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ISSUE 119 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 3/3/2006

Oles advance with win over Cardinals

By Joel Stjernholm
Staff Writer

Friday, March 3, 2006

The St. Olaf women’s hockey team defeated St. Mary’s 4-2 in opening round MIAC playoff action Tuesday night at the Northfield Ice Arena.

St. Mary’s scored early in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The Oles struck back quickly in the second when Lindsey Weier ’06 netted a power play goal, evening the score at 1-1. Katie Bennett ’08 and Lindsey Boeser ’08 added two more goals for the Oles later in the period, with Boeser’s goal coming a mere 24 seconds after Bennett’s. The Cardinals challenged St. Olaf’s two-goal lead late in the third period, scoring a goal with one minute remaining. However, the upset was not to be; Susannah Brokl ’08 scored an empty-net goal to put the game out of reach. Goalie Shannon Herrick ’09 recorded 29 saves for the game.

With their playoff success, the Oles have earned an opportunity to play Gustavus in St. Peter this Thursday. The Gusties and Oles are certainly not strangers. Sarah Moe, head coach at Gustavus, held the top coaching position at St. Olaf last season.

Additionally, the teams played twice earlier this season, as the Gusties defeated St. Olaf 12-2 and 10-0. Despite the lopsided regular season games, the Oles are confident that they can challenge Gustavus on Thursday.

“They are great shooters, and earlier this season we let them take too many shots on net,” Emilie Midtling ’08 said. “We want to score a couple times early in the game to pick up the lead. Then we have to hold on and play great defense. We can beat them.”

While their recent playoff success proves that the Oles belong in the postseason, the St. Olaf women’s hockey team needed a sweep of St. Catherine in a home-and-home series last weekend to secure the fourth seed in the MIAC playoffs.

The Oles made quick work of St. Kate’s in their Friday night game. After jumping out to a 1-0 lead on Brokl’s first period goal, the Oles scored four goals in the second period and two goals in the third, amassing seven goals on the evening.

Brokl, Bennett and Boeser each scored two goals, with teammate Janae Fabini ’08 adding a goal of her own. Goalie Shannon Herrick ’09 made 17 saves in the contest.

In addition to her two goals, Brokl recorded two assists, breaking the St. Olaf women’s hockey single-season point record. Brokl has recorded an even 18 goals and 18 assists this season for 36 total points. Bennett is the Oles’ second leading scorer with 33 total points.

Despite their Friday night blowout victory, the Oles did not ease up for their Saturday rematch against St. Mary’s. Bennett scored two shorthanded goals as St. Olaf skated easily to a 5-1 victory.

The team’s success this season is particularly impressive considering the myriad challenges the team has confronted. With only nine juniors and seniors, the team relies heavily upon standout first-year and sophomore players. Head coach John Bazzachini is also the team’s third coach in as many years.

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