Women’s Hockey Falls To Bethel 4-2

Posted on February 20th, 2015 by

Seniors Courtney Boucher, Marissa Brandt, Carolyn Draayer, Leah Johnson and Keri Pickel each participated in their final regular season home game on Friday evening.

SAINT PETER, MINN. – For the first time all season, the Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team lost back-to-back games, as it suffered a 4-2 loss to Bethel University on Friday evening at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The defeat moves Gustavus to 14-2-1 in the MIAC and 18-4-2 overall, while Bethel moves to 8-6-3 in the MIAC and 13-8-3 overall. The Royals’ win also allowed them to clinch the fifth and final position in this season’s MIAC playoffs that begin next weekend.

“From where I was watching, I didn’t think our team seemed ready to play or willing to get things done,” said head coach Mike Carroll. “Bethel did a great job using their speed and quite frankly, made us look slow. I don’t think our team was ready to play and that’s on me, I’m the head coach. I need to figure out a way to get our kids to play up to the ability level they are capable of and we’ll need to be ready to go tomorrow.”

Bethel got the scoring rolling when Caroline Kivisto put the Royals on the board at the 10:57 mark in the first period with her sixth goal of the season to put the visitors up 1-0. However, the Gusties’ Diana Draayer (Fy., Deephaven, Minn.) had the answer less than two minutes later on a breakaway when teammate Kaitlyn Klein (Fy. Plymouth, Minn.) flipped a pass cross-ice just in front of a Royal defender and directly in front of the goal crease to position Draayer perfectly for her goal that soared into the bottom lefthand corner of the net. The goal was Draayer’s fourth of the season, while Klein was credited with her fourth assist. Diana’s sister, Carolyn Draayer (Sr., Deephaven, Minn.) was also credited with an assist on the play, which was her sixth of the year.

Much of the second period went by without a goal, but the Royals’ Kathryn Larson, the MIAC’s leading goal-scorer, changed that when she netted her 17th goal of the year with just 2:01 to play in the middle frame to give Bethel a 2-1 lead going into the final period.

Gustavus caught a break midway through the third period when Bethel’s Jill Larson and Kalie Johnson were whistled for two minute minors at 9:55 and 10:48, respectively. This gave the Gusties a 5-on-3 opportunity and they took advantage when a Carolyn Draayer shot rebounded off Royal goaltender Michelle Klimstra at the right post and Courtney Boucher (Sr., Hastings, Minn.) was able to put it home for her fifth goal of the season and third in the last two games.

But Bethel again had the answer, and the 6’0 Larson used her long strides to speed ahead of the Gustie blue line on a breakaway with 6:56 remaining in the game to score her second goal of the game and give Bethel a permanent lead. Then, with 1:32 to play, Gustavus pulled goalie Lindsey Hibbard (Jr., Princeton, Minn.) to make one last ditch effort to knot the game. However, Larson came up with the puck and scored on a breakaway empty-netter to complete her hat-trick and secure Bethel’s 4-2 victory. Larson’s hat-trick marked the second game in a row an opposing player has had one against the Gusties, as St. Thomas’s Courtney Umland also notched one in the Gusties 3-2 loss to the Tommies last Saturday.

“My main concern right now is that we’ve lost two games in a row,” said Carroll. “We can talk about lack of energy, but really, in the end, if we only play one good period and win the game, I can live with that. We’ve had great practices all week and I don’t know what it is when we get to the games lately. Tonight we played a team that was hungry to make sure they got in the playoffs and we knew that, we talked about that, but I thought Bethel played very well. We’ll have to look at the film, shake some things up and hang with it because tomorrow is a new day.”

Gustavus will play its final regular season game tomorrow afternoon when it travels to Blaine, Minnesota for game two of its series with the Royals. Face-off is set for 2 p.m. at Bethel University Arena (National Sports Center).

As is tradition at Gustavus, the final home game of the regular season was designated as Senior Night and a special tribute was made to the individuals who dedicated themselves to the Gustavus women’s hockey program for the past four years. This year, the Gusties honored Courtney Boucher, Marissa Brandt, Carolyn Draayer, Leah Johnson and Keri Pickel.

“Anytime you get to be a senior and have been on a team for four years, that’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into the commitment of being in a program that, more times than not, is pretty competitive and demanding,” said Carroll. “To balance all of the things that they balance…it’s amazing to me to see how they take the game so seriously and play so hard. They were tremendous leaders for us this year and I know they’re going to be huge for us as we enter the post-season. Win or lose, there are a lot of life lessons in playing this sport and I know our five seniors, no matter how they feel their hockey careers end, will be very successful when they leave here. I’m very proud of every single one of them.”

Bethel 4, Gustavus 2 (Box Score) | Photo Gallery


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