River Falls, Wis. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team skated to a 2-2 tie against UW-River Falls in its final non-conference test of the regular season on Friday night at Hunt Arena. After the two teams played 40 minutes of back-and-forth scoreless hockey, the third period produced all four of the game’s goals. Gustavus struck first, UW-River Falls answered with two, and the Gusties capped the frame with the bout’s final goal.
The No. 13 Gusties move to 13-4-4 overall with the tie and are now unbeaten over their last seven games. UW-River Falls, who entered the weekend ranked No. 11, goes to 12-6-3 on the year.
In the first two periods, neither club could solve each other’s goaltender. Gustavus’s John McLean (So., Eagan, Minn.) stopped all 16 shots he faced through 40 minutes, while his counterpart, Tanner Milliron, turned away the 15 shots he saw.
Gustavus went 0-for-2 on the power play in the first period and 0-for-1 on the power play in the second. UW-River Falls was blanked on its two tries on the man-advantage in the second.
It wasn’t until :55 seconds into the final period that the scoreless was broke. Gustav Bengtson (Stockholm, Sweden) put the Gusties on top 1-0 with his sixth goal of the season off a Drew Aspinwall (Fr., Maple Grove, Minn.) assist.
Three minutes after Bengtson’s goal, UW-River Falls answered with a short-handed goal by Christian George to tie the game at 1-1.
At the 6:23 mark, the Falcons scored their second straight and grabbed a 2-1 advantage when Michael Lant scored from Tom DeBace.
UW-River Falls held on to a one-goal lead for more than eight minutes before Gustavus got the goal back at 14:59. Nate Paulsen (Jr., La Habra, Calif.) netted the equalizer, his fifth goal of the season, and Corey Leivermann (Sr., North Mankato, Minn.) was credited with the assist. Leivermann extends his point-streak to seven games with tonight’s dime.
Neither team could find the game-winner in overtime. John McLean made three saves in the extra session, bringing his game-total to 23. Tanner Milliron made one save in overtime to end up with 24 on the night. McLean goes to 12-3-4 overall with the tie, while Milliron is now 4-2-3.
The Gusties failed to convert on their five power play chances, and UW-River Falls was shut down on its three tries. Gustavus has now successfully killed 25 straight power plays over the course of six games.
The Gustavus men’s hockey team will return to MIAC play next weekend when it takes on the University of St. Thomas in a critical home-and-home series. The Gusties will travel to Mendota Heights on Friday, Feb. 14 for a 7:30 p.m. game before capping the series in St. Peter on Saturday, Feb. 15 with a 7:05 p.m. contest.