The Gustavus women’s hockey team continued its pursuit of a sixth straight MIAC Regular Season Title with a 3-2 win over Saint Mary’s in Winona on Friday night. The Gusties jumped out to a 3-0 lead and then held off a late Cardinal charge and claimed the important victory. Melissa Mackley, Lindsey Hjelm, and Mollie Carroll scored for Gustavus, while Danielle Justice picked up the win in goal.
The Gusties are now in a two-way tie for first place with St. Kate’s, which defeated St. Thomas 3-2 on Friday night in Mendota Heights. If Gustavus can win its final three games (Saint Mary’s on Saturday and Augsburg twice next weekend), it can assure itself of at least a share of the conference title.
The Gusties took a 1-0 lead on Melissa Mackley’s goal at 5:56 of the first period. That would be all of the scoring in the first period and neither team would be able to light the lamp in the second period either so Gustavus led 1-0 through 40 minutes of play.
Coach Mike Carroll’s squad increased its lead to 3-0 with two goals in the first three minutes of the third period. Lindsey Hjelm scored at the 1:08 mark and then Mollie Carroll scored at the 3:30 mark. It appeared as though the Gusties might run away and had with the quick start to the final period, but Saint Mary’s battled back with two goals by Stevie Fiek one with 12 minutes remaining and the other with just under two minutes to play. The Cardinals would get one last chance to tie the score when Kirsten Peterson was whistled for a checking penalty with 40 seconds left on the clock. Saint Mary’s pulled its goaltender and skated six-on-four for the final 20 seconds, but the Gusties managed to hold on for the victory.
The two teams will play again on Saturday at 2:00 pm in Winona.