St. Peter, Minn. - The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team will embark on it’s 2013-14 campaign this weekend when it takes part in the annual Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Showcase being held over the weekend at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minn.
The Showcase will be held Friday, Nov. 1-Sunday, Nov. 3, and it offers MIAC fans an exciting, season-opening preview of the conference. This season, the MIAC Showcase will incorporate a three-player shootout to decide any overtime ties, as the teams prepare to use the shootout in conference play this season. All South Rink games will be web cast live by the MIAC and Webcast America, and all nine games will have live stats courtesy of Saint Mary’s sports information.
The Gusties will begin the year on Friday, Nov. 1 when they take on Bethel University at 6:30 p.m. on the North Rink. Gustavus will then conclude the weekend with a 4:00 p.m. game against the University of St. Thomas at the South Rink on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Gustavus Coaching Stafff… Head Coach Brett Petersen enters his 14th season at the helm of the Gustavus men’s hockey program. Petersen has compiled a 182-141-28 overall record in his 13-plus seasons at Gustavus. His 182 wins at Gustavus ranks second behind legendary coach Don Roberts. Within MIAC play, Gustavus holds a record 112-76-20 during the Petersen era. The Gusties have earned a trip to the MIAC Playoffs 12 straight seasons and have advanced to the MIAC Playoff Championship a total of five times under Petersen. Since the turn of the century, Gustavus has qualified for the NCAA Division III Tournament three times in 2009, 2010, and 2012. The Gusties advanced all the way to the NCAA Championship in 2009 where they fell to Neumann 4-1 at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Petersen, a Roseville, Minn. native, received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Denver in 1992 and his Master of Science degree in athletic administration in 2000 from St. Cloud State. He has been named MIAC Coach of the Year twice in his tenure, once in 2001-02 and again in 2009-10.
Former men’s hockey standout David Martinson returns for his second season as the assistant men’s hockey coach at Gustavus. A 2010 graduate and one of the most decorated hockey players to don a three crowned sweater, Martinson is a native of St. Louis Park, Minn. After being named the MIAC Player of the Year and earning All-America honors twice during his playing career, Martinson continued his education at the Bowling Green State University where he served as a graduate assistant for the men’s hockey team. David received his masters of education in sport administration in August.
Last Season At Glance… Despite another late-season surge that saw the Gustavus men’s hockey team go 10-2-2 after the holiday break, the Gusties missed out on a trip to the NCAA Tournament after falling to Saint John’s 3-2 in the MIAC Playoff Championship. Gustavus, who began the year 0-4 in the MIAC, earned the fourth seed in the MIAC Playoffs after a late push in conference play over January and February. Goaltender Tyler Venne was owed a great deal of credit for Gustavus’s run as the senior went 8-0-0 in February, finishing the month with a goals against average of 1.50 and a save percentage of .944. In the conference tournament, the Gusties defeated St. Olaf (3-2) in the first round and St. Thomas (1-0) in the semifinals to earn a trip to the championship game for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Coach Brett Petersen’s club finished 17-8-3 overall and 9-5-2 in the MIAC. Junior Adam Smyth was named a member of the 2012-13 All-Conference Team following the season.
Calling All Captains…The 2013-14 Gustavus men’s hockey team will be led into the season by captains Corey Leivermann (Sr., North Mankato, Minn.) and Jack Walsh (Jr., Mahtomedi, Minn.). Leivermann, a transfer from MSU, Mankato, joined the club halfway through last season and scored 10 points off two goals and eight assists in just 13 games. Walsh had a breakout season a year ago and was instrumental to the team’s late-season surge. He scored 14 points (9G, 5A) over Gustavus’s last 11 games, finishing the season with a team-high 13 goals and 20 points (2nd/team). Walsh also netted seven game-winning goals, ranking him first in the MIAC and second in NCAA Division III.
On The Attack…Brett Petersen’s club returns to the ice with 11 players who accounted for 68.4-percent of the team’s scoring a year ago. Leading the group is 2012-13 All-Conference performer Adam Smyth (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.) who paced the team in scoring with 21 points (13G, 7A) and also posted a pair of hat tricks last season. Along Jack Walsh’s 20 points, Tyler Lapic (Jr., New Prague, Minn.) was fourth on the team with in scoring with 18 points (7G, 11A), and Andy Pearson (Jr., Burnsville, Minn.) rounded out last season’s top five scorers with 17 points (5G, 12A). Other returning forwards include Darren Lapic (So., New Prague, Minn.), Zach May (Sr., Prior Lake, Minn.), Gustav Bengtson (Sr., Sollentuna, Sweden), Schyler Adams (Jr., New Prague, Minn.), Blake Schammel (Jr., Red Wing, Minn.), and Cory Ellis (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.). The Gusties averaged 2.82 goals per game last season, ranking them third in the MIAC.
On Defense…On the blue line, the Gusties will need to replace staples Brenden Baker, Andrew Peterson, and Tim LaBombard from last year’s squad. Top returning defensemen include Alex Gallen (Sr., Hingham, Mass.), Nate Paulsen (Jr., La Habra, Calif.), Joey Olson (Sr., Warroad, Minn.), and Sam Smith (Jr., Vancouver, B.C.). All four contributed to Gustavus’s MIAC third best goals against average of 2.14 last season.
Between The Pipes… Although Gustavus heads into the season with an experienced pair of goaltenders, Patrick Sullivan (Sr., Kelowna, B.C.) and John McLean (So., Eagan, Minn.) have not played a game in net for nearly a full year after they both suffered season-ending injuries right before the holiday break last season. Sullivan played in 243:32 minutes before his injury last season and went 3-1-0 with a goals against average of 1.72 and save percentage of .949. McLean played in just 196:04 minutes, going 1-2-0 with a 1.84 GAA and a .936 save percentage. At 6-feet, 8-inches, McLean is the most battled-tested netminder of the group after going 15-5-2 and posting a 2.16 GAA and .923 save percentage his rookie season. Adding depth at the position is newcomer Erik Johnson (Fr., Rice, Minn.) who comes from the Rochester Ice Hawks of the MNJHL.
Suit Up Rook… To go along with his 15 returning letterwinners, coach Petersen also welcomes 11 new players to the program. Nine of the fresh faces are freshman while the other two are transfers from schools in the NCHA. This year’s freshman class includes Jared Docken (Northfield, Minn.), Drew Apsinwall (Maple Grove, Minn.), Tony Paulson (Maple Grove, Minn.), Sam Akins (Stowe, Vt.), Sam Majka (Wayzata, Minn.), Blake Barnes (Broken Arrow, Okla.), Ross Kovacs (Dickinson, N.D.), Joncarlo Westerlund (Baudette, Minn.), and Erik Johnson (Rice, Minn.). Gavin Tufte (So., Blaine, Minn.) is a transfer from UW-Stout, and Alec Austin (So., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) is a transfer from UW-Superior.
The Dawning Of Shootouts… The 2013-14 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) will be an exciting season of change for “The State of Hockey’s” only NCAA Division III conference completely contained by the sport’s borders. The MIAC blazes into new territory this season as the first conference in the Division to add a shootout to settle overtime ties, as well as a new three-point system to determine the league standings.
The NCAA now allows for a shootout – three players from each team – to decide overtime ties and, though some Division I conferences adopted it a year ago – no Division III league had moved in that direction … until now. In addition, the MIAC will now award three points for a win in regulation, two points for an overtime or shootout win, or one point for an overtime or shootout loss.
The Long And Winding…To go along with the team’s standard 16 MIAC contests, this season’s long and winding schedule features nine non-conference games against MIAC, WIAC, and NCHA teams all of the West Region. In addition to non-conference games against MIAC opponents Bethel and St. Thomas this weekend at the MIAC Showcase, Gustavus will face UW-Stevens Point (Oct. 8), UW-Stout (Oct. 9), and UW-River Falls (Feb. 7) of the WIAC, and Lawrence (Nov. 29), Marian (Nov. 30), Lake Forest (Jan. 10), and Adrian (Jan.11) of the NCHA. Eleven of Gustavus’s regular season contests will be played at home on Don Roberts Ice Rink.