The Gustavus women’s hockey team hosted Saint Mary’s University in the semifinal game of the conference tournament on Thursday night. The Gusties skated to a 5-1 win to advance to their fourth consecutive MIAC championship game. Andrea Peterson and Becky Steiner each scored two goals and Kelly Crandall added one goal to send the Gusties through to the final. Gustavus will host St. Thomas in the championship game at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.
The Gusties outshot the Cardinals 16-5 in the first period of play and held a 1-0 lead after the first 20 minutes. Two-time MIAC Most Valuable Player, Andrea Peterson, opened up the scoring for Gustavus with an unassisted goal at 9:28 of the first period. Peterson’s wrister found the upper left corner of the goal to light the lamp for Gustavus.
Gustavus increased its lead to three with two goals from Becky Steiner in the first two minutes of the second period. Margaret Dorer passed the puck to Kelly Crandall and she fired a shot on net. Steiner would redirect the puck into the open net with just 1:22 off the clock. Forty-one seconds later, Steiner would add another goal to give Gustavus a 3-0 lead. Ingrid Neve and Andrea Peterson assisted on Steiner’s second goal of the night. Saint Mary’s would cut the Gustie lead to two with a power play goal from Jenny Hocum at 11:51 of the second period.
Head coach Mike Carroll’s squad would add two more goals in the final period of play. Kelly Crandall scored a power play goal at 13:16 to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Gusties. Andrea Peterson and Laura Stypulkowski were credited with the assists. Peterson would add her fourth point of the night 1:02 later. Peterson sniped a slap-shot over the right shoulder of the Cardinal goaltender to make the final 5-1, sending the Gusties onto the championship game.
Gustie goaltender Kara Meyer turned away ten shots to record her eleventh win of the season. Goaltender Nikki Jung made 33 saves and suffered the loss in the nets for Saint Mary’s.
Gustavus improves to 22-3-1 overall and will host the University of St. Thomas in the conference playoffs final on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. St. Thomas defeated St. Olaf 8-1 on Thursday night in Mendota Heights to advance to the championship game. The winner of Saturday’s game will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Tournament.