Bethel Scores Four First Period Goals To Sink Women’s Hockey 6-3

Posted on February 28th, 2015 by

The Gusties will have to wait until March 9 to find out whether they will receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Roisen Granlund '16)

SAINT PETER, MINN. – A three-goal defecit following the opening period proved to be too much for the Gustavus Adolphus women’s hockey team to overcome, as it fell at the hands of Bethel University by a final score of 6-3 on Saturday afternoon at Don Roberts Ice Rink. The loss drops the Gusties to 19-5-2 overall and eliminates the possibility of receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Ranked No. 7 in the nation, Gustavus still has the potential to make the field as an at-large bid, but will have to wait until March 9 for their fate to be announced.

Gustavus actually was the first team to get on the board when first-year Katie Aney (Rochester, Minn.) collected a rebound at the bottom of the right circle, moved into the slot and flicked a shot into the top lefthand corner to give the Gusties an early 1-0 lead just 4:46 into the first period.  Allie Lewis (So., Kearney, Neb.) was credited with an assist on the play.

However, that lead proved to be short-lived and the Royals blew the game open eight minutes later when Lindsay Burman, Lauren Kolak and Kathryn Larson each scored for Bethel between the 12:33 and 13:43 marks to give the Royals a 3-1 lead in less than one minutes time. Then, with time winding down in the first period, Burman put the icing on the cake in a sweet first period for the Royals when she unleashed her second goal of the game with just 17.6 seconds remaining to give Bethel a 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission and fresh wave of momentum to boot.

In the second period, the Royals continued to apply pressure, but Gustavus showed more energy and physicality and was able to keep Bethel out of the net. The Gusties were not able to take advantage of a power play opportunity at 4:53 in the second period, but less than a minute after the Royals had killed the penalty, Katy Fuller (Fy., Rochester, Minn.) sent a beautiful centering pass to Lewis who was able to seamlessly use a slick backhand to put the puck in the upper lefthand corner to cut the Bethel lead to 4-2.

No more scoring would occur until the third period when Kolack put the dagger in Gustavus with her second goal of the game to re-create a three-goal lead for the visitors at 5-2 with 12:28 to play. Gustie head coach Mike Carroll pulled Lindsey Hibbard (Jr., Princeton, Minn.) with 7:45 remaining on the clock, but a Marissa Brandt (Sr., Vadnais Heights, Minn.) tripping penalty forced Hibbard back into the net and the Gusties to play down a player for the next two minutes. Gustavus successfully killed that penalty, which allowed Hibbard to come back to the bench and for Gustavus to build a smidgen of momentum with its extra player. The Gusties saw a glimmer of hope when senior Courtney Boucher (Hastings, Minn.) fired a slap shot from the top of the left circle that bounced off Royal goalkeeper and resulted in a scrum in front of the net. Somewhere within that scrum, Erica Power (Fy., Lakeville, Minn.) was able to find the puck and put it through to bring the home team back within two with 2:56 to play.

But Power’s goal proved to be too little, too late, as Bethel senior captain Kalie Johnson gave the Royals an insurance empty-netter with 34 seconds remaining to give Bethel a permanent 6-3 lead and clinch a spot in next Saturday’s MIAC Championship game.

For just the fifth time all season, Gustavus was outshot by an opponent, as Bethel tallied 37 shots compared to the Gusties’ 29. Gustavus dominated on face-offs, winning 40 of a possible 61, but could not get the breakaway opportunities that its opponent did.

Hibbard suffered the loss for Gustavus after a 31 save effort and saw her record fall to 17-4-2 on the season. Michelle Klimstra earned the win for Bethel, as the first-year goalie turned away 26 shots in a full 60:00 minutes between the pipes.

The Royals will face No. 2 seeded St. Thomas next Saturday in Mendota Heights. The Tommies defeated Concordia 3-2 in Saturday’s other semifinal matchup.

Bethel 6, Gustavus 3 (Box Score)

 

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