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ISSUE 119 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/18/2005

Men fall short on road

By Joel Stjernholm
Staff Writer


Friday, November 18, 2005

Despite high expectations heading into last weekend, the St. Olaf men’s hockey team lost on Friday and Saturday to UW-Superior and St. Scholastica. The pair of defeats drops the team’s record to 1-2-1.

The Oles jumped to an early one-goal lead in their Friday match against Superior when Joel Ihrie ’06 scored early in the first on an assist from Brett Kistner ‘08. However, Superior came back with four unanswered goals, including two in the third period to put the game out of reach. Jeff Wilde ’07 made 23 saves in net for the Oles in the 4-1 loss.

The Oles fell behind early in the first to St. Scholastica on Saturday, but rallied to take a one-goal lead on a pair first-period goals by Dylan Mueller ’09. Mueller was assisted by Andrew Birkholtz ’09 on his first goal and by Mitch Mudra ’07 on his second. With Mueller’s goals, the Oles lead 2-1 at the end of the first period

St. Scholastica scored three unanswered goals in the second period to take the lead, 4-2, before adding an empty netter in the third in the 5-2 victory. Dan Kehler ’06 started in goal for St. Olaf and made 26 saves.

The pair of losses was a bit unexpected for the Oles, who have MIAC title aspirations this season. The team boasts talented offensive players and an active offensive system, which makes their weekend output of just three goals rather surprising.

In each of the past two years, the Oles have slumped in their first few games, only to rebound and compete for the MIAC title later in the season. In 2003-2004, the Oles dipped as low as three games under .500 before making their playoff push and last winter St. Olaf compiled just a 6-6-5 record, yet rebounded to finish third in the conference.

This season, the Oles have been forced to play three of their first four games on the road against difficult non-conference competition. St. Olaf will have a chance to improve their record this weekend against the Bethel Royals. They play a home game against Bethel on Friday night and travel to Fridley, Minn., on Saturday to complete the home-and-home series. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. both nights.





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