Women’s Hockey Clinches MIAC Regular Season Championship With 5-2 Victory Over St. Thomas

Posted on February 13th, 2015 by

Erica Power tallied three assists in the Gusties' 5-2 win over St. Thomas on Friday.

Erica Power tallied three assists in the Gusties’ 5-2 win over St. Thomas on Friday.

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, MINN. – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team clinched the MIAC regular season championship by taking home a 5-2 win over the University of St. Thomas on Friday evening at St. Thomas Ice Arena. The Gusties notched three first period goals in the win to move to 14-0-1 in the MIAC and 18-2-2 overall. With the loss, St. Thomas falls to 9-2-4 in the MIAC and 10-8-4 overall.

“It’s amazing to clinch the MIAC title,” said senior co-captain Carolyn Draayer. “Being a senior this year and because of how last year went it’s really special to know we’ve got the title and home ice advantage in playoffs in a few weeks. That’s something our team wanted to accomplish this season so we’re excited about it.”

Keri Pickel (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) got Gustavus on the board early when she scored her fifth goal of the season just 2:41 into the first period unassisted to give Gustavus an early 1-0 lead. Just 3:38 later, Lydia Wagner (So., Zumbrota, Minn.) scored on a power play opportunity off assists from Erica Power (Fy., Lakeville, Minn.) and Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Jr., Stillwater, Minn.) to give the Gusties a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game. Power’s assist extended her point streak to five.

However, the Tommies’ Tara Baago, the leading scorer in the MIAC, put St. Thomas back in it when she scored a shorthanded goal  off an assist from teammate Courtney Umland 3:13 minutes after Wagner’s goal to bring the Gustie lead to 2-1. But Draayer would not be outdone and put Gustavus up by two again when she scored a shorthanded goal of her own at the 9:10 mark of the first period off an assist from Power.

“I got an awesome chip up pass from Erica Power on the penalty kill and after that it was a one-on-one between me and one of their players,” Draayer said of her goal. “I faked a slapshot just inside the blueline and she flinched enough for me to make a move to the left and skate around her. Once it was just me and the goalie I did a couple dekes and shot it on the right side of the net.”

Carolyn Draayer scored a shorthanded goal to help Gustavus clinch its 10th MIAC Championship in 11 years.

Carolyn Draayer scored a shorthanded goal to help Gustavus clinch its 10th MIAC Championship in 11 years.

“It was great to see our team have a solid first period,” Draayer added. “It gave us a lot of momentum which is a big thing to have in games against teams like St. Thomas.”

In the second period, Gustavus kept its scoring brigade going when Marissa Brandt (Sr., Vadnais Heights, Minn.) found the net off assists from fellow defenders Courtney Boucher (Sr., Hastings, Minn.) and Laura Johnson (Fy., Chanhassen, Minn.) to put the Gusties up 4-1. Ten minutes later, Katie Aney (Fy. Rochester, Minn.) found the net for Gustavus’s fifth and final goal off assists from Eder-Zdechlik and Power to give the Gusties a 5-1 lead heading into the third period.

St. Thomas’s Hannah Bird gave the Tommies a glimmer of hope when she scored an unassisted goal two minutes into the final frame. But the Gustie blue line played shut down defense for the remainder of the game to secure the 5-2 win and clinch the Gustie’s 10th MIAC title in 11 years and give them home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Lindsey Hibbard (Jr., Princeton, Minn.) earned the win for the Gusties to move her record to 16-2-2 on the year after allowing two goals in 60 minutes and making 24 saves. Taylor Neisen suffered the loss for St. Thomas after allowing four goals in just 23:30 minutes. Paige Kittelson came on in relief of Neisen and allowed one goal in the game’s final 36:30 minutes.

The Gusties will be back on the ice for game two with Tommies tomorrow afternoon when the series concludes in Saint Peter. Face-off is set for 2 p.m. at Don Roberts Ice Rink.

“We know we still have three big regular season games left,” said Draayer. “We’ve got a job to take care of with each of those games so we’re just going to focus on those one at a time and do the best we can with all of them. Tomorrow we’ll need to be ready to battle, and battle hard. I’m sure St. Thomas will give us another great game tomorrow so we’ll need to be ready to move our feet and work hard.”

Gustavus 5, St. Thomas 2 (Box Score) 

 

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