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ISSUE 119 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/18/2005

Women net first win

By David Henke
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 18, 2005

The St. Olaf women’s hockey team swept their first series with the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire last Friday and Saturday, winning both games 4-2.

Forward Katie Bennett ‘08 kick-started the Oles’ offense in its first win of the 2005-2006 season on Friday. Both of Bennett’s two goals tied the score after Eau Claire took 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first two periods of the match.

The Blugolds opened the game, scoring an even-strength goal in the eighth minute of the first period. Bennett quickly responded, putting the Oles’ on the scoreboard and tying the game 1-1 with a 12th minute goal. Forward Tessa Christensen ‘09 assisted.

Eau Claire tallied their second goal during a power play in the second period of the game. The Oles returned the favor when Bennett, again assisted by Christensen, scored halfway through the 14th minute of the period.

The game-winning goal, scored by Susannah Brokl ‘07 in the second minute of the third period, gave the Oles a 3-2 lead over the Blugolds.

Christensen put the final nail in Eau Claire’s coffin, scoring with 19 seconds left to expand the Ole lead to 4-2.

“They were both fast-paced games, but we played pretty aggressively in their zone. We made them play to our level,” Christensen said.

“It was pretty much a dogfight in the beginning,” Melissa Sailor ’09 said. “We used our speed to our advantage.”

The Oles struck first in their second contest with Eau Claire. Senior forward Kirsten Paulson’s goal in the third minute gave the Oles an early advantage that spurred the team to their second consecutive 4-2 victory over the Blugolds.

Despite trailing 2-1 midway through the second period, the Oles scored three late-game goals in a terrific whirlwind of offensive power.

Defender Jess Magnuson ’09 tied the game 2-2 with a goal late in the seventh minute of the second half, and Bennett and Susannah Brokl ‘07 each contributed a goal apiece.

“People stepped up across the board. The wins were a total team effort,” defender Lindsay Weier ‘06 said. “Everyone just played tough, especially the defense; it was a real battle back there.”

“Our passing was much better in the second game; we were much faster, and we were looking for the sweep,” Christensen added. “We knew that we were faster, and we beat them to every puck,” forward Amy Leach ’09 said.

The 2-1 Oles open MIAC play with two home games against Bethel University next weekend. The two teams will battle on Friday at Columbia Arena in Fridley, Minn. at 7 p.m., before playing at Northfield Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Oles are looking for a second sweep against Bethel, who is ranked beneath them in MIAC standings.

“I’d hope that we’d be able to sweep Bethel,” Brokl said. “They’re a team we should be able to beat.”

Leach agreed. “The last couple of weeks we’ve been stepping it up at practice – improving on all the little things. I think we’ll do twice as well as we did against Eau Claire.”

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