The Saint Mary’s University’s (SMU) defenseman Callahan Nauss got the final word in a back-and-forth contest against the Bethel University Royals last Saturday. The sophomore’s unassisted overtime goal gave the Cardinals a 3-2 victory.

The Cardinals were the first the light the lamp as forward Bud Winter received a feed from Jack Campion and beat Bethel goaltender Austin Ryman midway through the first. The Royals came out swinging in the second, however, outshooting the Cardinals 12-5 and finally besting SMU goalie A.J. Ruskowski. Late in the second, a Bethel forward hooked SMU’s Brady Lindauer on a breakaway. Lindauer was awarded a penalty shot and buried it for his third goal of the season, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead.

After nine scoreless minutes in the third period, Bethel’s Luke Posner beat Ruskowski to tie the game 2-2. Ryman and Ruskowski each came up with several saves to keep the game tied, and Bethel rang one off the post in the final minute, but neither team could score before regulation came to a close.

In sudden-death overtime, Ruskowski came up with more big saves, and the Cardinals’ second shot found its mark when Nauss nailed the game-winner.

Ruskowski stopped 27 shots and posted a .931 save percentage for the Cardinals. Four Cardinals earned one point each on the night, while Ben Ward led the Royals with one goal and one assist.

The Cardinals are on the road against Saint John’s University on Thursday before hosting a rematch with the Johnnies at SMU Ice Arena in Winona at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday.