ST. PETER, Minn. (WCCO) -- Gustavus Adolphus College has a strong hold on first place in the MIAC women's hockey standings -- and a big reason why is a stat that's the best in the nation.
There's been a lot of success on this ice over the years. And this season, the Gusties are second to none in an important category. No one in the country across DI and DIII college women's hockey has more team shutouts than Gustavus.
"It's really cool considering defense is like one of the biggest things we've been working on this year. It's showing that our work is paying off," defenseman Kayla Vrieze said.
At this stage, late in the season, Gustavus' 11-team shutouts leads all of college women's hockey by two.
"We're a good forechecking team, and we spend a lot of time buzzing in the other end, and that makes things just that much more stable back on the D zone," Coach Mike Carroll said.
A good forecheck and strong defense has helped the Gusties hold their opponents to single-digit shots on goal eight times.
"It's super nice. Like, it allows us to be more confident and play the puck more," goalie Katie McCoy said.
Three of the team's shutouts have been split almost equally in half between two goaltenders, indicative of the talented situation Gustavus has in net. Katie McCoy has seven of the shutouts, which is also best for any goalie in America. And freshman Maria Widen also gets plenty of playing time.
"They come to the rink on game day with an opportunity to possibly play, even if they're not starting," Carroll said.
With an undefeated conference record, the recipe is working, on the ice and in the numbers.
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