The Gustavus women’s hockey team clinched its eighth consecutive MIAC title and 11th overall with a 5-0 shutout over Saint Mary’s University on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. The sixth-ranked Gusties improve to 18-1-2 overall and 13-0-1 in the MIAC, while the Cardinals fall to 6-11-4 overall and 3-8-3 in league play.
The first period nearly ended without a goal until Melissa Doyle and Meagan Wanecke forced a loose puck at the Saint Mary’s blue line. Wanecke then controlled the puck and top-shelved a short-handed breakaway goal with :06 left in the period for a 1-0 Gustie lead, proving to be the game-winner.
At the 7:30 mark in the second, Jenna Christiansen buried a one-timer from the low slot with the help of Wanecke and Lindsey Hjelm. The Gusties took a 3-0 lead at the 11:57 mark after Hjelm’s shot on goal was blocked, but the rebound deflected right to Carolyn Draayer for the put-back goal, her 17th of the season.
With the Gusties in the power play near the end of the second, a flurry of shots in front of the Saint Mary’s net eventually ended with Marissa Brandt controlling a loose puck and sneaking it past Cardinal goalie Sarah Gustafson. Whitney Schaff was credited with her second assist of the game along with Jess Harren.
The Cardinals found themselves in penalty trouble once again late in the third and fought through a 6-on-4 disadvantage, but just as the first penalty ended, Amanda Cartony slapped home a goal in the upper-right corner of the net from the left circle for a 5-0 final. Cartony finished the weekend with four points after collecting two goals and an assist in Friday’s 8-2 victory in Winona, Minn.
Marah Sobczak returned to the Gustie goal after sitting out for three games and responded with her fourth shutout of the season after collecting six saves. Gustafson took the loss in goal for the Cardinals and made 37 saves.
Gustavus outshot its opponent for the 20th time this season after posting 42 shots on goal compared to just six by the Cardinals, which also marked the fifth time this season the Gusties limited their opponent to under 10 shots. On the dots, the Three Crowns won 40-of-60 faceoffs. Gustavus also scored in 2-of-9 power plays, while the Cardinals were 0-for-4 in the player advantage.
The Gustie women have two series left in the regular season starting with St. Olaf next weekend. Game one is Friday in St. Peter at 7:00 p.m. and game two is the next day in Northfield, Minn.