The Gustavus women’s hockey team defeated St. Thomas 4-1 on Saturday night to take sole possession of first place in the conference standings. With the victory, the Gusties improve to 13-0-1 in league play, while the Tommies fall to 12-1-1 with the defeat. Sophomore defender Margaret Dorer led the team in scoring with one goal and two assists for three points.
The two teams, which were coming off an emotional 3-3 overtime tie in St. Peter on Friday night, played to a scoreless tie in the first period. The Gusties out-shot the Tommies 16-5 in the period and had four power play opportunities but could not get the puck past St. Thomas goaltender Katie Jetland.
St. Thomas took a 1-0 lead early in the second period when Ashley Reinhardt beat Gustavus goaltender Kitty Hurley at the 2:25 mark. Maggie Toft was credited with the assist. Midway through the period, Gustavus evened the score at 1-1 on a power play goal by Margaret Dorer (11:21) with an assist from Mari Gunderson. The Gusties gave the Tommies two power play chances late in the period, however just as it looked like the two teams were heading to the locker room in a 1-1 tie, Molly Doyle let fly with a slapshot from the blue line that found the net with just :06 remaining in the period. The goal was short-handed as the Gusties were killing a high stick penalty assessed to Andrea Peterson. The goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, drastically turned the momentum in favor of the Gusties. St. Thomas held a slim 8-6 edge in shots in the second period.
Six minutes into the third period, first year forward Christinie Wicker gave the Gusties some breathing room with an even strength goal at the 6:01 mark which increased the lead to 3-1. The assist was credited to Molly Doyle. It was Wicker’s third goal of the year. Mari Gunderson sealed the important win for Gustavus with an even strength goal at 18:04 which increased the lead to 4-1. Sarah Heinbigner and Margaret were each credited with an assist. The Gusties, who held a 12-6 shot advantage in the third period, held a distinct 34-19 edge in shots in the game.
Kitty Hurley picked up the win in the nets for Gustavus as she turned away 18 shots, which included two key breakaway opportunities for St. Thomas in the third period. Hurley was spectacular in the nets for Gustavus in the two-game series with the Tommies. Katie Jetland recorded 30 saves for St. Thomas.
Gustavus, which picked up three points in the important MIAC series, entered the weekend ranked #4 in the USCHO.com Division III poll. St. Thomas entered the series ranked #5 in the same poll.