After a short turnaround coming off an emotional double-overtime 4-3 victory over Augsburg last night in St. Peter, the Gustavus men’s hockey team was just a half-a-step behind MIAC Champion Hamline in the MIAC Playoff Semifinal Game Saturday afternoon in St. Paul. The Pipers shut out the Gusties 3-0, as Gustavus couldn’t find a way to get the puck past goalminder Beau Christian for the entirety of the game.
Gustavus finishes it season with a record of 15-10-2, while Hamline moves on to face the winner of Concordia vs. St. Thomas in the MIAC Playoff Championship. It was Gustavus’ first shutout suffered at the hands of a conference opponent since falling 3-0 to St. Thomas on Jan. 25, 2008.
The late game from the night before appeared to have little effect on the legs and energy level of the Gusties early, as both teams enjoyed several odd-man breaks and solid scoring chances at the start.
Hamline settled in on their home rink and began to blister goalie Josh Swartout with shots at the halfway point of the period. With both squads skating down a man due to unsportsmanlike conduct penalties charged to Ross Ring-Jarvi and Ryan Kupperman, Jordan Van Gilder put in the opening goal of the game at the 16:35 mark of the period on an assist from Danny Vranek to take a 1-0 lead. The Pipers would end up outshooting Gustavus 24-to-11 in the first period.
Brett Burgau extended the lead to 2-0 at 13:01 of the second period, knocking in a cross-ice pass from Alex Lundbohm after Jay Fifield picked off a Gustavus pass in the offensive zone.
Gustavus would have two power play opportunities in the second period, yet could solve not Lochner. Gustavus would finish the game 0-for-3 on the power play with nine shots on goal while on the man advantage.
The combination of last night’s overtime game and the physical presence of Hamline took its toll on Gustavus late in the game. The Gusties would even up the shot total in the final two periods, outshooting the Pipers 25-to-15. Hamline tallied 39 shots on goal compared to Gustavus’ 36.
With Josh Swartout on the bench to add an extra attacker, Mitch Carlson hit the back of the net with a rocket of a slap shot from the top of the left circle with under two minutes to play. The goal would be disallowed, as the Gusties were called for goalie interference on the play. Brian Arrigoni added an empty net goal at 18:38 to cap the game and give the Pipers a 3-0 win.
Josh Swartout finished the game with 36 saves, while Beau Christian registered the shutout in a 36-save effort.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team says goodbye to a group of five seniors who played an essential role in propelling Gustie hockey back on to the national spotlight over their four-year career. The Gustavus Athletic and Sports Information department wishes Mitch Carlson, Brad Wieck, Ryan Noonan, Matt Schugel, and Josh Swartout good luck in their professional lives after their experience on the hill.