The Gustavus men’s hockey team put the first goal on the board, but allowed four straight goals as Bethel completed a weekend sweep with a 6-2 win at Columbia Arena in Fridley. Steven Jensen (Jr., Kentwood, Mich.) and Mike Hosfield (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) scored for the Gusties, who have lost three of their last four.
Following a scoreless first period, Jensen wasted no time putting the Gusties on the board in the second period, knocking a shot past Royals goalie Dustin Thompson to give Gustavus a 1-0 lead just 2:29 into the session. Ben Ollila (So., Lino Lakes, Minn.) and Tim Ornell (So., Lino Lakes, Minn.) were credited with assists on the play.
Bethel scored three times in a five-minute stretch midway through the period to take a 3-1 lead into the final period of regulation. Ryan Adams, Jon Kramer and Kent Bostrom all found ways to slide the puck past Gustie goalie Erik Kraska (Sr., Plymouth, Minn.).
The Royals extended the lead to 4-1 with another goal less than five minutes into the period, but the Gusties answered as Hosfield scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season to cut the Bethel lead to 4-2 with 8:55 to play. Ornell picked up his second assist of the night on the play.
Any hopes of a Gustie comeback were short-lived, though, as the Royals scored twice in the final six minutes to put the game out of reach.
Kraska took the loss for the Gusties, making 22 saves in the process.
Thompson picked up the win in net for Bethel, which has slowly worked it way into the mix for a MIAC Playoff berth at 6-11-2 overall, 4-4-2 in the MIAC. The Royals are now tied with Saint Mary’s for the fifth and final playoff spot with 10 points each. Gustavus sits in fourth place with 14 points, two back of Saint John’s and St. Olaf and four back of St. Thomas. The Gusties have yet to face the Tommies and Johnnies in league play.
Gustavus (12-6-1, 7-3-0 MIAC) will face league-leading St. Thomas (12-7-0, 9-1 MIAC) in a weekend series beginning Friday in Mendota Heights.