Headed into Tuesday night’s game, the Gustavus women’s hockey team knew it was in for one of the toughest match-ups of the season to date. And that’s exactly what the Gusties got en route to a 1-1 tie with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in St. Peter, Minn. The No. 6 Gusties suffered their first tie of the season, ending their eight-game win streak, and move to 8-0-1 overall, while the No. 7 Falcons move to 8-1-1 overall.
As one would imagine in a battle of nationally ranked squads, the intensity of the game picked up as the game progressed. The first period got off to a lackluster start with each team trying to find a rhythm as both the Gusties and Falcons each got off seven shots.
The pace of the game picked up a notch in the second after Emma Nordness found Kait Mason on a breakaway for the first goal of the contest at the 17:46 mark. The Gusties were penalized three times in the second, while River Falls was called for two fouls, but both teams were able to kill each power play opportunity. Gustavus out-shot the Falcons 13-to-6 in the second, but was unable to convert those opportunities into points.
In the third period, the momentum swung back to the Black and Gold when Melissa Doyle knocked in a breakaway goal from Grace Olson at the 4:23 mark. The equalizing goal was Doyle’s second goal of the season and Olson’s second assist on the year. It looked as if the Gusties were going to take the momentum and put home the game-winner as they continued to out-shoot the Falcons 15-to-3 in the third, but after 60 minutes of play the score remained 1-1.
UW-River Falls revived itself in overtime by keeping the puck in the Gustie zone for most of the final five minutes and got off seven shots compared to one by the Gusties, but the final buzzer sounded with one goal on the board for each team.
After facing only five shots in two games last weekend, Danielle Justice registered 22 saves in goal for the Gusties. Ashley Kuechle saw significantly more shots and made 35 saves in the nets for River Falls.
Gustavus has the weekend off and will host UW-Superior next Tuesday. Face off is set for 7:00 p.m. at Don Roberts Ice Rink.