Despite tough Ole defense through most of the first period, the Gusties jumped out to a one-goal lead late in the first period. The Oles rebounded in the second period and again defended the net well, but a late-period Gustavus goal allowed the Gusties to take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission.
St. Olaf forward Lindsey Boeser 08 netted a goal at the five-minute mark in the third period to bring the Oles within one, but a comeback was not to be. The Gusties responded with another goal of their own a mere 35 seconds later to restore their two goal lead. Susannah Brokl 07 earned an assist against the Gusties, and St. Olaf goalie Shannon Herrick 09 made 29 saves in goal.
St. Olafs performance is particularly impressive considering the difficult losses the team suffered to Gustavus earlier this season. The Oles and Gusties met twice in regular season MIAC competition, with the Gusties winning both games 12-2 and 10-0, respectively.
While the Oles are frustrated to exit the playoffs, the team deserves substantial praise for its accomplishments this season. With 17 road games in their 25 game schedule, two first-year goalies, and their third coach in as many years, most MIAC observers wrote off the Oles early in the season.
Despite these challenges and more, the Oles advanced to the MIAC semi-finals, challenging Gustavus for a place in the championship game.
While the Oles will lose five talented seniors to graduation, a strong core of younger players returns next season to build upon this seasons success. Among the notable returning players are Brokl, Lindsay Boeser 08 and Katie Bennett 08, who combined for 99 total points this season.
We dont coach for the short-run, we coach for the long-run, head coach John Bazzachini said. Next years team will be very competivive.