The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

December 12, 2013

Gusties head into break on hot streak

ST. PETER — The Gustavus Adolphus men’s hockey team is on break now and won’t return to action until Jan. 10. That’s more than a month between games.

Tough time to take a breather — at least for a team that’s on a bit of a roll.

The Gusties are on a seven-game unbeaten streak, going 5-0-2. They have the top scorer in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and their goaltender was just cited by the conference as the week’s best player.

“I’m especially pleased with how we ended the first half as compared to how we started,” coach Brett Petersen told the Gustavus website.

“We’ve seen good progress in the nine weeks we’ve been together, and we look forward to getting healthy over the break and coming back in January, which is a month this team has been historically good in.”

Gustavus sophomore goalie John McLean was named the MIAC’s Men’s Hockey Athlete of the Week for his performance in the Gusties’ five-point weekend against St. Olaf.

The sophomore stopped 22 of 23 shots in Friday’s 3-1 win and made 19 of 21 shots in Saturday’s 2-2 overtime game. He stopped all three Ole shootout attempts to help Gustavus earn an extra point for the MIAC standings.

“Big John had a great weekend and was able to come up with big saves when we needed him to,” Petersen said of the 6-foot-8 McLean, who has an .898 save percentage and a 2.52 goals-against average.

Meanwhile, senior forward Corey Leivermann, a Mankato native who has now been with the Gusties for a year since transferring from Minnesota State, leads the MIAC in scoring with 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 12 games.

Overall, the Gusties are 7-3-2 and 4-1-1 in MIAC play, which puts them in second place. They are not ranked and will play three ranked teams in the second half of the season, including No. 2 Adrian in a nonconference game on Jan. 11.

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