The Gustavus women’s hockey built a 4-1 lead early in the third period and then had to hold off a scrappy UW-River Falls squad for a 5-3 victory at Don Roberts Ice Rink on Tuesday evening. The Gusties were led by Kathryn DelZoppo who scored a goal and picked up three assists. Emily Klatt was credited with the win in the nets. Gustavus is now 12-1-3 overall, while UW-River Falls drops to 10-5-1.
First year forward Kathryn DelZoppo got the Gusties off to a fast start as she scored a power play goal just three minutes into the game with assists from Mollie Carroll and Whitney Schaff. Gustavus maintained that lead throughout the first period and then increased its lead to 2-0 when Alyssa Saunders scored at the 17:09 with assists from DelZoppo and Schaff. Coach Mike Carroll’s squad controlled play through much of the first period out-shooting the Falcons 12-3 and heading into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
The Gusties, who entered the game as one of the four least penalized teams in Division III women’s hockey, were whistled for four penalties for eight minutes and UW-River Falls capitalized on the its first power play of the period when Jessica Thompson scored an unassisted goal at the 6:00 mark cutting the Gustavus lead to 2-1. Neither team could find the net the rest of the period and the Gusties took their 2-1 lead into the locker room.
Gustavus appeared to be pulling away early in the third period as Whitney Schaff scored at the 0:53 second mark and then Mollie Carroll scored a power play goal just two minutes later to extend the Gustie lead to 4-1. UW-River Falls cut the lead to 4-2 when Stefanie Schmitz scored a power play goal at 8:20 of the final period. The Falcons cut the one-time, three-goal lead to one goal at 4-3 when Chelsey Calder picked up a loose puck and skated in all alone on Gustavus goaltender Emily Klatt. Calder lifted the puck past Klatt and into the upper right corner at the 10:45 mark. Five minutes later, the Gusties got a security goal from Jessie Doig who skated up the left side of the ice and ripped a wrist shot into the upper right corner of the net. Doig’s goal gave Gustavus a two-goal 5-3 lead with just over five minutes left in the game. The Gusties shut the Falcons down the rest of the way and skated off with a 5-3 victory.
Gustavus held a 38-14 shot advantage in the game. The Gusties’ Emily Klatt made 11 saves and picked up the win nets improving her season mark to 8-0-0. Cassi Campbell, who made 33 saves for the Falcons, suffered just her second setback of the season (7-2-1).
A total of 16 penalties were assessed in the game with nine called against UW-River Falls (for 18 minutes) and seven called against Gustavus (for 14 minutes). The Gusties were 3-of-8 on the power play, while the Falcons were 2-for-6 with the advantage.
The Gusties, who are ranked #1 in the most recent USCHO.com Division III poll, extended their current unbeaten streak to 15 games which is the longest in Division III women’s hockey this season. Gustavus will face Saint Benedict in a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conferenence series this weekend. The two will play in St. Cloud on Friday night at 7:00 pm and then head to St. Peter on Saturday afternoon for a 2:00 pm contest.