ST. PAUL, Minn. - After getting shut out Friday evening by defending Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) champion Gustavus Adoplhus College, the St. Catherine University hockey team hoped it could find a way to capitalize on scoring opportunities and slow down the Gustie offense to come away with an upset victory. Despite hanging even with the Gusties in the first period, the Wildcats couldn't overcome a three-goal second period by their opponent in falling 3-1 Saturday afternoon at Drake Arena in St. Paul.
"For not coming away with any points (in the MIAC standings) this weekend, I thought we played pretty well," said Head Coach Brad Marshall. "I liked our effort in the third period of boths games. We just need to put it together for a longer stretch. We'll clean up some stuff this week at practice and be better next weekend."
For the second-straight game, the Wildcats had seven power play opportunities and failed to convert on any of them, but managed to hold the Gusties scoreless in shorthanded situations five times. In the first period, the Wildcats appeared to play with Gusties stride for stride with shots just one different at 8-7 in favor of Gustavus.
But in the second period, the Gusties held the Wildcats to just one shot on goal and capitalized three times on scoring opportunities to take a 3-0 lead into the third period. However, the Wildcats managed to cut the Gustie lead to 3-1 when Jordan Solheim (Thief River Falls, Minn.) scored her sixth goal of the season on a pass from Randi Fabsits(Tinley Park, Ill.) at the 14:11 mark. It wasn't enough though as the Gusties improved to 12-2 in the MIAC and the Wildcats hold steady in fifth place at 7-6-1 on the season.
Alex Hall (Burnsville, Minn.) made several critical saves in the first 20 minutes to keep the game scoreless through one. She finshed the game with 29 saves in net for the WIldcats. Solheim's goal moves her into a tie for third on the team in points (7). Fabsits' assist was her fourth of the season and fifth point.
The Wildcats return to action next weekend in a crucial MIAC matchup with postseason implications as they face St. Olaf College for a two-game series. Game one will find the Wildcats at home at Drake on Friday night at 7 p.m., before heading to Northfield, Minn., for a 2 p.m. game Saturday afternoon.