St. Peter, Minn. – Two goals in the first five minutes of play gave the Gustavus women’s hockey team the spark it needed to capture a season-opening 3-2 victory over UW-Superior on Tuesday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The Yellow Jackets would score late in the first period to cut the lead to 2-1, but a Gustie goal on the power play in the second period would put the game out of reach, as UW-Superior was only able to mount one more goal in the third period that left the score at 3-2 in favor of the Gusties. Gustavus begins the season 1-0-0, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 2-1-0 on the year.
The Gusties wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first period. At the 3:05 mark, Keri Pickel (Jr., Rochester, Minn.) scored Gustavus’ first goal of the 2012-13 season on assits from Brianna Seebold (Fy., Detroit Lakes, Minn.) and Kayla Ingbretson (Sr., Mound, Minn.). Pickel’s first goal of the season came on her first shot as a Gustie. It was the second consecutive year that a Gustavus player has scored on their first shot wearing the three crowns after Carolyn Draayer (So., Deephaven, Minn.) accomplished the same feat last season.
Less than two minutes later, at the 4:41 mark, Courtney Boucher (So., Hastings, Minn.) found the back of the net to put the Gusties on top 2-0 in the early going. Boucher was assisted by Draayer and Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) who registered her first career point.
“It was great to see us come out fast tonight,” said head coach Mike Carroll. “That was our goal coming into the game. We played fast, we were organized, and we stuck to our system, which was good to see in the first game.”
With 1:10 to play in the first period, Karen Larson put the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard when she took a pass from Lynne Larson and found the back of the net to bring the score to 2-1 headed to the first intermission.
The Gusties were quick to answer just over three minutes into the second period on their first power play opportunity of the season. Just :22 in to the power play, Carolyn Draayer picked up where she left off a year ago with a goal on a Lindsey Hjelm (Sr., North Oaks, Minn.) assist. Draayer’s goal brought the score to 3-1 and would later prove to be the game-winner, as the Yellow Jackets scored just once more in the third period.
“UW-Superior did a nice job of responding to the big lead and putting the pressure on us at the end of the game,” stated Carroll. “Tonight was a good test for us in a game with a lot of momentum swings. We are going to see UW-Superior’s system a lot in our conference. It’s hard to duplicate that type of game speed in practice, so it was a good learning experience for us.”
In her first collegiate game, Lindsey Hibbard (Fy., Princeton, Minn.) spent all 60 minutes between the pipes. Hibbard faced 15 shots in the contest, recording 13 saves and giving up two goals in her debut. First-year teammates Brianna Seebold and Allison Eder-Zdechlik both recorded assists in their first collegiate games as well.
“It was good for Lindsey to get a good win in her first collegiate start today,” mentioned coach Carroll. “She and her other first-year teammates got a taste of college hockey tonight, so it was great to see them get their feet wet.”
The Gusties will be back in action on Friday, November 9th when they host Bethel University in St. Peter. Friday night’s game is designated as a “White-Out” for junior goalie Marah Sobczak, who was critically injured this summer in a head on collision near her home in Stillwater, Minn. Family, friends, and fans are encouraged to wear white to the game in honor and support of Marah and her family. Alpha Sigma Tau and the Gustavus women’s hockey team will be selling “White-Out For Marah” t-shirts to help raise money for the Sobczak family.