Cardinals Battle For Tie Against Gusties

As if facing a top 5 team in the country wasn’t enough, the Saint Mary’s University Women’s Hockey team was also looking to defeat a Gustavus Adolphus team for just the 7th time in 20 years.  Oh, and one of the final spots for the upcoming MIAC Playoffs was still up for grabs.

The #4 ranked Gusties looked every bit their ranking by scoring a goal within the first 90 seconds of the game.  Gustavus Adolphus Freshman Sydney Henrichs scored her first Collegiate goal just 1:19 into the first period.  After that, the Gusties peppered Cardinal goaltender Ashley Corcoran with the first 8 shots of the game.

However, after the first goal, Corcoran and the Cardinals locked in and clamped down.  Both teams had their chances, but it was Cardinal Senior Jesse Cwik who found the back of the net next.  Cwik took control of the puck at center ice, and sprinted toward Gustie goalie Amanda DiNella on a breakaway,  When DiNella went low, Cwik went high and scored top shelf for her 6th goal of the season.

The second period was a battle for control of the game.  The Gusties had the first chance when Courtney Moser was called for the first penalty of the game a little over a minute into the period.  After a few Corcoran saves, it looked like the Cardinals were on their way to a penalty kill.  With about 6 seconds left in the penalty, Delaney Wolf was called for a trip, which extended the player advantage for 2 more minutes.

SMU was able to kill the remainder of the penalty, and then earned an opportunity of their own.  At 14:56 of the second period, Katy Fuller was called for Interference, giving the Cardinals their first Power Play of the game.  The Cardinals were not able to convert during that penalty, nor 4 minutes later when the Gusties were assessed a penalty for too many players on the ice.

That would be the last time the Cardinals would be on the Power Play.  SMU had to bring the penalty kill units on 2 more times in the Third Period, and were stellar each time.  After a few final chances, time expired and the game went into Overtime.

In the extra session, SMU’s Jamie Henderson was called for a trip, but Ashley Corcoran completed a gem stopping all 8 shots in Overtime to finish with a season-high 42 saves.  SMU was held without a shot in Overtime, and Amanda DiNella stopped 9 shots overall.

The tie gives SMU a critical point in the MIAC standings.  They now have 10 points on the season, to hold on to 6th place in the MIAC.  Normally, the top 5 teams qualify for the playoffs, but with St. Thomas ineligible this season, that means SMU continues to hold on to the final playoff spot in the Conference.

The Cardinals (7-9-2 Overall, 4-5-2 MIAC) will travel to St. Peter to take on the Gusties (12-2-4 Overall, 6-2-3 MIAC) tomorrow to wrap up a home-and-home series.

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