Men’s Hockey Breaks Slump With 4-2 Victory Over Finlandia Posted on January 10th, 2015 by

Conor Deal scored twice to lead the Gustavus men's hockey team to a 4-2 victory over Finlandia on Friday night.

St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team stepped off the ice with a regulation win under its belt for the first time in eight games by defeating Finlandia University 4-2 on Friday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink. Seeking a turnaround and desperate for new life as their non-conference schedule comes to a close this weekend, the Gusties fed off the energy of boisterous student body and capitalized at opportune times en route to the win.

“It’s nice to get back into the win column,” said freshman forward Conor Deal. “We’ve been through a lot of ties and one goal losses so it feels good to get some momentum rolling in the second half of the year.”

Gustavus picks up its first regulation win since Nov. 14 against Concordia improves to 4-5-5 overall. Finlandia drops to 2-11-1 with the loss.

The Gusties kicked off the scoring in the opening period when Conor Deal (Fr., Anchorage, Alaska) redirected a shot from the point through the five hole of Finlandia goaltender Andrew Brownlee at the 11:09 mark.

“It was a whole line effort,” said Deal about his opening goal. “Props to Donny (Tim Donohue) and Schams (Blake Schammel) for getting the puck up top, and a nice job by Docks (Jared Docken) to get it over to Smitty (Sam Smith). Smitty ripped the shot and I was just there to redirect it five hole.”

Nate Paulsen's third period goal was his first of the season and sealed the victory for the Gusties.

Nate Paulsen’s third period goal was his first of the season and sealed the victory for the Gusties.

Gustavus added to its lead at the 2:32 mark of the second period when Nate Paulsen (Sr., La Habra, Calif.) connected with Gavin Tufte (Jr., Blaine, Minn.) who slipped behind the defense and went alone on a breakaway. Tufte moved in on the Finlandia net unchallenged and eventually snapped a wrister past the right-handed glove of Brownlee.

Finlandia was able to stifle the home team’s momentum less than two minutes after the Tufte goal when Travis Armstrong scored to cut the lead to 2-1 at 4:19.

Later in the period, however, Conor Deal swung the momentum back to Gustavus’s bench with his second goal of the game coming at the 15:34 mark. With the puck on his backhand moving up the left wing, Deal sped around one defender, worked his way to the front of the net, and then flipped the puck over the right shoulder of the Lion netminder.

Deal’s second goal was his team-leading sixth of the season. He has now scored two points in the last two games to bring his team-leading point total to 11.

Despite facing a 3-1 deficit and being outshot 31-to-10 heading into the third period, Finlandia refused to go away quietly and scored at 4:42 of the final frame to cut the lead to 3-2.

Gustavus fans didn’t have to wait long for a response, as Nate Paulsen scored less than one minute later at the 5:19 mark to extend the 4-2. In possession behind the Finlandia goal, Tim Donohue (Fr., Bloomington, Minn.) got the puck to Nate Paulsen who was crashing the net unchecked inside the right circle. Paulsen received the pass on his forehand and fired it into a wide open net for his first goal of the season.

“Coach stressed the importance of winning all three periods and I thought we did that tonight,” said Deal about his team’s finish.  “It’s big for us to know that if we are able to put together three full periods of Gustie hockey, we can come out victorious.  The crowd was crazy was tonight and it was great to play in that type of atmosphere again.”

Gustavus finished the game with a 39-to-14 shots advantage. Both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play.

John McLean (Jr., Eagan, Minn.) earned his first win of the season in a complete-game, 12-save effort. Andrew Brownlee suffers the loss after allowing all four goals and making 35 saves.

The Gustavus men’s hockey team will close out non-conference play tomorrow night with a 7:05 p.m. game against the College of St. Scholastica.

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