Women’s Hockey Punches Ticket to NCAA Tourney, Rolls Past Hamline 6-1 for MIAC Playoff Title

Posted on March 5th, 2022 by

photo courtesy of David Faulkner, SPX Sports

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

SAINT PETER, Minn. – For the 15th time in program history, the Gustavus women’s hockey team is going dancing at the NCAA tournament after a decisive 6-1 victory over Hamline in the MIAC playoff championship Saturday at Don Roberts Ice Rink. After winning the MIAC regular season title, the Gusties rolled through the playoffs by outscoring their opponents 16-2 to capture the program’s 13th MIAC playoff championship.

Gustavus (22-3-2) now waits for Sunday night’s selection show to see who, when, and where it will play in the 10-team national tournament. The selection show airs on NCAA.com at 7:30 p.m. CST.

In front of a nearly packed house at Don Roberts Ice Rink, the Gusties didn’t take long to light the lamp. Gustavus found itself on the penalty kill four minutes into the game, but Hailey Holland (Jr., Aberdeen, S.D.) took advantage of a turnover at the Gustie blue line and broke away for an unassisted short-handed goal at the 5:31 mark. Just over a minute later, Molly McHugh’s (Jr., Minnetonka) shot was rebounded to Hannah Gray (Fy., Stillwater) for the put-back goal and the Gusties maintained a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

“Today there was a little more bounce in their step from the get-go,” Head Coach Mike Carroll said of his team. “I had a sense that they were ready to rock and they certainly were. They played really well and I think the great crowd might have gotten them too amped up for a while because we took a couple penalties that we don’t normally take. But it was great to see us slide through that and once we had a couple goal lead we changed our forecheck up and that turned out well.”

Nearly seven minutes into the second period, Hamline’s leading scorer Sophie Rausch broke away and went top shelf for a goal, but it proved to be the only score for the Pipers throughout the game. The Gusties answered less than two minutes later on the power play. Brooke Power (So., Lakeville) scored her MIAC-leading 22nd goal of the season on a one-timer, assisted by Holland and Emily Olson (Jr., Delano). The score remained 3-1 at the second break.

The Gusties went up 4-1 just 1:27 into the third as Kayla Vrieze (Sr., Eagan) fired a shot from high in the slot, which was redirected into the net by Tina Press (Sr., Cottage Grove). Power was also credited with an assist. Olson added an insurance goal at the 8:31 mark with the help of Power. Heather Olinger (Jr., Prior Lake) put the finishing touches on the victory with her first goal of the season on an empty net with 1:07 left in the game.

In a physical game from the beginning that featured nine combined penalties, the Gusties went 2-for-4 on the power play and killed Hamline’s lone power play.

“We’ve been battle tested against physical teams all year and that’s something the players have worked hard on,” Carroll said. “Our girls have done a really good job battling through that and the best way to respond to that is to keep moving your feet, and that’s what they were doing today.”

Katie McCoy (Jr., Grafton, Wis.) earned her 19th win in goal after making 10 saves.

 

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