The Gustavus women’s hockey team defeated St. Thomas 2-1 in overtime to win the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoff championship on Saturday afternoon at Don Roberts Ice Arena. Andrea Peterson ripped a slapshot past St. Thomas goaltender Becky Kilpatrick 11:39 into the overtime to give the Gusties the victory.
Neither team could score in the first period, while St. Thomas had eight shots, and the Gusties had 12. There were no penalties called in the period. The Tommies were penalized with 7:11 mark of the second period, and received another penalty just 33 seconds later. However, Gustavus was unable to capitalize on the 1:27 of 5-on-3 play. Just 46 seconds after the second penalty expired the Gusties struck first when Kelly Crandall (Jr., Plymouth, Minn.) received a pass from Andrea Peterson (Jr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) and shot it past Tommie goaltender Becky Kilpatrick. The period ended with the Gusties ahead 1-0.
It took St. Thomas just 44 seconds to tie the game up in the third period. Tanaya Reitz stole the puck from Abby Randall (Sr., Tonka Bay, Minn.) at mid-ice and deked out Kitty Hurley (Jr., Minnetonka, Minn.) before sliding the puck past her to tie the game at 1-1. Gustavus’ Ingrid Neve (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.) had a great chance on a breakaway to give the Gusties the lead with six and a half minutes left, but Kilpatrick was able to kick the puck away.
Five minutes into overtime, Gustavus had the puck in their offensive zone when Peterson got control of the puck at the top of the zone. She found an open lane and blasted a slap shot past Kilpatrick for the 2-1 victory.
Hurley made 16 saves in net for the Gusties, while improving her season record to 11-3-2. Kilpatrick turned away 37 of 39 shots in the loss, she falls to 8-3-1 on the season.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Gustavus and St. Thomas have met in the MIAC playoff championship. The Tommies won the first meeting in 2003, but the Gusties have won the last three, with the last two going into overtime.
Gustavus earns an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, while St. Thomas must wait until Monday morning to see if they are selected.