St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s hockey team finished strong with three goals in the third period to earn a 5-2 win over St. Olaf Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Senior forward Melissa Doyle (White Bear Lake, Minn.) scored two goals to lead the way for the Gusties in the win. With tonight’s result, Gustavus improves to 6-1-1 overall and 5-0-0 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf drops to 2-7-0 overall and 2-3-0 in league play.
The Gusties began the game with a pair of goals in the first period. Allison Eder-Zdechlik (So., Stillwater, Minn.) wasted little time scoring her eighth goal of the season, as she gave Gustavus the early lead just 1:58 into the contest. Allison took a long lead pass off the boards from Courtney Boucher (Jr., Hastings, Minn.) and raced past the St. Olaf defense. Eder-Zdechlik then finished top-shelf over Ole goaltender Cassie Alexander to put the Gusties on top 1-0.
Halie Gudmonson (Fy., Albertville, Minn.) added the second goal with just 1.6 seconds remaining in the opening period when she cleaned up a rebound on the back side of a Maddie Bergh (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) shot from the point. Gudmonson’s fourth goal of the season came on the power play and gave Gustavus a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
“The recipe was there to have a great game,” stated Head Coach Mike Carroll. “We scored right away to start the game and then got another goal right at the end of the first period, but it’s a rivalry game. They came right back and we were sort of lulled to sleep a little bit in the second period.”
As Carroll mentioned, the Oles would not go quietly, as they scored the lone goal in the second period at the 16:28 mark. Margot Fleming scored on an assist from Hannah Forliti. Fleming’s fourth goal of the year narrowed the gap to a one goal with a score of 2-1 heading into the third period.
The final frame proved to belong to Gustavus, as the Gusties outscored the Oles 3-1 in the period. Emily Gustafson (Fy., Esko, Minn.) kicked off the scoring with a deflection goal with 8:20 remaining. Her first collegiate goal gave Gustavus a 3-1 lead and would prove to be the game-winner in the contest.
Melissa Doyle followed with her third goal of the season less than two minutes later. Her goal seemingly put the St. Olaf away, but the Oles had other ideas. They scored just over two minutes later on a goal by Alana Patrick to cut the score to 4-2 with 4:16 to play.
From there, an empty net goal by Doyle with just 13 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Gusties with a final score of 5-2.
“We played really well in the third period,” mentioned Carroll. “Even though we had a little trouble in our own end at times, I thought we played with a lot of energy. They had a couple of funky goals, and I think that rattled us a little bit early on. In the end, we did what we needed to do to win.”
The Gusties outshot the Oles by the final count of 33-16 in the contest. Gustavus also capitalized on one of three power play chances, while holding St. Olaf scoreless on two opportunities with a skater advantage.
In net, Tara Hoverstad (So., Coon Rapids, Minn.) earned the win after allowing two goals and making 14 saves. St. Olaf goaltender Cassie Alexander received the loss in a 28-save effort.
These two teams will square off again tomorrow night in Northfield, Minn., in the second game of the series. Tomorrow night’s contest is set for a 7:30 p.m., start at the Northfield Ice Arena.