The Gustavus men’s hockey team suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to Bethel when the Royals’ Brad Peterson scored the game-winning goal :24 into the extra period on Saturday at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Gustavus held a 45-21 shots on goal advantage, but Bethel goaltender Aaron Damjanovich kept the Royals in the game by making 43 saves. The Gusties fell to 6-4-0 overall and 3-3-0 in league play, while Bethel moved to 6-4-1 overall and 3-3-0 in the MIAC.
Head Coach Brett Petersen’s team controlled the tempo throughout the first period, but were unable to get good looks at the net despite outshooting the Royals 12-5. Bethel maintained its intensity throughout the period and took a 1-0 lead with :06 remaining before intermission when John Kovacs found the back of the net off of a rebound. Christian Fogert took a shot from between the face-off circles, but Gustavus goaltender Matt Lopes was unable to control the rebound as Kovacs scored. Tom Menozzi was credited with an assist along with Fogert.
The Royals carried their momentum into the start of the second period as Bethel nearly made it a 2-0 game when Lopes made a sprawling save after a shot from Chris Fiala. Minutes later, the Gusties tied the game at 1-1 at the 9:40 mark when Mike Carr took a small angle shot that hit the pipe and bounced back into the net. Ryan Noonan and Joe Welch were awarded the assists. The second period with the score knotted at 1-1.
Gustavus grabbed momentum early in the third period when Bethel was called for a double minor roughing penalty giving the Gusties a four-minute skater advantage. Coach Petersen’s troop wasted little time on the power play as Gustavus scored after the subsequent faceoff. Brad Wieck won the draw, getting the puck back to Spencer Campion at the right point. Campion took a slapshot, which was stopped, however Damjanovich could not gather the rebound as David Martinson tapped in the loose puck on the far side of the net at 6:26.
Bethel had its chance later in the period to even the score when the Gusties were called for two penalties in less than a minute. Gustavus killed off the first penalty, but Brad Peterson scored his first goal of the game five seconds later after receiving a pass from Kent Bostrom at 12:14. Both teams went back-and-forth for the duration of the period as the game was forced into overtime.
The Royals stormed out in the extra frame as Bethel nearly scored on a scramble in front of the net after :15, but Lopes managed to cover the puck to stop play. Bostrom won the ensuing faceoff and nine seconds later Peterson scored his second goal of the game to earn the victory for the Royals.
Damjanovich finished the game with 43 saves, while allowing just two goals as he improved his record to 6-4-1 on the season. Lopes made 18 saves and allowed three goals as his season mark fell to 3-2-0.
Gustavus will face ninth-ranked UW-Stevens Point on Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Stevens Point, Wis. before the holidays.