The Gustavus men’s hockey team saw its five-game winning streak snapped as Pat Connelly of Saint John’s scored two goals early in the third period as the Johnnies hung on for a 2-1 win on Saturday in St. Cloud. The Gusties struggled on the power play during the game as they went 0-for-8 with the skater advantage. Saint John’s stayed in the hunt for a playoff berth with the victory as it improved to 6-12-1 overall and 3-6-1 in the MIAC. Gustavus fell to 13-8-0 overall and 8-4-0 in the conference.
The Gusties had a golden opportunity early in the second period to put a goal on the scoreboard as they skated 5-on-3 for nearly two minutes after hooking and tripping penalties were called against the Johnnies. However, Gustavus was not able to get a shot through the defense to Saint John’s goaltender Vince Wheeler during the power plays.
Early in the third period, the Johnnies broke open a scoreless game when Pat Connelly scored a pair of goals at 1:20 and 4:37. Head Coach Brett Petersen pulled goaltender Matt Lopes with 1:22 left in the contest for the extra skater. The Gusties took advantage of the situation as David Martinson scored his 24th goal of the season to pull Gustavus to within one goal at the 18:53 mark. The Gusties were called for a hooking penalty in the last minute, as the team was unable to tie the score before the final horn.
Matt Lopes finished the game with 20 saves in the losing effort as his record dropped to 6-4-0 this season. Saint John’s goaltender Vince Wheeler recorded 21 saves for the win. Both teams were denied power play goals as Gustavus was 0-for-8 on the power play and the Johnnies were 0-for-5.
The Gusties return to action against Concordia in Moorhead on February 13-14 for both games as Gustavus has a bye next weekend.