ST. PAUL, Minn. – With its 3-2 home win against No. 5 St. Olaf, fourth-seeded Gustavus Adolphus won and advanced to compete in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Men’s Hockey Playoffs semifinal pairings.
In a rematch of the 2011-12 Playoff title game, Gustavus (16-7-3) leapt out to a big lead and held on for its third win against St. Olaf (10-14-2) in eight days. With the win, the Gusties will continue their defense of the MIAC’s postseason title on Saturday when they travel to Mendota Heights to take on top-seeded St. Thomas (13-10-2).
Gustavus used a tremendous six-minute flurry to seemingly take control of the game. Tyler Lapic scored with 4:47 left in the first period to give the home team a 1-0 lead. Jack Walsh and Nate Paulsen assisted on the opening goal. Andrew Peterson lit the lamp again for the Gusties just 3:30 later to make it a two-goal lead with Blake Schammel and Zach May assisting. May got in on the act just 1:05 into the second period on an assist from Brenden Baker to push the Gustavus lead to 3-0.
However, St. Olaf wasn’t ready to concede a trip to the semifinals quite yet. Just 2:13 after May’s goal, Joel Lundstrom got the Oles on the board with an assist from David Rath. With less than four minutes left in the second period, St. Olaf made it a one-goal game when Dan Ceka scored off assists from Peter Lindblad and Dylan Porter, and the two teams went into the second intermission locked in a 3-2 battle.
The Oles had a chance to tie things up when Gustavus was whistled for a two-minute slashing minor 10:44 into the final period, but both defenses were stout and the goaltenders kept the opposition off the scoreboard during the final 20 minutes. May had the match’s only two-point game to lead Gustavus to victory, and Tyler Venne stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced to earn the win in net.
Henrik Wood made 37 saves for St. Olaf and allowed three goals to take the loss. Gustavus outshot the Oles 40-31, including a 25-3 shot advantage it built in the first period.