The Gustavus men’s hockey team got down 4-0 and then made a late run at #3 UW-River Falls, but came up just short in a 6-5 loss on the road. Five different Gustavus players scored in the contest. Nick Kellogg suffered the loss in the nets. The Gusties, who are now 2-1-0 on the season, will face #6 UW-Stout on Saturday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink in St. Peter, Minn.
UW-River Falls scored even strength goals by Josh Meyers (8:06) and Dustin Norman (13:40) and took a 2-0 lead into the locker room at the end of the first period.
The Falcons doubled their lead to 4-0 with two more goals early in the second period. Norman tallied his second goal of the game at the 1:04 mark and then Tyler Czuba scored on the rare penalty shot at the 3:29 mark. Just when it seemed like UW-River Falls was going to run away and hide, the Gusties caught fire and dominated the rest of the period. Jay Fifield tallied the Gusties first goal on the power play at the 6:44 mark. Josh Pauer brought Gustavus to within two goals with an even strength goal at the 14:47 mark and then Eric Bigham’s goal at 15:44 trimmed the lead to one at 4-3. The Falcons took some wind out of the Gusties’ sails with a power play goal at the 19:52 mark. UW-River Falls led 5-3 after two periods.
The Falcons extended their lead to 6-3 when Nolan Craner scored just :55 seconds into the third period. Gustavus continued to fight back as David Martinson cut the lead to 6-4 with a power play goal at 12:26. The Gusties really tightened things up when Brad Wieck scored an even strength goal at the 15:55 mark cutting the Falcons lead to 6-5. Gustavus did put some pressure on UW-River Falls in the final four minutes including pulling its goaltender with one minute remaining, however the Falcons held on for the 6-5 win.
Nick Kellogg played all but the final minute in the nets for Gustavus. He made 26 saves and allowed all six goals. Tyler Owens played the entire game for UW-River Falls making 27 saves.