The Gustavus women’s hockey team scored three power play goals and held on to win 4-2 on Friday night in St. Peter. The Gusties were led by Amanda Cartony, as she stretched her hot streak to six goals in the last four games. Danielle Justice picked up her 40th career win in goal for Gustavus.
Saint Mary’s came out aggressively in the first period, pressing the the offensive zone and outshooting Gustavus six to five through the opening seventeen minutes of action. The Gusties would finish strong though, as they took advantage of the Brooke Bartelt interference penalty at the 18:15 mark. Kelsey Kennedy cut loose a slapshot just over a minute into the power play that ricocheted off the pads of Sarah Gustafson and onto the stick of Melissa Doyle, who stuffed it home to give Gustavus the 1-0 advantage at the 19:22 mark. The goal was Doyle’s fourth of the season.
In the second period, Gustavus stretched the lead to 2-0 when Meagan Wanecke took a pass from Kennedy and was able to beat Gustafson for the Gusties’ second power play goal of the night at 3:02, Wanecke’s fourth of the season. The lead wouldn’t last long though, as the Cardinals’ Nicole Olson was able to score on the redirect less than a minute later to trim the lead to 2-1 at the 3:58 mark. After Bartelt drew a penalty for holding at the 6:01 mark, the Gustavus power play went to work quickly, as Amanda Cartony was able to find Lindsey Hjelm’s rebound and put it in the net at the 6:30 mark to give the Gusties a 3-1 lead. The Gustavus power play has been hot lately, as the women scored on all three of their power play opportunities against Saint Mary’s after a 3-10 power play performance on Tuesday against Stevens Point.
“We’ve just simplified things. We just want to try to get in there and bang and get rebounds,” Coach Mike Carroll said. “The girls are feeding off it and they’ve got some confidence now on the power play and that’s what it takes.”
Saint Mary’s started to battle back in the third frame, as Bartelt notched a goal at the 3:18 mark after a scramble in front of the net to bring the score to 3-2. Gustavus was able to keep good offensive pressure in the third, outshooting the Cardinals 19-2 in the period. The pressure would pay off at the 15:15 mark, when Cartony was able to score her second goal of the game to seal the Gusties’ 4-2 win.
“Cartony is playing at the top of her game right now,” Carroll said after she scored her seventh and eighth goals of the season. “She’s got ice in her veins.”
Carroll was quick to heap praise on his defenders, as Kennedy tallied two assists and Kirstin Peterson and Kelsey Johnson added one each. “Our defense always creates good offensive opportunities,” Carroll said. “It’s good for them to get points, but I was more happy that they did a good job in our defensive zone.”
Goaltender Danielle Justice turned away nine shots while tallying her 40th career win. “Her career has been great,” Carroll said after the game. “40 games and the first two years she split time until the playoffs started. She’s really taken advantage of her opportunities and I’m really proud of her.”
The Gusties will wrap up the series with Saint Mary’s tomorrow, as they travel to Winona for the 2:00 p.m. game.