The #4-Gustavus women’s hockey team earned a pivotal sweep over #10-St. Thomas with a 4-2 win in Mendota Heights on Saturday night. After a defensive battle the night before, the Golden Gusties showed this game would be the exact opposite as Mari Gunderson lit the lamp :09 into the contest. Gustavus moved into the driver’s seat in the MIAC standings with a 10-0-0 league record and 15-1-0 overall. St. Thomas fell to 7-3-0 in the conference standings and 13-4-0 overall.
Gustavus got on the scoreboard early as Gunderson put a shot past St. Thomas goaltender Lauren Bradel with :09 elapsed in the game to give the Gusties a 1-0 edge. Kirstin Peterson and Alyssa Saunders were credited with assists on the play. Coach Carroll’s squad put another goal on the board when Stefanie Ubl found the back of the net at 9:53 in the first period as Gustavus went into intermission with a 2-0 lead.
St. Thomas cut the deficit to one goal at 3:02 in the second period from Rachel Zilles assisted by Kara Ledel and Kelley Fallen. The Tommies continued to put pressure on the Gusties until Jenny Pusch scored her sixth goal of the season, and eventual game-winner, at 19:49. Claire Opsahl and Gunderson were given assists on the goal that gave Gustavus a two-lead heading into the final period.
The Gusties played much of the third period down one skater as Gustavus was called for its only three penalties during the period. St. Thomas capitalized on the third power play as Alicia Behr brought the Tommies back within one goal at 3-2 on an assist from Ashley Reinhardt at 18:02. However, Claire Opsahl scored her first goal of the season with an assist given to Allie Harwood with :48 seconds remaining to stop the Tommie comeback for the 4-2 win.
Breanna Scavo (14-1-0) turned in another solid performance for Gustavus between the pipes as she made 16 saves in the winning effort. Lauren Bradel (10-4-0) made 20 saves and allowed four goals. Gustavus now holds a three-game lead over St. Thomas with eight games left in the MIAC schedule.
The Gusties will face Augsburg next weekend with the first game of the series in Minneapolis on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Tommies will host Concordia with the series opener on Friday night at 7 p.m.