St. Peter, Minn. – Five different players scored for the Gustavus women’s hockey team in a 5-1 win over No. 8 St. Thomas on Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The Gusties scored three goals in the opening period to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission and would not look back on the way to the four-goal victory.
Gustavus improves to 15-5-2 overall (13-2-0 MIAC) and takes sole possession of first place in the MIAC standings, as St. Thomas drops to 14-5-3 overall (11-2-2 MIAC).
The Gusties wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the opening period. Courtney Boucher (Jr., Hastings, Minn.) put Gustavus on top 1-0 just 2:33 into the game when she scored her third goal of the season. Boucher let a shot rip from the right dot past a sprawling Taylor Neisen and into the back of the net.
Four and a half minutes later, it was Boucher’s turn to assist on a Courtney Potter (Fy., Dayton, Minn.) goal that gave the Gusties a 2-0 lead. Potter fired a shot from the left point that found its way through traffic in front of the net and across the goal line to give Potter her first collegiate goal.
“It was good for us to come out and grab some momentum right off the bat,” said Boucher. “We came out and set the tone that we were the team to beat tonight. We jumped on them early, got our confidence going right away, and carried that on throughout the game.”
With just 2:47 remaining in the opening frame, Courtney scored again. However, this time it was not Boucher or Potter that scored. Instead, it was Courtney Bethune (Fy., Fort Frances, Ont.) that found the net to put Gustavus on top 3-0. Like Potter, it was Bethune’s first collegiate goal as well.
Following Bethune’s goal, the Gusties went to the locker room at the first intermission with the lead after getting three goals from three different players, all of which are named Courtney.
“we planned it,” joked Boucher of three different players named Courtney scoring goals. “We had it all planned out during pregame in the locker room.”
Gustavus again wasted little time scoring in the second period. For the second straight period, it was in the third minute that the Gusties extended their lead. After Leah Johnson (Jr., Chanhassen, Minn.) could not put back a rebound opportunity, Allie Lewis (Fy., Kearney, Neb.) was able to clean up the second rebound to increase the Gustavus lead to 4-0.
Eleven and a half minutes later, the Tommies broke the seal and got on the scoreboard when Kelsey Barnier cleaned up a rebound in front of the Gustavus net. The goal pulled St. Thomas back to within three goals, but what little hope the goal provided the Tommies was quickly erased, as the Gusties answered just 23 seconds later.
On the goal, Emily Reibert (So., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) brought the puck off the boards and passed to Callie Johnson (Fy., Detroit Lakes, Minn.), who made a move behind the net and centered the puck. Johnson’s pass hit a crashing Keri Pickel (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) in stride and Pickel did not let it go to waste, burying the puck to take the four-goal lead (5-1) back headed to the second intermission.
“It was a great play,” Boucher commented regarding the goal. “Reibert kept it in the zone, Callie made a great pass, and Pickel finished it off with a great goal. It showed that we weren’t going to let up and that we weren’t going to let them get back in the game.”
From there, the two teams played to a scoreless tie the rest of the way, and the Gusties walked away with the victory.
For the game, Gustavus outshot St. Thomas 17-16. Neither team was able to take advantage of its power play opportunities, as the Tommies went 0 for 5, while the Gusties were scoreless on three tries.
Between the pipes, Lindsey Hibbard (So., Princeton, Minn.) was rewarded with the win after making 15 saves and allowing one goal. Taylor Neisen suffered the loss in a 10-save effort.
These two teams will square off once again tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Mendota Heights, Minn., for the second game of the series. Tomorrow’s opening face off is set for 2:00 p.m.
“Today was a good test for us, but we need to refocus for tomorrow,” stated Boucher. “Tomorrow is a new day and a new game. If we get the sweep, we will be on top in the conference, which would set us up well heading into next weekend, but we have to take care of business tomorrow: that’s the only one that matters right now.”