After a 3-1 victory over Saint John’s in the MIAC Playoff semifinals on Saturday, the Gustavus men’s hockey team has leaped to a No. 11 ranking in the most recent USCHO.com Division III Men’s Hockey Poll released Monday, Feb. 17. The Gusties have been ranked inside the top-15 the past three weeks, moving up three spots from last week’s No. 14 ranking.
Head Coach Brett Petersen’s squad also moved up to a second place ranking in the NCAA Division III West Region poll. St. Norbert is the top-ranked team in the West, while UW-Stevens Point rounds out the top-three in third.
Gustavus used a pair of goals by junior Ryan Johnson (Blaine, Minn.) and a late empty-netter by sophomore Adam Smyth (Burnsville, Minn.) to come away with a two-goal win over the Johnnies at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Rookie goaltender John McLean (Eagan, Minn.) turned away 26-of-27 shots to keep Saint John’s off the scoreboard in his first collegiate playoff start.
Because No. 4 seed St. Olaf upset top-seeded St. Thomas 4-3 on Saturday night, the Gustie skaters will host the Oles in the MIAC Playoff Championship on Saturday night in St. Peter, Minn. High stakes are on the line as the winner of Saturday’s game will receive the MIAC’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The puck will drop at 7:05 from Don Roberts Ice Rink. Gustavus enters the game at 15-6-5 overall while St. Olaf comes in at 13-8-6. Fans not in attendance can access live video of Saturday’s contest here.