“They were physical, they moved the puck well and they were on it,” said senior captain Ross Ring-Jarvi about a hot St. Thomas squad after the Gustavus men’s hockey team’s 3-1 loss to the Tommies on Saturday night in St. Peter, Minn. Special teams won the game on Friday night, and Saturday was no different. St. Thomas went 2-for-7 on the power play in the game, while Gustavus was held scoreless on seven tries.
With the victory, St. Thomas picks up four points with the weekend sweep, improving to 4-0-0 in the MIAC and 5-1-1 overall. Gustavus has now dropped three-straight games and is 1-3-0 in the MIAC and 2-4-2 overall.
“Special teams was the difference tonight. Give them credit, they clearly won the special teams battle over the weekend, said Head Coach Brett Petersen.
After a back-and-forth opening portion of the first period, St. Thomas drew first blood with a short-handed goal at the 13:13 mark of the frame. Alex Alternbernd was on the doorstep to put back a rebound from a Robby Phillipp shot on a two-on-one break.
The Tommies went up 2-0 on another rebound goal in the seventh minute of the second period. Phillip knocked in St. Thomas’ first of two power play goals off assists from Robbie Vannelli and Michael Krieg. Phillip’s goal turned out to be the game-winner.
Matt Lipinski extended the Tommie lead to 3-0 with a power play goal at 11:30 of the third period. Alternbernd and Chris Hickey assisted on the goal. On the night, St. Thomas generated seven total shots with an added attacker on the ice.
The Gusties were able to get on the board with a late goal by Blake Schammel with 1:18 left in the game. The goal is Schammel’s first of his career, as he was assisted by Sam Blaisdell and Andy Pearson on the play.
John McLean was solid in his first start between the pipes at Don Roberts Ice Rink. McLean allowed three goals and made a total of 24 saves. He falls to 1-3-1 the season with the loss.
Tyrone Simcoe earned the win in nets and improves to 4-1-1, allowing the lone goal and making 27 saves in a complete 60 minutes.
“We are getting good enough goaltending right now,” commented coach Petersen. “In baseball terms, we’re just not giving them enough run support and that continues to haunt us. It isn’t because of a lack of will right now; the puck just isn’t going in.”
Gustavus is scoring an average of 2.4 goals per game and is hitting at a 17.5-percent rate on the power play after tonight. The final shot tally saw Gustavus with a slight advantage at 28-27.
Brian White turned in his best faceoff performance of the year, going 16-2 on the draw to lead all players on the night.
“We are hitting break at a good time right now. It is good anytime we can get guys home so that they can put things in perspective – we have a lot to be thankful for,” added Petersen. We will come back after break, re-group and get ready for Augsburg.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will be back in action with a home/away series against Augsburg on Friday, Dec. 3 at 7:05 p.m. in St. Peter, Minn. and Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. in Minneapolis.