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ISSUE 120 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/10/2006

Winter Preview, Women's Hockey: Eyeing top of standings

By Matthew Stortz
Staff Writer

Friday, November 10, 2006

The St. Olaf women’'s hockey team will look to build on an impressive 2005-2006 season. Last year’'s Oles advanced to the playoff semi-finals, nearly beating a Gustavus team that eventually placed fourth at the NCAA tournament. This accomplishment becomes even more impressive in light of the fact that they only played nine home games in a 27 game schedule last season, and that St. Olaf has fielded a women’'s hockey team for only eight seasons.

Head coach John Bazzachini, interim coach last season, will be the team’s first stable coach in four years. The Oles are confident in Bazzachini, and with consistency at the helm, the team should contend for a MIAC title again.

Susannah Brokl ’'07 returns to the Oles after two all-MIAC seasons at forward. Brokl was the Oles’ leading goal scorer last year, netting fourteen goals along with 16 assists. All-MIAC honoree Lindsey Boeser ’'08 will contribute to the St. Olaf offense as well, after scoring 10 goals and 20 assists last season to share the honor of leading scorer with Brokl. Katie Bennet ’'08, an all-MIAC honorable mention selection last season, is another scoring threat.

The Oles will have a difficult time finding replacements on defense for Lindsay Weier ‘'06 and Melissa Mueller ’'06, who graduated last spring. Tracy Nolan ’'07 and Kelsey Skoglund ’'07 will provide leadership and experience on defense, while several talented first year players should step up as well.

Shannon Herrick ’'09 will return in goal after starting all but one game last season. Herrick won 13 contests and led the Oles to the MIAC semifinals. With one year of experience, and fellow goalie Sarah Mills ’'10 to share duties, Herrick is poised for a breakout year.

Gustavus and St. Thomas will field talented squads yet again, but the Oles are not far behind. Look for St. Olaf to compete with the Gusties and Tommies for their first MIAC title.

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