The Gustavus women’s hockey team clinched the MIAC regular season title with a 6-3 win over the University of St. Thomas in St. Peter on Friday night. The Gusties extended their MIAC win streak to 33 games and earned the #1 seed in the MIAC Post-season tournament which begins next Tuesday, March 1. Laura Stypulkowski led Gustavus with two goals and one assist. The two teams will wrap up the series with a game at the St. Thomas Ice Rink in Mendota Heights.
Gustavus jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Tanna Tuomie and Laura Stypulkowski scored :17 seconds apart late in the first period. Tuomie’s goal came at 16:31 and Stypulkowski’s goal came at 16:48. The Gusties outshot St. Thomas 14-2 in the first period.
Abby Randall’s goal just :45 into the second period extended the Gustavus lead to 3-0. The Tommies cut the lead to 3-1 when Tanaya Reitz scored :16 seconds later. The Gusties pushed their lead back to three goals at 4-1 when Ingrid Neve scored at 5:13 of the second period. Saint Thomas kept the game in reach with a goal by Ann Schema at 15:34 which cut the Gustavus lead to 4-2.
The Tommies crept to within one goal at 4-3 when Melanie Drake lit the lamp just three minutes into the third period. Gustavus would shut the Tommies down the rest of the way while extending their lead with goals by Becky Steiner and Laura Stypulkowski to make the final score 6-3. The Gusties outshot the Tommies 46-17.
Kara Meyer picked up the win in the nets for the Gusties. Meyer turned away 14 of the 17 shots she faced. Becky Kilpatrick suffered the loss in the nets for St. Thomas. She recorded 40 saves.
The Gusties claimed their fourth MIAC regular season title in the seven years that the MIAC has sponsored women’s hockey. Gustavus is now 21-2-1 overall and 17-0-0 in the MIAC, while St. Thomas falls to 19-3-2 overall and 15-1-1 in the MIAC.