Johnson's goal lifts Gustavus Adolphus past UW-River Falls in opening round
ST. PETER, Minn. -- In what was a battle of familiar foes, Gustavus Adolphus came away with a 2-1 win against the UW-River Falls in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Hockey Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Don Roberts Ice Rink. With the win, Gustavus improves to 27-0-1 on the season and advances to the NCAA championship finals set to take place in Superior, Wis., on March 15-16. UW-River Falls concluded its season with a record of 21-7-2.
Gustavus got on the scoreboard first with a goal from Melissa Doyle at the 5:15 mark of the first period to take a 1-0 lead. UW-River Falls had the answer later in the period with a deflection goal off the stick of Judy Daleiden at the 17:41 mark. Daleiden's goal capped the first period scoring and the two teams went to the locker room at the first intermission in a 1-1 tie.
The Gusties scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at the 11:01 mark. Leah Johnson scored her fourth goal of the season to put Gustavus in front 2-1, which is where the score would stay for the remainder of the afternoon as the Gusties advanced to the NCAA semifinals with the win.
In an evenly played game throughout, Gustavus held the slight advantage in shots on goal with a margin of 24-22. Both goaltenders put forth a solid effort on the afternoon. Gustavus's Lindsey Hibbard was rewarded the win after stopping 21 shots and allowing just one goal. Her counterpart, Gillian McDonald, made 22 saves and allowed two goals in the losing effort.