The Gustavus men’s hockey team moved its record to 2-0-0 on the young season with a 4-3 road victory over UW-River Falls on Saturday in River Falls, Wisconsin. Senior Steve Dusich (Apple Valley, Minn.) scored a goal and an assist to lead the Gusties, while fellow senior Loren Havemeier (Sleepy Eye, Minn.) scored the first short-handed goal of the season for Gustavus in the first period. UW-River Falls moves to 2-1-1 overall.
Havemeier’s short-handed goal with 4:38 left in the first period gave the Gusties a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission. The goal, assisted by Dusich, was Havemeier’s first of the season.
The Gustie lead increased to 2-0 midway through the second period as sophomore Ben Ollila (Lino Lakes, Minn.) pushed an even-strength, unassisted goal past Falcon goalie Andy Scanlon. UW-River Falls would cut the lead to 2-1 with less than five minutes left in the period when Tyler Kostiuk put a shot past Gustie keeper Steve Witkowski (Sr., Ham Lake, Minn.). Witkowski was making his first appearance of the season in net for Gustavus.
The Gusties came out firing in the third period. Dusich increased the Gustie lead to 3-1 just over a minute into the frame with his first goal of the season. Jon Keseley (Jr., St. Louis Park, Minn) added his second goal in as many nights just over two minutes later (3:25) to give Gustavus a three-goal advantage. The Falcons responded quickly, though, as Aaron Venasky (3:39) and Pat Borgestad (3:56) scored to cut the Gustie advantage to a single goal. The final sixteen minutes went scoreless giving Gustavus the 4-3 victory.
Witkowski picked up the win with 38 saves to his credit. The Gustavus penalty killing crew performed their duty, holding UW-River Falls without a goal in five power play opportunities.
The Gusties are 2-0-0 to start the season for the first time since 2001-02 and will travel to the Duluth-Superior area next weekend for a pair of non-conference tilts. Gustavus will face College of St. Scholastica on Friday night and will then hop across the Minnesota-Wisconsin border to face UW-Superior on Saturday evening. Both games are 7:05 starts.