PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Wisconsin-Stevens Point only had two shots in the first period against arch-rival Gustavus Adolphus, but as always, it was the quality not the quantity that counted.
The Pointers (21-5-4) triumphed 2-0 over Gustavus (22-5-2) behind a perfect 29-save effort from goalie Amy Statz. Gustavus outshot the Pointers 9-2, 22-6, and 29-13 at each stopping point but trailed 1-0 at each point until surrendering an empty-net goal at the end. Statz became the first goalie ever to record a shutout in the D-III championships.
“I think it is awesome,” Statz said of her achievement. “It was kind of a bonus, we were up 1-0. I just had to shut them down to get the win. I just did my job.”
The Pointers grabbed the 1-0 lead following a Gustavus powerplay at 13:28 of the first period. Katy Lankey and Jackie Drews combined to steal the puck just inside their defensive zone blueline. Drews head-manned the puck to Lankey in the neutral zone, broke clear in alone on Gustavus goalie Kitty Hurley, and rifled a forehand from the top of the slot to beat Hurley high to her stickside.
Gustavus Coach Mike Carroll said: “I’m really proud of our team. I thought we dominated and carried the play that first period. They out muscled us Their goalie did a very, very good job and they cleared the rebounds in front.”
Gustavus outshot Point 13-4 in the second period, but Statz was again the difference. She robbed Andrea Petersen on a power play with a beautiful right pad save on Petersen’s drive from the left point under a screening defenseman, and she came back and made a nifty glove save on Abby Randall’s wrist shot from the left faceoff dot.
Gustavus’ Kitty Hurley made a great save on a breakaway by Truckee just before the end of the period to keep it a one goal game.
Things grew more tense as the third period wound down. Gustavus took a time out at 15:34 of the third when Statz was whistled for a trip, just as Stevens Point was seconds away from killing a penalty.
“I would have been so mad at myself,” Statz said of the possibility of Gustavus scoring on her penalty. “It was called and you deal with it. I just knew for two minutes there was going to be no scoring on me.”
Gustavus kept the pressure on and pulled their goalie with 1:20 left to play. With 42 seconds left, Jamie Lewandowski got the puck to Michelle Sosnowski on the right wing boards, and she flipped the puck from inside her defensive zone blueline into the empty Gustavus net.
The game served as an upbeat ending for two Pointer seniors — Kim Lunneborg and Tracey Truckee.
“We wanted to come out and show we’re the best in the west so everyone worked their butt off the whole game,” said Lunneborg.
“Anytime you can come and beat a rival it is just a great experience,” said Truckee.