Revenge is a Dish Best Served in the National Tournament Posted on March 11th, 2023 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. — Revenge is a dish best served in the NCAA Tournament.

The Gusties and the UW-River Falls Falcons met each other three times this season before their NCAA Tournament matchup. The Falcons won two of the teams’ three games, including the final two of the regular season series. But the Gusties made it count when it mattered most.

Scoring two goals in the opening 12 minutes of the game, the Gusties came out victors over the Falcons by a score of 2-1.

It was the usual suspects for the Gusties once again, as the all-senior Gustavus first-line found the back of the net twice in the opening 20. Emily Olson (Sr., Delano) started the Gusties off strong, coming from behind the net to jam one past UW-River Falls goaltender Sami Miller. And not even six minutes later, it was MIAC Offensive Player of the Year Hailey Holland (Sr., Aberdeen, S.D.) who found the back of the net, taking advantage of a give-and-go play out front for a 2-0 Gustie lead.

The Falcons, determined to break the shutout of Katie McCoy (Sr., Grafton, Wis.) found themselves on the power play 16 minutes into the game. River Falls, who led NCAA DIII in power play percentage, made the most of their opportunity, as Emma Schmitz took a shot at the top of the circle that was tipped past McCoy by first-year Madison Lavergne. The Gusties finished with an edge in shots on goal, putting 13 on Miller to the 11 McCoy faced between the pipes in the first.

After three first period tallies, the goaltenders stole the show for the final two periods, as scoring hit a stalemate for the rest of the game. McCoy made 13 saves between the pipes in the second, including three on a late power play opportunity for the Falcons. Miller stood tall to save the rest of the Gusties’ shots, saving nine in the second and 13 in the third. The Falcons maintained the pressure in the second period, shifting the momentum for relentless pressure in the Gustie defensive zone.

But, the third period was the period of the Gusties, who kept the Falcon offense at bay, including a perfect Gustie penalty kill in the final three minutes of the game. Thanks to the full defensive efforts of the Gustie bench, including a couple of last-minute stops from Brooke Remington (Jr., Scandia) and Tina Press (Sr., Cottage Grove), the Gusties punched their ticket to the Frozen Four for the second straight year.

Olson, Press, and Holland finished with all of the Gusties’ points, as Press assisted both first period goals and Olson and Holland each added their own assist. Katie McCoy was the star of the show, making 31 saves overall between the pipes, while Miller made 33 in her final game for the Falcons.

“I’m proud of my team sticking with it for the win. There were two great teams on the ice going at it, and this is why we coach and play the game, for games like this,” said Head Coach Mike Carroll.

“There were pretty much no surprises on either side. Joe and I talk often about how we can play the toughest non-conference schedule we can so that down the road, we hope that it will make our team better. We peaked at the right time. There were a lot of lessons we learned in our earlier games against them. But again, no surprises going into it, and it was a great hockey game.”

The Gusties will face Plattsburgh in the Frozen Four once again, with Hamilton and Amherst advancing as the other two Final Four teams. The semifinal and championship games will be hosted by the one-seed Amherst.


Comments are closed.