The Gustavus men’s hockey team jumped out to a 7-2 lead after two periods, but needed to fend off a late rally to beat the College of St. Scholastica, 7-6, in Duluth on Friday night. Sophomore Sami Idris (Gothenberg, SWE) led the Gusties with a pair of goals and an assist.
St. Scholastica put the first goal on the board just three-and-a-half minutes into the game as Trevor Geiger sent a shot past Gustie goalie Erik Kraska (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.) for his second goal of the season. Gustavus took advantage of a five-minute major penalty on St. Scholastica for checking from behind to tie the score. Playing with the man advantage, Steven Jensen (Jr., Kentwood, Mich.) scored his second goal of the season at the 7:03 mark of the first period to knot the score at one. Jon Keseley (Jr., St. Louis Park, Minn.) and Cody Drysdale (So., Mankato, Minn.) were credited with assists on the goal.
Gustavus took the lead 83 seconds later as Mike Hosfield (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) sent another shot past Saint goalie Tyler Johnson. Idris tallied his first of the season just 14 seconds after the Hosfield goal to give the Gusties a 3-1 advantage. Steve Dusich (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.) and Loren Havemeier (Sr., Sleepy Eye, Minn.) would add goals later in the period to provide Gustavus with a 5-1 lead after one period.
Idris would extend the Gustie lead to 6-1 with a goal at the 14:14 mark of the second period, beating new Saint goalie Steve Bounds off assists from Tim Ornell (So., Lino Lakes, Minn.) and Ben Ollila (So., Lino Lakes, Minn.). The same trio would figure in the final Gustavus goal of the evening less than four minutes later. A goal by Ornell past Bounds gave the Gusties a seemingly insurmountable lead at 7-1. Idris and Ollila would be credited with assists.
With 30 minutes remaining in the game, the tide seemed to turn in the Saints’ favor. A slashing penalty by Sami Idris with 6:58 to go in the period set the Saints up with a power play opportunity, which they converted as Geiger notched his third goal of the season by getting a shot past Kraska to make the score 7-2.
The third Saint goal of the game came just 1:01 into the third period as St. Scholastica took advantage of a power play opportunity that resulted from a Gustie interference call in the waning moments of the second period. A hooking penalty on Gustavus gave the Saints yet another power play opportunity, which Matt Saler promptly converted, with a goal at the 15:29 mark of the third period. A roughing minor brought out the fifth CSS power play opportunity, and again, the Saints converted. Mark Menzies’ goal with 8:25 remaining in regulation closed the gap to 7-5. Kelly Reynolds added an unassisted goal with 6:21 to go to cut the score to 7-6, but the Gusties would hold on in the end, to earn their third straight victory to open the season.
Kraska picked up 37 saves on 43 shots to move his record to 2-0-0 on the season. The Gusties perfomed well on the power play, converting three of eight chances. St. Scholastica did better, though, on fewer chances, converting four of five. Besides Idris’ two goals and an assist, Gustavus received multiple point games from Tim Ornell and Loren Havemeier (both one goal, two assists), Ben Ollila (three assists) and Mike Hosfield and Steve Dusich (one goal, one assist each).
The 3-0-0 start to open the season is the best for the Gusties since 1991-92 when Gustavus started 3-0-0 en route to a 16-9-3 record and a third place finish in the MIAC.
The Gusties will make the short trip to Superior, Wisconsin to face UW-Superior on Saturday evening.