For the first time in seven games dating back to Dec. 6, 2011, the No. 4 Gustavus women’s hockey team found itself behind on the scoreboard Saturday afternoon in Moorhead, Minn. But that didn’t deter the Gusties as they battled back from a 3-1 deficit late in the third period and skated to a 3-3 tie with ninth-ranked Concordia. The Gusties move to 14-0-2 on the year and 9-0-1 in the MIAC, while the Cobbers are now 9-3-3 overall and 5-2-3 in conference action.
After 15 minutes of scoreless hockey, Breann Julius found the back of the Gustie net on an assist from Kelsey Kuester, putting the Cobbers up 1-0 and that lead held true for the remainder of the opening frame.
At the 3:24 mark in the second, Amanda Cartony netted the equalizer with the help of Allie Schwab. The Cobbers regained the lead, though, with just over six minutes left in the period on a goal by Kit Hollway – Macy Leland was credited with the assist – and the home team took a 2-1 lead into the locker room at the second intermission.
Concordia extended its lead to two goals midway through the third on Julius’ second goal of the day, this time assisted by Abby Taffe. With less than four minutes left in regulation and down a pair of goals, the Gusties picked up the sense of urgency with a goal off the stick of Schwab. Mollie Carroll found Schwab at the 16:06 mark, cutting the deficit to one. The excitement from Schwab’s goal rolled over immediately into the ensuing possession as Carolyn Draayer netted the equalizer just :11 later. Meagan Wanecke was credited for assisting Draayer’s 15th goal of the season.
Lindsey Hjelm nearly scored the go-ahead goal just moments after Draayer’s goal, but her shot went off the pipe. Seven shots and a power play opportunity in the final three minutes of regulation weren’t enough for the Gusties to complete the improbable comeback and the two nationally ranked squads skated into overtime. In the extra five minutes, three shots by each team didn’t find the net needed for the victory as they each picked up a point in the conference standings.
Gustavus squandered its three power play opportunities and for the first time since Feb. 11, 2005, the Gusties did not commit a single penalty. The Three Crowns won the battle on the dots, taking 37-of-52 faceoffs. Schwab led the way in that category by winning 19-of-24. They also outshot the Cobbers 41-to-20, but couldn’t come away with that game-winning fourth goal.
Danielle Justice tallied 17 saves and allowed three goals in net for the Gusties, while Cobber netminder Desiree Goret collect 38 stops with three goals allowed as well.
Despite the tie, Gustavus remains the only unbeaten team in all Division III and will put that record to the test Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The Gusties defeated the Yellowjackets 1-0 in overtime Dec. 13 at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The puck is set to drop at 7:00 p.m. in Superior, Wis.