Northfield, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team defeated St. Olaf 7-4 on Friday night at Northfield Ice Arena. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the first period of play, the Gusties traded goals back-and-forth with the Oles during the second period and into the third. Gustavus had the last laugh, however, as it scored the final two goals of the game late in the third period to push on for the 7-4 victory. Six different players scored a goal and 10 different players recorded a point in the game. With the win, Gustavus improves to 21-0-1 (15-0-0 MIAC) while St. Olaf drops to 11-9-2 (7-7-1 MIAC).
The Gusties opened up the scoring midway through the first period. Courtney Boucher (So., Hastings, Minn.) scored the first goal of the contest at the 11:54 mark to put the Gusties on top 1-0 early. Just over four minutes later, Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Fy., Stillwater, Minn.) extended that lead to 2-0 with her ninth goal of the season. The last four minutes of the first period ticked off with each team scoreless and the score remained 2-0 at the first intermission.
The start of the second period seemed to mark the beginning of a back-and-forth game of “tug-of-war” between the two sides. St. Olaf got on the scoreboard first with a power play goal 1:05 into the frame from Devyn Hotho, but the Gusties were quick to answer with a power play goal of their own at the 4:33 mark that came off the stick of Carolyn Draayer (So., Deephaven, Minn.). Not to be outdone, the Oles responded with a goal from Sara Lind at the 14:56 mark which brought the score to 3-2 in favor of Gustavus headed to the second intermission.
Beginning the third period, the two squads picked up right where they left off in the second, but this time it was Gustavus’ turn to score first. Meagan Wanecke (Sr., Delafield, Wis.) started things off with her 10th goal of the season to put the Gusties on top 4-2 with 2:24 gone in the final frame. St. Olaf countered again with a Nicole Stumpf goal and the score was back to a one-goal difference of 4-3.
Continuing the trend, Eder-Zdechlik scored her second goal of the night for the Gusties at the 13:31 mark. The Oles played the role of copy-cat just :20 seconds later with a goal from Margot Fleming to bring the score back to within a goal at 5-4. However, it would be the last of the scoring for St. Olaf as Gustavus went on to score two consecutive goals late in the third period to put the game away. Lindsey Hjelm (Sr., North Oaks, Minn.) scored her 11th goal of the season at the 15-minute mark to push the score to 6-4 and Jenna Christensen (Sr., Albert Lea, Minn.) put the final seal on the win with an empty-net goal in the final :30 seconds for a 7-4 final score.
Lindsey Hibbard (Fy., Princeton, Minn.) picked up the win in net for Gustavus. Hibbard recorded a career-high 30 saves in her 11th win of the season. Both marks are the most by a Gustavus goaltender so far this season. Hibbard’s 30 saves tonight were the most in an MIAC regular season game since Nov. 18th, 2001 when Molly O’Donnell notched 38 saves in a 3-1 victory over St. Catherine.
After Gustavus held a 26-2 advantage on the shot chart after the first period, the two squads nearly matched each other in the final two periods. The Gusties tallied 19 shots to the Oles’ 16 in the second period and an even 16 apiece were recorded for each team in the third. Gustavus tallied the advantage in the final count 61-34. The Gusties also converted on 2-of-4 power play opportunities on the night. It was the first time this season that Gustavus has scored twice when it has had a skater-advantage.
The two teams will turn around and go right back at it Saturday afternoon in St. Peter. Puck drops at 2:00 p.m. at Don Roberts Ice Rink.