The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team pulled out a thrilling 4-3 victory over the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink in St. Peter. The Gusties jumped out to a 3-0 lead mid-way through the second period and held off an aggressive rally by the Blugolds to claim the one goal victory. Mike Hosfield led the way for Gustavus as he netted two goals, including the game-winner in the third period. With the win, the Gusties improve to 7-6-1 on the season, while the Blugolds drop to 7-7-2 overall.
The Gusties came into the game well rested after having played their last game on December 9th. The time off was reflected from the moment the puck was dropped, as the fresh legs of the Gusties frustrated the Blugolds throughout the first period. UW-Eau Claire, however, equalized Gustavus’ speed with their own physical play. Gustavus jumped out to an early lead when Mike Hosfield scored a power play goal at the 12:20 mark. Cody Mosbeck and Sami Idris were credited with the assists.
The second period proved to be the difference maker as Gustavus scored twice in a four-minute span to up its lead to 3-0. Junior forward Sami Idris increased the lead to 2-0 with a goal at the 11:28 mark and then Steven Jensen made the score 3-0 with a goal at 15:37.
The Blugolds cut the lead to 3-1 on a goal by Andrew Johnson just 1:58 into the third period. UW-Eau Claire kept pressing and moved to within one goal of the Gusties when Dave Coleman scored at the 9:02 mark. At 11:32 in the third period the Gusties Matt Andres was whistled for a holding penalty and the Blugolds went on the power play. Gustavus however, got a big break when Mike Hosfield picked off an errant UW-Eau Claire pass and skated in and beat Blugold netminder Ryan Mensing with 8:38 left in the contest. The shorthanded goal gave the Gusties a 4-2 lead.
The Blugolds kept the pressure on in the final six minutes of the game and pulled their goaltender the final minute of play, but could not tally the equalizer. Gustavus goaltender Kevin Johnson preserved the victory for the Gusties with a couple of big saves in the hectic final minute of play.
Johnson picked up the win in the net for Gustavus as he turned away 22 shots. He improves to 7-3-0 on the season. Ryan Mensing suffered the loss for UW-Eau Claire. He recorded 21 saves.
Gustavus will now host UW-Stevens Point tomorrow night at 7:05pm, while UW-Eau Claire will head to Northfield to face St. Olaf at 7:05pm.