Strong Third Period Propels Women’s Hockey Past No. 7 UW-Stevens Point 3-1

Posted on December 13th, 2014 by

Allison Eder-Zdechlik celebrates her game-tying goal with teammate Erica Power in the Gusties' 3-1 victory over No. 7 UW-Stevens Point.

ST. PETER, MINN. – Playing against its second ranked opponent in less than a week, the Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team was able to make it 2-for-2 against Top 10 teams this week after defeating No. 7 UW-Stevens Point 3-1 on Satruday afternoon at Don Roberts Ice Rink. After the Pointers scored in the game’s first minute, the Gusties scored three third period goals to secure a victory in their final game of 2014. Saturday’s win follows a Gustie victory on Wednesday against No. 6 UW-River Falls and gives Gustavus a record of 3-1-1 against ranked teams this season and an 8-1-2 record overall. The loss puts UW-Stevens Point at 8-3-1 on the season.

“A win like this certainly gives us some confidence moving forward,” said head coach Mike Carroll. “We have a pretty tough schedule, which is the way we plan it since we have control over who we play outside the MIAC. We try to use tough games like this to mold our younger players and give them the experience they need to be successful, especially with the big chunk of MIAC games that will come after the break.”

Fans were still entering the arena when the Pointers’ Meredith Ingbretson flicked a shot from beyond the Gustie blue line that flew past Gustavus goaltender Lindsey Hibbard (Jr., Princeton, Minn.) at the :49 second mark in the first period. The goal was Ingbretson’s first of the season and seemed to temporarily deflate the Gusties.

“We do need to keep working on coming out stronger in the first period so we don’t put ourselves in a hole,” said Carroll. “UW-Stevens Point was playing us very tough, but we started to gain some momentum in the second period and it carried over into the third.”

Following the first intermission, the Gusties brought with them a newfound spark and for a majority of the period were on the offensive. However, it wasn’t until the third period that Gustavus struck gold.

Despite being down 1-0, momentum still seemed to be on the Gusties’ side and with 12:14 remaining in the third period, Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) found herself on a breakaway. Her initial shot was deflected behind the goal, but her momentum following the shot took her to the spot of the puck and she made the most of it by taking a second shot that ricocheted off the back of UW-Stevens Point goalie Janna Beilke-Skoug’s left leg and trickled into the goal to tie the game at 1-1.

“Allison is a great player and we missed her a lot during those games she was absent because of her injury,” said Carroll. “I was concerned when she went down how we were going to get by without her. It’s a credit to the rest of our team who had to step up and play bigger roles when she was gone, but it’s really nice to have her back. She’s been one of our top players since returning and is one of those players that makes her teammates better as well.”

Nine minutes later, with momentum still on the Gusties’ side, Gustavus found themselves on a power play. Emily Reibert (Jr., Inver Grove Heights) received a pass from Lydia Wagner in the left faceoff circle and rifled a shot into the upper lefthand corner of the net to give Gustavus a 2-1 lead with just 2:16 to play.

Following the goal, UW-Stevens Point emptied its net and was able to create a handful of opportunities to tie the game. But the Gustie blue line held strong, and with just :14 seconds to play, Eder-Zdechlik put the icing on the cake when she broke away again and scored an empty net goal to seal a 3-1 victory for Gustavus. The goal was the fourth in the past two games for Eder-Zdechlik who now leads the team in goals with six, despite only playing in seven of the Gusties’ 11 games this season due to an injury.

“We’ve played really well at times and we’ve had some hiccups, but we’ve found a way, especially this last week, to get a couple of big victories against some very good teams,” said Carroll. “Their goalie was playing extremely well, but when we create more opportunities, we’re going to get some rebounds and eventually get some to go like we did today. Especially with us being on our home ice, we wanted to play for our fans and parents and go out of 2014 in style with a win. We found a way again and it was fun to watch.”

Gustavus outshot the Pointers 42-16 in the game, including a 19-3 advantage in the third period. Hibbard recorded the win in goal for Gustavus and is now 7-1-2 on the season after allowing one goal and saving 15 shots on the day. Beilke-Skoug, the nation’s leading netminder in minutes played, took the loss for the Pointers and is now 7-3-1 on the year after allowing three goals and making a season high 39 saves.

The Gusties will now receive a lengthy break from game action and won’t return to the ice until Jan. 9 when they will host No. 8 Adrian College. Faceoff for that game will take place at 5 p.m. at Don Roberts Ice Rink.

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