St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s hockey team kept its unbeaten season in tact following a 5-1 victory over Concordia on Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The Gusties used two goals in the first period and three in the second to build an early lead. The Cobbers were able to get on the scoreboard to avoid the shutout in the third period, but could not come any closer as Gustavus skated to the four-goal win. Gustavus improves to 15-0-0 (9-0-0 MIAC) while Concordia drops to 6-6-3 (5-3-1 MIAC).
The first 14 minutes of play slipped by without a disturbance on the scoreboard. That stillness gave way to an offensive explosion in the 15th minute when the Gusties scored two goals within :10 seconds of one another to open up a 2-0 lead with 5:35 remaining in the opening period.
Leah Johnson (So., Chanhassen, Minn.) put Gustavus on the board at the 14:16 mark. Johnson cleaned up a Courtney Boucher (So., Hastings, Minn.) shot from the slot and buried it to take the 1-0 lead. Just :09 seconds later, Emily Reibert (Fy., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) took the faceoff and put the Gusties on top 2-0.
Reibert skated into Cobber territory and fired a wrister towards the net. The puck slithered its way past Concordia goaltender Madison Denny for her third goal of the season and Gustavus went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
“The two goals in the first period really got us excited and gave us a lot of momentum going forward,” said first-year forward Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.). “Scoring one goal right after the other like that really gave us a lot of energy and we were able to carry that through to the rest of the game.”
Gustavus tacked on three more goals in the second period. Eder-Zdechlik started things off with her sixth goal of the season. The first-year weaved through the Concordia defense and finished the play with a goal to extend the Gustie lead to 3-0.
Meagan Wanecke (Sr., Delafield, Wis.) pushed the score to 4-0 when she found the back of the net in a heavy traffic in front of the net. Gustavus’ final goal of the period came at the 18:08 mark.
This time, Carolyn Draayer (So., Deephaven, Minn.) threw a wrister at the net from the right circle. The shot found its way past Denny to put Gustavus on top 5-0 where it would stay headed to the second intermission. Concordia got on the board in the third period when Madison Gendreau scored a short-handed goal on a breakaway. However, it was all the closer the Cobbers would come as the Gusties cruised to the four-goal victory.
Lindsey Hibbard (Fy., Princeton, Minn.) went the distance in net for Gustavus. Hibbard allowed one goal and tallied eight saves after facing only nine shots. The win marked Hibbard’s eighth victory of the season.
The two squads will face off again tomorrow afternoon at Don Roberts Ice Rink at 2:00 p.m. in the second of the two-game series.
Eder-Zdechlik thinks tomorrow’s mindset needs to be much of the same. “We need to come out hard again like we did tonight, give 100-percent effort, and if we do that we have a good chance to be successful.”