St. Peter, Minn. – Gustavus Adolphus senior goaltender Tyler Venne (New Hope, Minn.) has been named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week after backstopping his way to a pair of victories in the MIAC Playoffs last weekend. Venne allowed just two goals all weekend, helping the Gusties earn their place in the MIAC Playoff Championship game for the second straight season. Gustavus defeated St. Olaf 3-2 in the opening round on Friday night and St. Thomas 1-0 in the semifinals on Saturday night.
It is the first time in his career that Venne has received Athlete-of-the-Week honors from the MIAC. He is also the second Gustie to garner the recognition this season after Adam Smyth took home the distinction on Feb. 4 after a six-point weekend against Concordia.
Making his 16th straight start in the final game of his career at Don Roberts Ice Rink on Friday night against St. Olaf, Venne turned away 29 Ole shots as Gustavus used a fast start on its way to a one goal victory. After having to make just three saves in the opening period (one of which came on a St. Olaf breakaway early in the game), Venne made 26 saves over the final 40 minutes to keep the Black and Gold in front. With the win, Venne improved to 3-0-0 in his career against St. Olaf, allowing three goals and making 100 saves.
On Saturday night at the St. Thomas Ice Arena, the senior was even better. Venne stopped all 24 of St. Thomas’s shots on the way to his third shutout of the season. After Gustavus broke the ice with a goal at the 11:34 mark of the second period, Venne steered away 12 Tommie tries at the equalizer over the remaining minutes of the game. The shutout secured Gustavus a spot in the MIAC Championship and was the senior’s career-best eighth straight win.
Since his fellow goaltenders John McLean and Patrick Sullivan went down with injuries in December, Venne has seized the opportunity to be head coach Brett Petersen’s go-to netminder and made the most of his final season in a Gustavus sweater. Tyler recorded his first shutout of the year in a 5-0 win over Augsburg on Nov. 11, then began his solo mission on Dec. 7 in a 4-3 victory over Lawrence. Since that time, Gustavus has gone 11-2-2 which includes a 10-1-2 mark since the holiday break.
Within his current eight-game winning-streak, the New Hope, Minn. native has allowed 12 goals and made 202 saves for a goals against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .944. Venne enters Saturday’s championship bout 13-4-3 overall with a .918 save percentage and a 2.21 goals against average.
Venne and the rest of the Gustavus men’s hockey team will face Co-MIAC Champion Saint John’s University at the National Hockey Center on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The two squads skated to back-to-back draws in their regular season meetings in January.