Women’s Hockey Defeats Bethel 5-2 In Regular Season Finale

Posted on February 21st, 2015 by

Senior Leah Johnson scored her first goal of the season in Saturday's regular season finale at Bethel.

Senior Leah Johnson scored her first goal of the season in Saturday’s regular season finale at Bethel.

BLAINE, MINN. – Following its first back-to-back losses of the season, the Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team was able to rebound in its final regular season game on Saturday, taking down Bethel University 5-2 in a game played at Bethel University Arena. With the win, the Gusties finish their regular season with an MIAC record of 15-2-1 and an overall mark of 19-4-2. Bethel finishes its season at 8-7-3 in the MIAC and 13-9-3 overall.

“We knew going into this game that this was our big opportunity to turn things around and be on the right track for playoffs,” said senior forward Leah Johnson (Chanhassen, Minn.). “I thought we came out with a lot more tenacity than we had the past two games. It was also encouraging to see our team finishing our chances to put some points on the board. After getting ahead, we focused on playing good defense and were able to get the job done.”

Katilyn Klein (Fy., Plymouth, Minn.) got the Gusties off to a good start when she scored the game’s first goal just 3:28 into the first period off assists from fellow first-years Rachel Skoglund (Forest Lake, Minn.) and Erica Power (Lakeville, Minn.). However, the Royals charged back with two first period goals of their own: one from Kalie Johnson at 6:22 and the other from Erin Harper at 8:27 to give Bethel a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.

But Gustavus would not go quietly and it erupted for three second period goals from seniors Carolyn Draayer (Deephaven, Minn.) and Johnson, as well as another from Klein to give Gustavus a comfortable 4-2 lead heading into its final regular season period.

Kaitlyn Klein scored two goals and tallied an assist in Saturday's 5-2 win.

Kaitlyn Klein scored two goals and tallied an assist in Saturday’s 5-2 win.

“I was very excited to get the goal,” said Johnson. “I’m not a big goal scorer, but it was fun being able to get the puck to the net which is what I knew our team needed to do. I know my job is also to play good defense, get pucks deep and win battles so it’s important to contribute in the little things as well. It always feels good to know you contributed to the team’s success by playing your role.”

In that final period, the Gustie blue line and Lindsey Hibbard (Jr., Princeton, Minn.) held, and junior forward Emily Reibert (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) put the frosting on the cake with her eighth goal of the season to give Gustavus a permanent 5-2 lead.

The win puts Hibbard’s final regular season record at 17-3-2. She made 28 saves and allowed just two goals in 60:00 minutes to bring her season save percentage to .941 and goals against average to a paltry 1.20.

Bethel did outshoot Gustavus 30-26, only the fourth time all season the Gusties have had less shots than their opponent.

Gustavus’s next game will come on Saturday, Feb. 28 when it will host the winner of the lone MIAC quarterfinal playoff between Bethel and Saint Mary’s that will take place this Thursday in Winona. Saturday’s face-off time at Don Roberts Ice Rink has not yet been scheduled.

“This win was huge today,” Johnson concluded. “We’ve talked all season about how we want to be playing our best hockey at the end. That time is now so it was encouraging to see everyone step it up today to help reach our goal. This is a very special group and we have high goals set for us as we go into playoff season. We can take this momentum and use it to continue playing every game better then our last.”

Gustavus 5, Bethel 2 (Box Score)

 

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