Men’s Hockey Drops Home Opener To UW-Stevens Point 4-1

Posted on November 8th, 2014 by

The Gustavus men's hockey team dropped its home-opener to No. 2 UW-Stevens Point 4-1 on Friday night. Photo courtesy of CJ Siewert - Sport PiX.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team suffered a 4-1 loss to UW-Stevens Point in its home-opener on Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Despite matching the nation’s second-ranked team’s physicality and intensity, and creating a great deal of scoring opportunities throughout the game, the Gusties weren’t able to capitalize on their chances. The Pointers did capitalize and as a results scored three unanswered goals through the opening two periods. Gustavus drops to 1-2-0 overall with the win, while UW-Stevens Point improves to 2-0-0.

“There are some good takeaways from this loss and this game will be good for us to learn and grow from,” said assistant coach David Martinson. “To play to the No. 2 team in the country and see how we measure up will be a key learning experience for this team down the line.”

Following an opening period that yielded just one goal, UW-Stevens Point went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. At the 9:53 mark of the first, Lawrence Cornellier broke the tie with a goal from Evan Dixon on Mark Bittner.

Just 1:20 into the second period, Scott Henegar put the Pointers up 2-0 with a goal rebound goal off a shot from the point by Alex Brooks.

UW-Stevens Point’s three-goal scoring-spree came to a close at the 17:09 mark when a loose puck found its way onto the stick of Kyle Sharky at the right post. Because Gustavus goaltender Erik Johnson (So., Rice, Minn.) was at the left post when the unfortunate bounce came to Sharky, he was able to put away the puck in the virtually empty net.

Jake Bushey extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with the team's lone goal tonight.

Jake Bushey extended his goal-scoring streak to three games with the team’s lone goal tonight.

“We haven’t seen that level of talent yet, so our decision making has to improve,” said Martinson about one of the key takeaways from tonight’s game. “We also need to take advantage of our chances.  They did that tonight and we didn’t – that was the difference.  The game wasn’t lopsided in any direction, but Stevens Point was in control on the scoreboard because it took capitalized at key times.”

Trailing 3-0 heading into the final period, Gustavus took advantage on its third power play opportunity of the game. With less than :30 seconds left on the man-advantage, rookie defenseman Jake Bushey (Duluth, Minn.) was able to get a shot through traffic and past Pointer netminder Brandon Jaeger, who had previously not been scored on in five straight periods to open the season.  The goal came from Jack Walsh (Sr., Mahtomedi, Minn.) and Darren Lapic (Jr., New Prague, Minn.) and was Bushey’s team-leading third of the year.

“We knew we were getting a really good player in Jake,” commented Martinson.  “I can’t say we knew that he’d score three goals in his first three games, but he’s played well defensively and has been getting up into the play on offense.  We need goals from everywhere, so his contributions have been extremely important.”

In a last ditch effort, head coach Brett Petersen pulled the goalie to add an extra attacker with just over two minutes left to play. The Pointers put to rest any comeback hopes with Lawrence Cornellier’s second goal of the game at 19:01.

Stevens Point goaltender Brandon Jaeger earned the win after stopping 32-of-33 shots. Erik Johnson suffered the loss after allowing three goals and making 23 saves.

The Gusties recorded 11 shots in each period to finish with a 33-27 advantage in the game. Gustavus went 1-for-4 with five shots on the power paly, while its penalty kill was a perfect 3-or-3 without allowing UW-Stevens Point a single shot.

The Gustavus men’s hockey team will be back on the ice on Saturday night when it closes the weekend with a 7:05 p.m. game against UW-Stout.

“UW-Stout will be a little more physical, so we are going to have to match that in order to tilt the ice,” concluded Martinson.  “We are at our best when we do that. If we want to do well this year, that is going to have to be a part of our game.  Sustaining offensive zone time is a step we need to take and through three games we’ve only seen flashes of it.”

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