The home-and-home series opened Friday in St. Paul, with the Oles battling to a close 4-3 victory. Katie Bennett 08 drew first blood for the Oles early in the first period, but Bethel responded quickly with a goal of their own to even the score.
Lindsay Weier 06 added a power play goal for the Oles at 9:00 in the first, but Bethel scored shortly thereafter, tying the game 2-2.
Janae Fabini 08 scored the Oles third goal of the evening late in the second period, but Bethel responded less then one minute later, tying the game a mere five seconds before the second intermission.
The game remained in deadlock until Bennett scored her second goal of the evening midway through the third period, giving the Oles to a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.
Shannon Herrick 09 started in goal for the St. Olaf, making 22 saves on the game, including 11 in the third period alone.
The second game in the series, played in Northfield, was as thrilling as the first. Bethel scored minutes into the first period, jumping to an early 1-0 lead. But the Oles responded quickly, as Fabini evened the score with a power play goal one minute before the first intermission.
The game remained deadlocked in a 1-1 tie through the second period and through most of the third period, with each team battling for offensive opportunities.
It was the Oles who laughed last, as Fabini scored her second power play goal of the game with just 40 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Oles to a 2-1 victory.
Bennett and Fabini have emerged this season as offensive leaders, despite their relative collegiate inexperience. Bennett has scored five goals this season, and Fabini has added three. The Oles goals scored total already matches half of their output from all of last season.
Herrick has also provided strong play in goal, earning an impressive .909 save percentage, and posting a record of 4-1-0. Her only loss came against an impressive Stevens Point team, and it seems as though she is well on her way to a fine rookie season.
Though individual accolades are due, praise is warranted to the entire St. Olaf womens hockey team. Each player has played a vital role in the teams success. Additionally, the team is playing for its third coach in as many years, and their 25-game schedule contains a disproportionate 17 road contests. The Oles play St. Thomas this weekend, in St. Paul on Friday and in Northfield on Saturday. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. on both nights.