In a battle of the top two MIAC women’s hockey teams, No. 4 Gustavus defeated No. 9 Concordia 4-1 Friday night in Moorhead, Minn. The Gusties remain the sole unbeaten team in Division III at 14-0-1 overall and 9-0-0 in the MIAC, while the Cobbers fall to 9-3-2 on the year and 5-2-2 in league play.
The Gusties swung the momentum in their favor immediately as junior defender Lindsey Hjelm netted the initial goal just :39 into game. The two squads then skated the rest of the period scoreless and the Three Crowns took a one-goal advantage into the first intermission. Hjelm’s goal was her seventh of the season and the North Oaks, Minn. native now ranks third in the conference in defenseman scoring with 15 points.
The second period played out much like the first with the next goal scored within the first minute of play. Senior captain Mollie Carroll found the back of the Cobber net on an assist from Allie Schwab just :35 after the puck dropped to start the second. Carroll’s goal increased her career highs in goals to 11 and points to 24, which ranks second in the nation in points. Schwab also increased her season points total to 28, which tops the nation.
Breann Julius ended the shutout at the 18:55 mark in the second with the help of Katelyn Dold and the Cobbers went into the locker room down one after 40 minutes.
Starting with a bang was the status quo for the first two periods and the Gusties didn’t disappoint in the final frame. Kelsey Kennedy found Meagan Wanecke :61 seconds into the third to give Gustavus a 3-1 lead. Concordia pulled its goalie with 1:46 left in regulation and Kennedy recorded her second consecutive assist after finding Amanda Cartony with 30 ticks remaining, bringing the score to a 4-1 final. Kennedy’s ability to find the open teammate Friday marked her fourth two-assist performance of the year and the Eagan, Minn. native is now tied for the team lead in plus-minus at +23.
Gustavus held its opponent under 20 shots for the third consecutive game and 11th time this season. Concordia was only able to fire 18 shots, 17 of which were blocked by Danielle Justice. The senior Gustie netminder improved her record to 10-0-1 while maintaining her .947 save percentage (2nd/MIAC). Tamara Twite fended of 22 shots in goal for the Cobbers, allowing three goals.
Ten penalties were called during the contest – four against Concordia, six on Gustavus – but neither team was able to convert in the player advantage.
The two squads return to the ice at the Moorhead Sports Center on Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. faceoff.