St. Peter, Minn. – Great runs in college hockey often share similar characteristics – one of which being great goaltending. Case in point, the Gustavus men’s hockey team and the outstanding play of its senior netminder Tyler Venne (New Hope, Minn.). The on fire Gusties went 8-0-0 in the month of February thanks in large part to an increased scoring output, stifling defense, and of course, a goalie who has put together the best stretch of tending in his four-year career at Gustavus. Because of his play through the month, the Gustavus Sports Information Office has named Tyler Venne the Male February Student-Athlete of the Month.
Venne has been sturdy and consistent since taking on full-time netminding duties at the turn of the year. After going 2-1-2 in January, the senior has simply refused to lose in February, going 8-0-0 over a month that included two MIAC Playoff victories. He gave up more than two goals in a game just once in those eight contests, carrying a goals against average of just 1.5. Venne registered a save percentage of .944 in the month, averaging 25.25 saves per game and turning away a season-high 34 shots in a 2-0 shutout win over St. Olaf in the regular season finale on Feb. 16.
Most recently on Monday, Feb. 25, Tyler was named the MIAC Men’s Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week after backstopping his way to a pair of victories in the MIAC Playoffs. The New Hope, Minn. product made 29 saves in Gustavus’s 3-2 victory over St. Olaf in the opening round of the MIAC Playoffs on Friday, Feb. 22 in St. Peter, then earned a 1-0 shutout win after stopping all 24 of St. Thomas’s shots in the MIAC Semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 23 in Mendota Heights. The wins propelled Gustavus to its second straight appearance in the MIAC Playoff Championship. The Gusties are making their fourth title appearance in the last five years.
With Venne seeing the puck better than he ever has in his four years wearing a three-crowned sweater, Gustavus will take on Saint John’s in the MIAC Playoff Championship on Saturday, March 2 at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. At 13-4-3 overall, Venne holds a save percentage of .918 and a goals against average of 2.21 on the season. He enters Saturday’s title bout with a record of 10-1-2 since the holiday break.
Live audio and live stats for Saturday’s championship game will be provided through the Saint John’s athletics website and the links below.