The Gustavus women’s hockey team will face MIAC rival St. Thomas in a key league series this weekend. The Gusties will play at the St. Thomas Arena in Mendota Heights on Friday night at 7:00 pm and then the two will face-off at Don Roberts Arena in St. Peter on Saturday at 2:00 pm. The Tommies are currently in first place with a mark of 6-0-0, while the Gusties are one point back in second place at 5-0-1. An audio broadcast of Friday night’s game will be available through the St. Thomas website, while live stats of Saturday afternoon’s game will be available through the Gustavus website. USHCO.com will be videostreaming and audiostreaming Saturday’s game at Gustavus as the women’s college hockey national game of the week. You can access those broadcasts at live video and live audio. Brian Schulz will handle the play-by-play and former Patty Kazmaier Trophy winner Ali Brewer (as goalkeeper at Brown in 2000) will handle the color commentary.
Gustavus and St. Thomas have developed an intense rivalry in women’s hockey over the past several years as the two squads have finished first and second in the MIAC standings for the past five years and both teams have advanced to the MIAC Playoff Championship game for five consecutive seasons. The Gusties (7) and the Tommies (2) have combined to win the past nine MIAC regular season titles.
Heading into the series, the Gusties have compiled a record of 8-1-2 overall, 5-0-1 in the MIAC, while the Tommies are 9-2-0 overall and 6-0-0 in the MIAC. Gustavus is ranked #1 in the most recent USCHO.com Division III poll, while St. Thomas is ranked #8.
Friday’s game will be the 27th meeting between Gustavus and St. Thomas in women’s hockey. The Gusties lead the all-time series with a record of 18-6-2. The series has really heated up lately as the two rivals have played 12 times over the past four seasons. The Gusties have posted a record of 9-2-1 over that time, however eight of the 12 games have been decided by one goal and four of those games have gone into overtime including a thrilling 3-2 overtime win by the Gusties in the MIAC Playoff Championship in February of 2005.
Both teams are among the leaders in numerous Division III statistical categories as the Gusties rank first in scoring defense (allowing 0.82 goals per game), and first in penalty kill (96.3 percent), while the Tommies rank fourth in power play scoring (28.3 percent), fifth in scoring offense (4.27 goals per game), and sixth in scoring defense (allowing 1.2 goals per game).
Individually, Gustavus goaltender Emily Klatt leads Division III in goals against average (0.43), and save percentage (.971), while forward Melissa Mackley ranks second in shorthanded goals with two. St. Thomas is led by Jackie Carroll who ranks fourth in points per game (1.73 ppg, 6g, 13a – 19 pts.) and first year Jamie Tiede, who ranks fourth in rookie scoring (1.27 ppg, 7g, 7a – 14 pts.).
The outcome of the series will very likely determine the regular season champion in the MIAC and it is especially important for the Gusties as they enter the weekend a point behind the Tommies due to a 1-1 tie with Bethel. St. Thomas has yet to play the Royals.