The Oles began with an early one-goal lead in the first period on a goal from Jeff Budish 08. John Egges 07 goal at the 12-minute mark increased St. Olafs lead to 2-0.
The Falcons quickly answered with a goal of their own, but Budish restored St. Olafs two-goal lead with his second goal of the game on a power play with only 22 seconds left in the first period. Mitch Mudra 07 added another power play goal early in the second period, elevating the Oles to a 4-1 lead.
The Oles had trouble holding their early lead, however, as River Falls scored four unanswered goals, including two power-play goals and one short-handed goal, acquiring a 5-4 lead over the Oles halfway through the third period. The Oles were able to even the score when Kevin Eidsmo 08 scored with eight minutes left in the game, assisted by Budish. The Ole defense held for the remaining minutes of regulation and through overtime to earn the tie. St. Olaf goaltender Dan Kehler 06 made 28 saves for St. Olaf, including one critical overtime stop.
I thought we played pretty undisciplined hockey in the third period Friday, head coach Sean Goldsworthy said. When you commit four penalties against a high-caliber program like River Falls, they have enough talent on the power play to get back into the game. Once they tied it though I thought we played much better.
The Oles followed their tie against UW-River Falls with a 5-2 win against the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Saturday night in Menomonie, Wis. John Paulson 08 led the Oles in scoring with two goals, with Mudra, Bickel, and Egge adding goals of their own. MacMillan and Nick Stalock 09 each earned two assists, with Budish, Eidsmo, Will Wetterlin 09, Barret Simmons 09 each earning one.
The Oles improved their power-play effort against UW-Stout, allowing no power-play or short-handed goals while scoring two power play goals of their own. Jeff Wilde 06 started at goaltender for St. Olaf, making 27 saves, including four power-play stops.
Saturday we took a step forward by not playing our best but winning convincingly, Goldsworthy said. When you see a 5-2 score in the paper, youd think that we dominated, but we really didnt play all that well.
Goldsworthy was also quick to put his teams success in perspective.
In previous years, taking three out of four points in a weekend would be considered a success, but this year we have higher expectations. This is the most talented team weve ever had, but our work ethic and identity is still to be determined.
With the win, the Oles improved their overall record to 1-0-1 and will play their next game against UW-Superior in Superior, Wisc on Friday night. Face-off is set for 7 p.m.