St. Peter, Minn. – Senior forward Lindsey Hjelm (Sr., North Oaks, Minn.) scored three goals to complete the hat trick and push the Gusties on to a 4-1 victory over Concordia Saturday afternoon at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Gustavus scored two goals in the first period, one in the second and another in the third to jump out to a 4-0 lead just seconds into the final frame. The Cobbers got on the scoreboard with a goal early in the third period, which left the final score at 4-1. With the win, Gustavus improves to 16-0-0 (10-0-0 MIAC) while Concordia drops to 6-7-3 (5-4-1 MIAC).
Hjelm put the Gusties on the board five minutes into the game when the let a slap shot fly from the right point. She used a screen in front of the net to shield the sight of Concordia goaltender Rebecca Hendrickson and the puck skipped into the back of the net to put the Gusties on top 1-0 in the early going.
Gustavus’ second goal of the contest came from Kelsey Kennedy (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) at the 14:21 mark of the first period. The senior found herself on the back post to clean up a rebound and bury it to extend the lead to 2-0. Kennedy’s first goal of the season sent the Gusties into the locker room with a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
In the second period, Hjelm scored the second of her three goals. The senior took a pass inside the right circle and danced around a defender before snapping it into the top right corner of the net to push the score to 3-0 in favor of the Black and Gold.
It was Hjelm again in the opening minute of the third period. Just :56 seconds into the final frame, Hjelm skated the puck across the Cobber line and into space in front of the net where she beat the Hendrickson blocker side from point blank range. Hjelm’s third-period goal completed the hat trick and put the Gusties in front 4-0 on the scoreboard.
Anna Westmark put the Cobbers on the board 3:14 into the period, but it was too little too late for Concordia as the final seconds ticked off the clock with a 4-1 final score in favor of the Gusties.
“In the first period, we were a little discombobulated,” said head coach Mike Carroll. “But we regrouped in the locker room and as the game wore on we played well and got the job done. It was a tough sweep, but so is every sweep.”
Tara Hoverstad (Fy., Coon Rapids, Minn.) was the goalie of record for Gustavus. Hoverstad allowed one goal while making 19 saves. The first-year improves her record to 5-0-0 on the season. With three goals tonight, Lindsey Hjelm becomes the first Gustie to record a hat trick this season. The last Gustie to record three goals in the same game was Allie Schwab `12 on Feb. 17th of last season against St. Olaf.
After scoring five goals in two games last weekend against St. Catherine, the Gusties improved their scoring output this weekend with nine goals in two games against the Cobbers. Putting the puck in the back of the net is something that has been main focus the past few weeks in practice.
“We have been working really hard on finishing around the net,” acknowledged Carroll. “It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight, so credit to the kids because they’ve worked at it in practice and even if you see progress, it is still difficult to carry that over to a game. You just have to keep at it and keep a positive attitude, which they’ve done. I’m happy for them because they are seeing the results of their hard work.”
Gustavus will be back in action next weekend against Hamline. The Gusties will host the Pipers on Friday, Feb. 1st at 7:00 p.m. before traveling to St. Paul for a 2:00 p.m. meeting with the Piper women on Saturday, Feb. 2nd.
“We know it’s a long season, so we have embraced the ‘one game at a time’ mentality. We know we have a game next Friday against Hamline and we have a lot of work to do to prepare for next weekend.”