ST. PETER, Minn. — Gustavus Adolphus came from behind to earn a 1-1 overtime tie with St. Mary’s, and that was all the Gusties needed to claim the MIAC title and an automatic berth to the AWCHA Division III national championship next Friday and Saturday in Rochester, N.Y.
In a well-played game, Gustavus and St. Mary’s battled very evenly for 65 minutes of action as the game lived up to its championship status.
In the end, Gustavus claimed the series win after picking up a 4-2 win on Friday night and a 1-1 tie on Saturday. Had St. Mary’s won the game on Saturday, the two teams would have played a 15-minute mini-game to determine the playoff champion.
After battling through a scoreless first period, St. Mary’s took a 1-0 lead when Emily Kearns stuffed in a wrap-around goal at 11:48 of the second period. Tasa Kostel and Missy Westergren were credited with assists on the goal.
St. Mary’s held on to its 1-0 lead until the third period, when Kirsten Olson deflected in a blast from Becca Levine for a power-play goal at 12:35.
Both teams would have several good opportunities in the final half of the period; however, neither could convert and the score was 1-1 at the end of regulation play.
The overtime was played defensively by the Gusties, who knew they could win the series with a tie. As a result, shots were at a premium with St. Mary’s taking two, while the Gusties managed one. The Cardinals pulled their goaltender with :57 remaining, but that did not lead to a shot on goal.
Gustavus outshot St. Mary’s 34-19 in the contest. Gustie netminder Molly O’Donnell turned away 18 shots and picked up the win for Gustavus, while Cardinal goaltender Missy Meemken recorded 33 saves and suffered the defeat.
Gustavus improves to 22-5-1, while St. Mary’s moves to 21-6-1.