The Gustavus women’s hockey team scored four power-play goals en route to a 5-2 win over Concordia in the MIAC Playoff Semifinal Game in St. Peter on Thursday night. With the win, the Gusties have a chance to win the MIAC Playoff Championship for the eighth consecutive year. Gustavus will host Bethel in the championship game on Saturday, March 5 at 2:00 p.m.
In the first period, the Cobbers jumped out to an early lead when Tara Korf scored an even-strength goal at the 7:15 mark. The Gusties bounced back quickly, as Gustavus took advantage of their first power play of the night when Maddie Bergh scored a back-door goal at the 12:57 mark after a scramble in front of the net. After Brooke Rundell was sent to the box for tripping at the 16:33 mark, Amanda Cartony was able to find the net on the power play at 16:46 to give the Gusties the lead. “I thought our girls really handled getting scored on well by coming and getting two goals to go up 2-1,” Coach Mike Carroll said. Gustavus would stretch the tally to three unanswered goals in the period when Whitney Schaff added an even strength goal with less than two minutes left to give the Gusties a 3-1 advantage heading into the first intermission.
In the second, Concordia started strong once more, as Abby Taffe was able to notch a power-play goal at the 4:12 mark to cut the Gustavus lead to one (3-2). The Gusties would respond again, as Mollie Carroll took advantage of Kristina Westmark’s tripping penalty to score a power-play goal on the redirect at the 12:21 mark to widen the margin to two (4-2). Just over three minutes later, Cartony was able to tally her second goal of the night, as she took a pass from Bergh and worked through the circle before finding her own rebound for the Gusties’ fourth power-play goal of the night.
In the third period, the teams would go scoreless, as Gustavus sought to limit Concordia’s scoring opportunities. “Going into the third period up 5-2 we decided to switch up our forecheck and that stopped them,” Carroll said. Concordia’s best scoring opportunity in the third came after Lindsey Hjelm drew a hooking penalty at the 3:13 mark. The Cobbers put together three scoring tries on the power play, but Danielle Justice was up to the task, coming up with two big saves to maintain the 5-1 lead. The Gusties outshot the Cobbers 10-5 in the final frame and 40-23 over the length of the contest.
Gustavus will now move on to the MIAC Championship Game on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., when they will host the Bethel Royals.