Winona, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team once again benefited from solid goaltending and a potent offense on its way to a 5-1 victory over Saint Mary’s University on Saturday night at the SMU Ice Arena. With the victory, Gustavus earns a six point sweep and holds on to a first place standing in the MIAC now with 26 points. Gustavus is unbeaten over its last nine conference games, improving to 11-4-3 overall and 8-1-1 in the MIAC. Saint Mary’s drops its third straight and falls to 6-10-1 overall and 2-6-0 in the MIAC.
Bengtson put Gustavus on the scoreboard first with a goal off assists from Andy Pearson (Jr., Burnsville, Minn.) and Adam Smyth (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.) at the 4:01 mark of the opening period. The Sweden native netted his second goal of the game on the power play at the 18:07 mark of the third period, bringing the score to a final at 5-1. Once again, Smyth and Pearson assisted on the goal.
Gavin Tufte scored his second and third goals of the season early in the second and late in the third periods. Tufte’s first of the night came from Blake Schammel (Jr., Red Wing, Minn.) and Drew Aspinwall (Fr., Maple Grove, Minn.) at 3:46 of the second to give the Gusties a 3-1 lead. Corey Leivermann (Sr., North Mankato, Minn.) and Tyler Lapic (Jr., New Prague, Minn.) provided the dimes on Tufte’s next goal, which came at the 15:26 point of the third and put Gustavus up 4-1.
Darren Lapic (So., New Prague, Minn.) recorded his second game-winning goal of the year at the 13:46 mark of the first period when he netted an assist from Aspinwall. A total of nine Gustavus players hit the scoresheet with at least a point tonight.
The lone Saint Mary’s goal and only blemish on goaltender John McLean’s (So., Eagan, Minn.) stat line came at the 17:37 mark of the first when Nick Nagel cut the lead to 3-1.
McLean turned away 25-of-26 shots to improve to 10-3-3 and extend his unbeaten-streak to nine games within league play. The sophomore netminder allowed just two goals over the weekend and has yet to give up more than two goals in a game since late-November.
Mitch Fernsler suffered the complete-game loss for Saint Mary’s, allowing all five goals and making 20 saves.
Gustavus’s penalty kill did the job once again, shutting down all six Saint Mary’s power plays. The Gusties have now killed 16-consecutive power plays dating back to Jan. 18 against Augsburg. Gustavus finished 1-for-5 on the man-advantage, yet Saint Mary’s outshot the Gusties 26-25.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will look to stay hot next weekend when it takes on Saint John’s in a home-and-home series. The Gusties and Johnnies will square off at 8:05 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 in St. Peter, then will cap the weekend with a 7:00 p.m. game at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud on Saturday, Feb. 1.