The Gustavus men’s hockey team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie Saint John’s 3-3 in overtime on Friday night at Gustavus. The Gusties tied the score at 3-3 on a goal by Tim Ornell with 4:00 left in regulation play. Gustavus will complete regular season play with a game against Saint John’s in St. Cloud on Saturday night. The Gusties move to 11-11-2 overall and 9-5-1 in the MIAC, while Saint John’s moves to 7-13-2 overall and 4-8-1 in the MIAC.
The Johnnies got off to a quick start scoring two goals in the first four minutes of the game. Ian Ross gave Saint John’s a 1-0 lead at the 1:49 mark and then Jason Weigel increased the lead to 2-0 with a goal at the 3:36 mark. The Johnnies controlled play for most of the first period outshooting the Gusties 11-6.
The Gusties got rolling in the second period and cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Cody Mosbeck at the 10:57 mark. Sami Idris then tied the score at 2-2 when he sent a pass in front of the Saint John’s net that deflected off a Johhnie skate and past goaltender Vince Wheeler at the 17:57 mark. Just when it looked like the two teams would head into the locker room tied at 2-2, the Johnnies surged back into the lead with a pretty goal by Ian Ross (his second of the game). Justin Wild broke free down the right side of the ice on a 2-on-1 with Ross, Wild drew the defender and goaltender Kevin Johnson to the right side and slid a nifty pass to Ross who one-timed the pass into an open net. The Gusties controlled play for most of the second period outshooting the Johnnies 11-6.
Saint John’s maintained its one-goal lead throughout the third period until Ben Olilla took a pass from Eric Bigham and streaked up the right side of the ice. Olilla pushed the puck over to Tim Ornell who drove it past Wheeler to tie the score at 3-3 with four minutes remaining in regulation play. Neither team could record the gamewinner in regulation play which forced the overtime.
The Johnnies had two good opportunities early in the extra session, however each time Kevin Johnson came up with a big save. The Gusties countered with two very good chances late in the overtime, however this time Wheeler came up with the big saves for the Johnnies and the result was a 3-3 tie.
Both Gustavus and Saint John’s have made a habit of playing extra time this season as the Gusties have now played six overtime games this season posting a mark of 4-0-2. Saint John’s has now played four overtime games compiling a mark of 0-2-2.
Both goaltenders turned in solid performances on the night. Kevin Johnson recorded 27 saves for Gustavus, while Vince Wheeler turned away 21 shots for Saint John’s.
The game was played at a very high level with only two penalties called in the entire 65 minutes of play. Neither team could convert on its one power-play opportunity.
Seven Gustavus players played their final home game at Don Roberts Rink against the Johnnies. This group included Sami Idris, Mike Hosfield, Steven Jensen, Josh Gaw, John Arundel, Jon Keseley, and Jay Phillips. Idris (goal), Phillips (assist), and Hosfield (assist) all picked up points for the Gusties.