Moorhead, Minn. – Based on the opening 25 minutes of the Gustavus men’s hockey team’s game against Concordia, one might find it hard to believe that the Gustavus team that showed up at the Moorhead Sports Center on Friday night was the same Gustavus team that entered the weekend ranked seventh in the league in scoring with a 2.29 goals per game average.
The fast start that head coach Brett Petersen was looking for came to fruition, as Gustavus scored the first six goals of the contest to grab a 6-0 by the 4:47 mark of the second period. Concordia would score three of the next four goals, bringing the score to a final at 7-4.
With the win, Gustavus picks up a much-needed two points and is now 9-6-3 overall and 3-4-2 in the MIAC. Concordia drops to 8-11-1 overall and 5-6-0 in the MIAC with the loss.
The six-goal scoring-spree began at the 4:35 mark of the first period when Darren Lapic (Fr., New Prague, Minn.) scored off assists from Brian White (Sr., Fort Frances, Ont.) and Schyler Adams (So., New Prague, Minn.).
The Burnsville connection came together to score the second goal of the game. At the 10:57 mark, Adam Smyth (Jr., Burnsville, Minn.) put in a goal from Andy Pearson (So., Burnsville, Minn.) and Zach May (Jr., Prior Lake, Minn.), putting the Gusties up 2-0. Stay tuned because Smyth’s name will be mentioned twice more by the end of the night.
Inside a two-minute time-span from the end of the first period to the start of the second period, Gustavus added two more goals go up 4-0. The Gusties took advantage of a five-minute major penalty assessed to Concordia’s Tim Beede, scoring twice on the power play. Corey Leivermann (Jr., North Mankato, Minn.) scored his first goal as a Gustie at 19:48 of the first, and Brenden Baker (Sr., Edina, Minn.) scored the second of two straight man-advantage goals at 1:17 of the second. Jack Walsh (So., Mahtomedi, Minn.) assisted on both Leivermann’s and Baker’s goals.
The Black and Gold continued to keep the pressure on over the next five minutes. After providing the dime on the two previous goals, Walsh scored one of his own at the 3:21 mark off a Tyler Lapic (So., New Prague, Minn.) feed, putting his squad up 5-0.
Adam Smyth brought the scoring-spree to a close when he netted an Andy Pearson assist for the second time of the night. The goal gave Gustavus a 6-0 lead with 15:13 left in the second period.
Concordia came back in the remaining minutes of the second period with three unanswered goals to cut the lead in half. Adam Wiertzema scored at 6:08, Caleb Suderman scored on the power play at 8:03, and Brian Kang added a second straight power play goal at 15:57, bringing the score to 6-3 heading into the final period.
Gustavus’ final goal of the night came off the stick of Smyth, who completed his second hat trick of the season with a unassisted goal at the 6:44 mark of the third frame. The junior scored three goals in a game earlier in the season against Lawrence on Dec. 7, giving him a total of three during his tenure wearing a Gustavus sweater. Smyth now has a team-best eight goals on the season and shares the team lead in scoring with 12 points alongside Ryan Johnson (Sr., Blaine, Minn.).
Concordia’s Andrew Deters brought the scoring to a close and the game to a final at 7-4 with a goal at the 15:53 mark.
Despite the early scoring output, the Cobbers outshot Gustavus 34-27 on the night. The Gusties registered just 12 shots in the final two periods.
Gustie goaltender Tyler Venne (Sr., New Hope, Minn.) picked up the victory after going the complete game and matching his season-best save total with 30 on the night. Venne made ten saves in each of the three periods, improving to 5-3-3 on the year.
Both teams scored two power play goals, as Gustavus was 2-for-4 and Concordia was 2-for-6.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon when it takes on Concordia in the series-finale at 2:00 p.m. back in the Moorhead Sports Center.