Gustavus Adolphus (19-10-0) needed overtime to continue their unlikely season for one more game. Patrick Dynan scored at 6:31 of the extra period to beat UW-Stout (23-6-2), 3-2. The Gusties will be playing in their first Division III national championship, facing off against Neumann.
“That to me was kind of a capsule of our season,” Gustavus coach Brett Petersen said. “Just a tremendous team effort. We lost our starting goaltender due to an injury. Josh steps in, in a tough, tough position, and handles it admirably and then some. I thought that we got stronger as the game went on. I’m awfully proud of our guys.”
Starting goalie Matthew Lopes played the first two periods, making 18 saves. However, he suffered an injury near the end of the second period after Stout tied the game at one. He stayed in the game, but was replaced at the start of the third period by Josh Swartout.
“I was extremely nervous when coach told me I was going in,” Swartout said. “In a game like this, you have to be really hurt to take a bow out and let the guy backing you up come into the game. Lopes is a tremendous goalie. He had faith in me to be able to hold the job.”
Swartout let up the tying goal with 5:36 left in the game, but held on to finish with 14 saves and get the win.
A win, thanks to Patrick Dynan’s goal. A quick transition at center ice sent the play going from the Stout zone back into the Blue Devils zone while the defensemen were making a change. Casey Dynan sent a bank pass off the left boards to his younger brother. Patrick in turn took the shot just as a defender came up to poke the check away, causing Matt Koenig to be confused.
“Earlier I came down, and I fired a slap shot about five feet wide, and it came out of the zone,” Patrick Dynan said. “All I could think about was Coach Petersen yelling, ‘Hit the net!’ I was lucky to get another opportunity. Casey made a nice bank pass off the boards. I came down, and all I was thinking was get this on net. I was going short side, and it went off the defenseman’s stick, and the puck had eyes.”
“The guy came down the side boards and it happened he took the shot at the same time our defenseman went to poke it away,” Koenig said. “It was hard to read coming off the stick. I probably didn’t have the best angle on it either.”
“A Wakefield knuckler,” Patrick Dynan said, referring to the Boston Red Sox crafty hurler.
“I was just saying to myself it would be nice if we force him to make a save,” Petersen said. “There is no bad play in overtime if you hit the net because you never know. If you don’t shoot, you don’t have a chance.”
“Disappointed and very proud,” Stout coach Terry Watkins said about the loss. “It’s been a great season. Obviously, only one team gets to go on. We were hoping it would be us. It was a huge step for our programs. I couldn’t be more proud of what our kids accomplished this year. I was very pleased we were given an opportunity to be a part of this.”
The first period may have been scoreless, but not for lack of trying. Stout’s Joel Gaulrapp made a nice spin-a-rama move to get open down low. After shooting, Gaulrapp celebrated a goal, but the goaltender had it covered just before going over the line.
Gustavus had a golden opportunity when a shot off a scramble seemingly was headed for an open net. However, Koenig kicked his leg out just in time to stop it. On the ensuring rush for the loose puck, Gustavus knocked the put in with a hand, and thus it did not count.
Both teams continued to take penalty after penalty in the second period, finally allowing the red light to turn on with three power-play scores.
The Gusties struck first at 5:32, thanks to the Dynan brothers’ line. Patrick converted down low through the five-hole with Rory and Casey getting the assists.
Six minutes later, Stout tied the game. Gaulrapp picked up a rebound off a shot by Scott Motz to the left of Lopes. Gaulrapp skated across the crease and put a backhander past Lopes, who was unable to keep up with the side to side movement.
Lopes was injured on the play and remained on the ice for awhile. He stayed in the game, but only for the rest of the period.
Gustavus came right back three minutes later. Mitch Carlson’s shot from the top of the right faceoff circle was stopped by Koenig. Eric Bigham was parked at the right post, picked up the rebound, and flipped it into the near upper corner for the go-ahead goal.
At the start of the third, Josh Swartout replaced Lopes. His teammates nearly gave him the all important two-goal lead when Rory Dynan had a wide open point blank shot in the slot area. Koenig came up with a big kick save.
The third period settled down quite a bit, with only two penalties, after 15 were called in the first two. Both goaltenders came up big, keeping their respective teams in the game.
“The kid made a fantastic save on James Leathers, and so often in our sport that happens,” Petersen said. “You see a big save on one end and boom, the other team goes down and scores.”
Which is exactly what happened, as Stout finally got the tying goal with 5:36 left in regulation on the first even-strength goal of the game. Scott Motz let go of a slap shot just below the right point that beat Swartout near side.
“I can honestly say I was more confident when we were tied than when we were up,” Swartout said. “It was a great goal, a great tip-in. After that it was, ‘Let’s go play some hockey.'”
The pressure was ratcheted up in the final minutes, as both teams looked to avoid a fourth period. However, the goalies were equal to the task, culminating with a Swartout glove save on a high shot with 12.4 seconds left. Thus, to overtime they went, where Patrick’s Dynan got the winner to continue Gustavus’ wild season.