The Gustavus women’s hockey team jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and it looked like they might run away from Concordia on Friday night, but the Cobbers battled back and cut the lead to 3-2 before Allie Schwab’s empty net goal late in the third period sealed the win for the Gusties. The same two teams will face-off again on Saturday afternoon at 2 pm in St. Peter.
Just as they did on Tuesday night at UW-Superior, the Gusties got off to a quick start scoring twice in the first five minutes of the game and both goals were scored on the power play. Lisa Tuuri made the score 1-0 with a goal at the 3:57 mark and then Allie Schwab extended the lead to 2-0 when she scored at the 5:18 mark. Kirstin Peterson and Lindsey Hjelm assisted on Tuuri’s goal, while Schwab’s goal was unassisted. In the final minute of the period, Mollie Carroll knocked home a rebound to make the score 3-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. Gustavus out-shot Concordia 15-2 in the initial period. Coach Mike Carroll was pleased with the squad’s energy out of the gate. He stated, “It was really fun to watch as a coach. The kids were playing great and it was nice to piggyback the third period at UW-Superior with the first period tonight.”
Just as Gustavus came out strong to open the game, it was Concordia that controlled the tempo in the second period and it led to two goals in a ten second span near the mid-point of the period. Abby Taffe cut the lead to 3-1 with a goal at the 12:47 mark and then immediately after that Katelyn Dold cut the lead to 3-2 with a goal at the 12:57 mark. Carroll was quick to give praise to Concordia for bouncing back after a tough first period, but he was not happy with the inconsistent effort by Gustavus. Carroll commented, “I was very disappointed with how we handled things in the second period. We gave them life. Danielle stood on her head and made some good saves on quality chances, but we lost our composure and ran around and got a little nervous. We were fortunate to only allow two goals in the second period.” The Gusties were able to hold on and led 3-2 after two periods. It was Concordia that held a 15-12 shot advantage in the second period.
The Gusties regrouped during the break and came out flying in the third period outshooting the Cobbers 16-0 through the first nine minutes of play. Concordia registered its first shot on goal at the 12:34 mark when Emily Sell fired a shot on Justice that resulted in a glove save. Gustavus got three more chances on the power play in the third period, but were unable to convert and went 0-for-6 with the advantage after scoring on its first two chances in the game. The Gusties are now 4-for-25 on the power play in the last four games, but Coach Carroll is confident the team will respond soon. He stated,”Our power play is really close to breaking out. We just can’t seem to put it all together, whether it is shooting off the wrong foot or forcing a pass or our spacing on the ice. It is the poise, patience thing versus the sense of urgency. We don’t have that figured out just yet.”
Concordia pulled its goaltender in the final 48 seconds to try and manufacture the tying goal with an extra skater, but the Gusties turned the tables on the Cobbers and secured the win with an empty net goal by Schwab with four seconds left to play. It was Schwab’s second goal of the game and tenth of the season. Carroll was happy to see Schwab get some quality shots on goal in the game. He commented, “She works so hard and we rely on her for so many things. It was good to see Allie succeed tonight and I am sure she feels good to get a little bit of a reward for her efforts.”
Danielle Justice picked up the win in the nets for Gustavus as she allowed two goals and made 20 saves. The Gusties out-shot the Cobbers 43-22 in the contest including an advantage of 31-7 in the first and third periods.
Gustavus improves to 12-3-1 overall and 8-2-1 in the MIAC, while Concordia falls to 10-7-1 overall and 4-6-1 in conference play. The two teams will wrap up the series tomorrow at 2:00 pm at Don Roberts Ice Rink on the Gustavus campus.