St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team put together its strongest 60 minutes of the season in a 5-0 win over Saint Mary’s on Saturday afternoon at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The Gusties controlled the game throughout, taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission before adding three more goals in the second and one in the third on the way to victory. Five different Gustavus players scored on the afternoon, while goaltender Amanda Koep (So., St. Michael, Minn.) recorded her first win as a Gustie in shutout fashion. With this afternoon’s result, Gustavus improves to 12-3-2 overall and 10-0-0 in the MIAC, while Saint Mary’s falls to 5-11-1 overall and 3-7-0 in league play.
After a dismal first period last night that saw the Gusties outshot by the Cardinals 14-11, Gustavus showed much improvement in the opening period on Saturday. The Gusties held a shot advantage of 14-4 in the first and took a 1-0 lead to the first intermission.
The only goal scored in the opening frame came from Allison Eder-Zdechlik (So., Stillwater, Minn.) at the 7:31 mark. Eder-Zdechlik brought the puck from the right side of the Saint Mary’s zone all the way across the high slot to the left circle and picked out the top right corner of the goal to score her 13th goal of the season. Halie Gudmonson (Fy., Albertville, Minn.) and Melissa Doyle (Sr., White Bear Lake, Minn.) were credited with assists on the goal, which gave the Gusties the one-goal lead in the early going.
The Gustavus defense would hold for the remainder of the period and the two teams went to the locker room at the first intermission with the Gusties leading 1-0.
“The first period last night was not good,” Head Coach Mike Carroll put simply. “I wasn’t happy with how we played, and I don’t think any of the girls were either, but they did something about it. In the second and third periods, the effort was Gustie hockey. We did what we needed to do to get the win. Today was a much better start.”
Gustavus broke the game open in the second period with three goals in the frame. After an uneventful first seven minutes of the period, Saint Mary’s took a penalty and the Gusties went on the power play 7:21 into the period. As the power play ended, Halie Gudmonson brought the puck from the right corner to the circle and fired a shot that found its way past the glove of Saint Mary’s goaltender Marah Shields and into the back of the net to extend the Gustie lead to 2-0.
Just less than six minutes later, Carolyn Draayer (Jr., Deephaven, Minn.) deflected a point-to-point pass and created a break for herself. Draayer finished past Shields to give Gustavus a 3-0 lead. The goal came on a Saint Mary’s power play and was Draayer’s first of the season.
Melissa Doyle added to the Gustie lead three minutes later when she scored her ninth goal of the season and third of the weekend. Doyle outskated a Cardinal player and created a break of her own. Doyle faked to the left and finished to her backhand to give her team a four-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
Lydia Wagner (Fy., Zumbrota, Minn.) put the seal on the win with the final insurance goal at the 15:55 mark of the third period. Wagner’s goal was her third of the season and second in as many days. The score put the Gusties in front 5-0, which is where it would stay for the remainder of the afternoon as they skated away with the five-goal win.
For the game, Gustavus outshot Saint Mary’s 32-13, including 10 shots on four power play opportunities. Each team was 0 for 4 with a skater advantage.
Between the pipes, Amanda Koep recorded the shutout win for Gustavus in her first start as a Gustie after transferring from the University of North Dakota. Koep played all 60 minutes and made 13 saves. Marah Shields suffered the loss for Saint Mary’s in a 27-save effort.
“I think today was our most complete game of the year, regardless of who we were playing,” stated Carroll. “We held them scoreless, we limited their shots, we got some nice goals, and it was really fun as a coach to watch the excitement, the energy, and the love of the game that they showed today. It was a good thing for us, really a step in the right direction.”
The Gusties will be back in action again next weekend when they take on the College of Saint Benedict in a weekend series starting on Friday, Jan. 31st and concluding on Saturday, Feb. 1st.