Thompson saved 46 shots to record the win.
Gustavus will host Bethel Saturday night in St. Peter. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm.