Despite going down 2-0 to St. Olaf on Friday night in Northield, Minn., the Gustavus men’s hockey team found a way to battle back and win 3-2 thanks to a pair of Adam Smyth goals and an overtime game-winner by Dane Erickson. Gustavus now sits in a tie for second place alongside Saint John’s in the conference standings with 18 points heading into tomorrow’s season-finale.
Gustavus improves to 14-6-4 overall and 8-5-2 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf drops to 11-8-5 overall and 7-6-2 in the MIAC.
After a scoreless first period in which the shots ended up an even 8-to-8, St. Olaf broke the ice with a goal inside the first three minutes of the second period. Ross Trousdale scored the opening goal of the game off an Aaron Molstad assist at the 2:59 mark of the period to give the Oles a 1-0 lead. Going into the game, Gustavus was 2-4-0 when its opponent scores the first goal.
Just over two minutes after Toursdale’s tally, Jack Nicoll put St. Olaf on top 2-0 with a power play goal coming at the 5:14 mark. It would be the only power play score of the night, as St. Olaf finished 1-for-3 and Gustavus finished 0-for-1 on the man-advantage.
At the 13:06 mark, an Adam Smyth goal from the stick of Brian White kicked off the Gustie comeback and cut the lead to 2-1.
Heading into the third period, Gustavus was outshooting the Oles 18-to-15. The Gusties tied the game at the 9:06 point of the frame when Smyth found the back of the net for the second time in the night, scoring on assists from Ross Ring-Jarvi and White.
Smyth continues to find ways to put the puck in the back of the net through the final portion of the regular season. The sophomore has scored four goals in the last four games and now leads the team with 12 on the season.
The score remained tied at 2-2 for the remaining potion of the third period, as Gustavus outshot the Oles 30-to-27 in regulation.
After a save by Gustavus goaltender John McLean at the start of overtime, Gustavus needed just three shots to put the game in the books. The third try was the charm, as Dane Erickson found the back of the net unassisted with just 1:15 remaining in overtime. The game-winner was Erickson’s first of the year and second of his career. Gustavus is now 2-1-4 in games that go into overtime.
John McLean picked up the win between the pipes, making a total of 26 saves on the night. After giving up St. Olaf’s second goal, McLean went on to turn away St. Olaf’s next 17 shots. The rookie netminder is now 12-4-1 on the season. Ben Lies suffered the loss (8-7-4) in goal for St. Olaf, making 30 saves in a complete-game.
Gustavus and St. Olaf will square off in the regular season finale at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow night in St. Peter.