The Gustavus men’s hockey team will travel to River Falls, Wis. to put the finishing touches on 2011 with a non-conference test against No. 4 UW-River Falls on Wednesday, Dec. 14th at 7:00 p.m.
Gustavus enters the game with a four-game winning-streak under its belt and is 6-4-2 overall. Gustavus has scored a total of 39 goals through 12 games this season, averaging 3.25 goals per game. On defense, the Gusties have given up 27 goals for an average of 2.25 goals allowed per game.
UW-River Falls comes into Wednesday night’s game ranked No. 4 according to the most recent USCHO.com Division III Men’s Poll. The Falcons are 9-1-2 overall after suffering their first loss of the season last Friday in the series-opener to UW-Eau Claire 5-2 on the road.
The Falcons are ranked ninth in the country in scoring entering the game, averaging 4.50 goals per game. On defense, they are allowing an average of 2.08 goals, which ranks sixth in the country.
Live video, audio, and stats for the contest will be provided through the UW-River Falls athletics website via the link below.
The Series – The Gustavus and UW-River Falls men’s hockey teams will meet for the 38th time on Wednesday night in River Falls, Wis. The Falcons hold the advantage in the all-time series with a record of 19-16-2.
Last 10 – The Gustavus vs. UW-River Falls matchup has been a common occurrence since the turn of the century. Gustavus is 4-6 in the past 10 meetings with UW-River Falls with 31 goals for and 36 goals against.
Power Play – The Gustavus power play has seen consistent improvement over the last portion of the season. The Gustie PP now ranks second overall in the MIAC at 22.0-percent (13-59), as their 13 power play goals are the most in the league. In the past three games, the Gusties are 6-for-16 and are connecting at a 37.5-percent rate on the man advantage.
Kill Or Be Killed – After a rough patch in which Gustavus allowed five power play goals in three games, the play of the Gustie penalty killers has been much improved as of late. Going back to the opening game of the Augsburg series on Dec. 2, Gustavus has killed 15-straight opponent power plays. Gustavus is now 45-for-54 on the PK at a percentage of 83.3 (5th/MIAC).
Smyth Honored By MIAC – Sophomore forward Adam Smyth earned MIAC Player-of-the-Week honors for his performance in Saturday’s 5-3 victory over Lawrence. Smyth scored a career-high four goals in the game, becoming the first player since David Martinson did on Nov. 14 against St. Olaf (W 5-4) and Nov. 20 against Bethel (L 6-5 OT) in the 2009-10 season. Smyth’s goals came at 12:46, 13:45, and 15:47 of the second period, giving Gustavus a 4-1 lead. He later added an empty-netter late in third to seal the 5-3 win. Smyth’s hat trick completing goal turned out to be the game-winner. Smyth now has the second-most goals on the team with five and ranks sixth in points with seven.
Ringo Leads The Way – Senior forward Ross Ring-Jarvi has been on a scoring-spree in the last four games, recording seven points within that time. Ring0 currently leads the team and is in a three-way tie for first place in the MIAC alongside Derek Grogan (STO) and Rob Philipp (UST) in points with 13. He has four goals and a team-high nine assists thus far.
Excuse May Sir – Sophomore forward Zach May recorded his third two-goal game of the season in Friday night’s 5-3 victory over Concordia University. He hit the back of the net twice against Saint John’s (Oct. 28; T 3-3) and Augsburg (Dec. 3; W 6-0). May sits behind Ring-Jarvi in scoring with 12 points (7G, 5A) on the year, as his seven goals are the second-most in the MIAC. He sits behind Bethel’s Jake Kogler who has scored 12.
Big John – Due to an injury to junior goalie Tyler Venne, freshman John McLean has gotten the call between the pipes the last four games. To say the least, he has made the most of the opportunity. McLean is 4-0-0, allowing six goals and making 111 saves for a .949 save percentage in his last four outings. On the season, McLean is 5-3-0 with a goals against average of 2.12 (3rd/MIAC) and a save percentage of .927 (4th/MIAC).
On the Road – The Gustavus men’s hockey team has faced a tough schedule in which nine of its first 12 games are on the road. The Gusties are 4-3-2 away from St. Peter and 3-0-1 when playing against neighboring Wisconsin based schools. In the past five seasons, Gustavus is 22-15-3 against institutions located in the Badger State.
December To Remember – As they have made a habit of doing, the Gustavus men’s hockey team continued to finish strong in the last month of calendar year with a sweep last weekend. Gustavus is now 4-0-0 inside December and will look to cap off the month with a win against UW-River Falls. In the past 10 seasons, the Gusties have compiled a record of 31-8 in December for a winning percentage of .795.