St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s hockey team went into Saturday afternoon’s contest seeking redemption for Friday night’s 4-4 tie with Concordia. Instead of sitting back on their heels and playing not to lose like on Friday night, the Gusties kept the pressure on in the third period, holding on to a two-goal lead to win 2-0 on Saturday afternoon. With a victory over the Cobbers in the series finale, Gustavus picks up a crucial three points on the weekend.
Gustavus, who now has 11 points on the year, improves to 5-4-1 in the MIAC and 11-5-3 overall. Concordia heads into its bye week with 11 points at 4-5-3 in the MIAC and 8-9-4 overall.
After 15-mintues of back and forth hockey, an elbowing penalty charged to Zach May at 15:42 set up the opening score of the game. Ross Ring-Jarvi picked up a loose puck on the far boards and went on a two-on-one break with linemate Andy Pearson. Seeing a window as he moved the puck in on the goal, Ring-Jarvi fired a snap-shot to beat goaltender Chris Neamonitis glove side and give the Gusties a 1-0 lead.
Ring-Jarvi finished the weekend with four points on three goals and one assist. The senior now leads the team in points with 19 (8G, 11A) on the season. Ross’s short-handed goal tonight is Gustavus’ second of the season and the fourth of his career.
The Gusties would head into the locker room with a 1-0 lead after the first period, outshooting the Cobbers 16-to-9 within the frame.
Gustavus took a two-goal lead at the 8:13 mark of the second period when Gustav Bengtson scored his fourth goal of the season. After being stoned by Neamonitis on a break, Brian White got the puck back below the right circle. Seeing numbers in front of the crease, White made a centering pass that found its way through a pair of bodies and onto the stick of Bengtson. Bengtson was able to one-time the puck into the net from one knee after being knocked to the ice earlier in the play.
Gustavus continued to pour on the pressure in the remaining minutes of the second period, generating a total 20 shots within the period. The Gusties would go on to outshoot the Cobbers a season-high 45-to-24 in the game.
Although its not going to show on the scoresheet, the Gusties turned in one of its best top-to-bottom, four-line performances of the season. The Dane Erickson, Ryan Johnson, Adam Smyth line set the bar for controlling the offensive zone from start to finish, finishing with a combined 11 shots on the night.
Gustavus goaltender John McLean recorded his second shutout of the season after stopping all 24 Cobber shots. McLean earns his 10th win of the season and is now 10-4-0 overall with a .927 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average. McLean is the first Gustavus freshman goalie to tally ten wins in a season since Peet Moseley did so his rookie year in 1997-98.
Chris Neamonitis suffered the loss after stopping 43-of-45 shots. Neamonitis is now 5-4-3 on the season.
Neither Gustavus nor Concordia could score on the power play for the second-consecutive night, as Gustavus went 0-for-4 with eight shots and Concordia went 0-for-2 with four shots.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will be back on the ice on Thursday, Feb. 2nd when it travels to St. Paul to take on Hamline at the Drake Ice Arena at 8:00 p.m.