ST. PETER, Minn. — Gustavus Adolphus jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on for 4-2 win over St. Mary’s in the first game of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship series at Lund Ice Arena.
Gustavus jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Kirsten Olson beat Cardinal netminder Missy Meemken on the glove side with a quick wrist shot at 13:06. Sarah Moe increased the lead to 2-0 just two minutes later when she knocked in a rebound off Meemken’s pads at 15:23 of the first period.
The Gusties carried a 2-0 lead into the second period and quickly made the score 3-0 when Kenzie Stensland lifted the puck into the upper part of the net just :19 into the period. Two minutes later the Gusties’ Nicole Guimond scored a power-play goal at 2:01 to push the lead to 4-0.
St. Mary’s cut the lead to 4-1 on a goal by Kelly O’Neil at 8:34 of the second period. O’Neil beat Gustavus netminder Molly O’Donnell on the stick side in the upper corner. The Cardinals continued their comeback with their second goal at 16:43 of the second period as Missy Westergren beat O’Donnell on the stick side again. The second period ended with Gustavus leading 4-2.
Gustavus outshot St. Mary’s 13-7 in the third period, but the Cardinals let a critical power-play opportunity slip away late in the third (13:07) when Gustavus was whistled for two checking penalties simultaneously.
St. Mary’s got off five shots during the two-minute, two-player advantage; however, the Gusties weathered the storm and maintained the two-goal lead.
For the game, Gustavus outshot the Cardinals 42-23. The Gusties’ Molly O’Donnell turned away 21 shots to pick up the win in the nets, while Missy Meemken recorded 38 saves for the Cardinals and suffered the defeat.
St. Mary’s was assessed five penalties for 10 minutes, while Gustavus was whistled for four penalties for eight minutes. The Gusties were 1-for-5 on the power play while the Cardinals were 0-for-3.
The two teams will play the second game of the series Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Gustavus needs a win or a tie on Saturday to win the series, while St. Mary’s needs to win the second game and then win the 15-minute mini-game which would immediately follow.