The Gustavus men’s hockey team saw its season come to an end with a 5-3 loss to Saint John’s at Don Roberts Ice Rink in St. Peter on Thursday night. The Gusties trailed 3-2 after the first period and 4-3 after the second period before losing 5-3. David Martinson led Gustavus with two goals, while five different players scored for Saint John’s. Gustavus ends its season with a record of 13-12-1.
The first period was a high scoring affair with five goals put up on the scoreboard. The Johnnies took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Clayton Rehm at the 5:36 mark. Gustavus tied the score at 1-1 when Rory Dynan scored at the 9:41 mark. The Gusties would take their only lead of the game at 2-1 just a minute later when David Martinson tallied his first goal of the night at the 10:40 mark. The Johnnies bounced back to tie the score 2-2 at 13:18 on a goal by Pat McClure. It appeared the Gusties would have a chance to take the lead into the locker room when they went on a power play with two minutes left in the period, however Saint John’s turned the tables on the Gusties and scored a shorthanded goal by Mike Wallgren 1:50 left in the first period. The Johnnies led 3-2 at the first break.
The first part of the second period was fairly quiet with both teams playing aggressive defense and the two goaltenders coming up with some big saves. The Gusties struck first, tying the score at 3-3 on David Martinson’s second goal of the game at the 16:25 mark, however the Johnnies struck again late in the period as Jake Hipp tallied a power play goal with :18 seconds left to give Saint John’s a 4-3 lead heading into the third period.
The Gusties pressured Johnnie goaltender Vince Wheeler early in the third period, however Joel Stacklie gave Saint John’s a big lift with a goal at the 4:26 mark making the score 5-3. The Johnnies withstood a solid Gustavus attack for the better part of the third period and held on for the 5-3 victory.
Wheeler picked up the win in the nets for Saint John’s making 32 saves, while Josh Swartout suffered the loss in the nets for Gustavus making 16 saves.
The Johnnies will now face MIAC Champion Hamline in St. Paul in a semifinal matchup on Saturday night.
Gustavus has now been knocked out of the MIAC Playoffs in the play-in game for four consecutive years.