The Gustavus women’s hockey team proved why it’s the best goal-scoring team in the MIAC Friday night with a convincing 9-1 victory over Saint Benedict in St. Peter, Minn. Six different Gusties recorded multi-point performances, improving their record to 20-2-2 overall and 15-1-1 in the conference, while the Blazers fall to 5-16-3 overall and 3-11-3 in the MIAC.
Marissa Brandt started the scoring rout 3:36 into the first period. Courtney Boucher handled the puck up the right side and sent a centering pass to Brandt in the slot where she snuck it into the lower-left corner of the net. At the 7:44 mark, Allie Schwab’s shot from the top right circle deflected off the stick of Mollie Carroll into the lower-left corner of the net and the Gusties skated into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Saint Ben’s got a spark of energy 2:33 into the second frame with a goal from Ashley Olson. Katelyn Bounds and Erin Geier were credited with the assist. The Gusties got right back at it, though, as a shot by Meagan Wanecke from the right side was blocked, but Jenna Christensen gathered the rebound and top shelved the puck in the upper-right corner of the net from the right circle.
With two Blazers in the penalty box at the 12:46 point in the second, Kelsey Kennedy centered a pass from the right point to Lindsey Hjelm at the center of the blue line where she one-timed the shot, which was deflected in by Amanda Cartony. Just over a minute later and the Gusties still in the power play, Kennedy’s shot from the right circle went through the crease to the left side where Wanecke slapped it in on a wide open net for a 5-1 Gustie lead. Déjà vu struck as Christensen’s shot from the right crossed the crease to a wide-open Wanecke on the left side for the easy put-in.
Nine minutes passed in the third period without a score until Hjelm took the puck all the way down the right side and fired a slap-shot from the right circle that made it through the five-hole for a short-handed goal. Cartony tallied her second goal of the night at the 12:22 mark and Grace Olson put in her second goal of the season :23 later for a 9-1 final.
Gustavus outshot the Blazers 34-to-10 and won the battle on the dots as well, winning 41-of-56 faceoffs. The Gusties went 3-for-4 in the player advantage, while Saint Ben’s went 0-for-4.
In goal, Danielle Justice tallied nine saves with one goal allowed for the Gusties. On the other end of the ice, Jenna Traut gave up nine goals and made 25 stops.
Game two of the series is Saturday in St. Cloud, Minn. at 12:00 p.m. It will mark the last game of the regular season before the Gusties begin preparations for the MIAC Playoffs.