Women’s Hockey Takes 4-1 Win Over St. Olaf In Home Opener

Posted on November 6th, 2015 by

Erica Power tallied her second assist of the year in Friday's 4-1 win over St. Olaf. (Photo courtesy of SPX Sports)

Gustavus 4, St. Olaf 1 (Box)

SAINT PETER, Minn. – Coming off a short week of preparation, the Gustavus Adolphus College women’s hockey team showed little rust in its home opener on Friday evening at Don Roberts Ice Rink, coming away with a 4-1 non-conference victory over St. Olaf College. The win is the first of the year for the Gusties who now hold a record of 1-0-1, while the Oles drop to 0-3-0 in the young season.

The Gusties got out of the gates early, as Katy Fuller (Minneapolis, Minn.) was able to take advantage of a scrum in front of the net and put home a rebound just 8:08 into the first period off assists from Courtney Bethune (Jr., Fort Frances, Ontario) and Emily Gustafson (Jr., Esko, Minn.).

However, the Oles picked up their play following the Gustie goal, and for the final half of the first period, dominated possession and turned that time with the puck into a score at the 11:13 mark off a goal from Lainie Baldwin, with assists going to Karma Knutson and Sara Lind.

“I think we came out with all the right intentions of hustling and playing hard,” said Coach Mike Carroll. “We have so many young players and I think the excitement of the home opener gave us a few jitters that caused us to be all over the place and loose with rink awareness and systems late in that first period. We had to have a visit between the first and second periods, but as the game went on, our kids really started to get in sync with each other and their lines, and we saw some really good things as the game went on. That being said, we have a lot of work to do … we have a young team and we’re going to need to be patient with them, but it was a great sign to see that we progressively got better as the game went on.”

Georgia Eger scored her first collegiate goal during a 5-on-3 opportunity and gave the Gusties a 3-1 advantage in the second period.

Georgia Eger scored her first collegiate goal during a 5-on-3 opportunity and gave the Gusties a 3-1 advantage in the second period.

Following the first period, the game was dominated almost primarily by Gustavus, with the Black and Gold coming out with noticeably more energy and better footwork in the second period. They were rewarded quickly, as Diana Draayer (So., Deephaven, Minn.) scored her first goal of the year just 43 seconds in off an assist from Erica Power (So., Lakeville, Minn.) to give the Gusties a 2-1 lead. Then, at the 7:15 mark, Gustavus found itself in a 5-on-3 opportunity and took advantage, as Allison Eder-Zdechlik (Sr., Stillwater, Minn.) fired a shot on goal that Ole goalie Cassie Alexander knocked down, but could not glove. First-year Georgia Eger (Stillwater, Minn.) found herself in the right place at the right time on the right post and was able to score on the rebound effort to give Gustavus a 3-1 advantage heading into the third period.

The Gusties also made a switch between the pipes following the first period, as they replaced senior captain Lindsey Hibbard (Princeton, Minn.) with rookie Amanda DiNella (Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.). DiNella was tested early and often by a pesky St. Olaf offense, but held her ground and finished the game with eight saves, including two stops on Ole breakaways, in 33:17. Paige Press (Fy., Cottage Grove, Minn.) also saw ice-time for Gustavus, as she made a save in 6:43 played.

“We’ve got all the confidence in the world in our goalies this year,” said Carroll. “Our situation in the net is much improved and we went in tonight wanting to play all three goalies and fortunately it worked out that we were able to do that. Lindsey has been solid for a long time and we expect her to have another great year, but it’s important to begin developing our youth as well. All three have been working hard and put forth great efforts tonight, especially Amanda. She’s great on the breakaway, so we were confident in her when she was put in those situations tonight that she’d come through for us and she did.”

In the third period, Eder-Zdechlik was able to cap off the Gustie’s offensive output with an unassisted breakaway goal to put the score at 4-1 in favor of the home team.

Gustavus outshot St. Olaf 36-25 and held a 43-19 advantage in the faceoff count. DiNella was awarded the win between the pipes in her first collegiate action, while Alexander suffered the loss for the Oles, after playing the full 60 minutes, allowing four goals, and making 32 saves.

The Gusties will have a full week to prepare for its next competition, which will be their first conference series of the season against the University of St. Thomas next Friday and Saturday. The Tommies have won the MIAC Playoff Championship the past two seasons and are currently ranked No. 4 in the USCHO.com poll that was last released Nov. 2.

“St. Thomas is a really good team that’s advanced pretty far the past few years, so we’re excited to get that type of competition early,” said Carroll. “We’ve played them later in the season the past few years, but the situation is the same for both teams. They have quite a bit of youth this year as well, so we’ll just be looking to try and play well, keep improving, and keep in mind that it’s a long season and that this just happens to be our next opponent.”

 

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