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ISSUE 120 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/2/2007

Women gain number two seed

By Matthew Stortz
Staff Writer

Friday, March 2, 2007

The St. Olaf women's hockey team swept Bethel in a home-and-home series last weekend to conclude regular season play. With the win the Oles elevate their conference record to 12-5-1.

Friday night's game was a defensive struggle from the beginning, with the Oles and Royals holding each other scoreless through the first period. Laura Wild '08 put St. Olaf on the scoreboard first with a second period power play goal, assisted by Kari McClintick '10 and Jessica Magnuson '09. The Oles extended their lead to two goals when Lindsay Boeser '08 netted her first goal of the night, assisted by McClintick. The goals by Wild and Boeser, scored within three minutes of each other, were the only two scores of the night, as defense prevailed for a scoreless third period and a 2-0 Ole victory.

Goalie Sarah Mills '10 made 25 saves in net for the Oles, posting her first collegiate shutout win.

The Saturday afternoon game began much the same as Friday's match, with only one goal scored in the first two periods. Sophomore Tessa Christensen's goal, assisted by Kayla Hill '10 and Katie Bennett '08, was the lone tally of the night until Wild added to the Ole lead in the third period. McClintick scored an unassisted goal to extend the Ole lead 3-0, and Susannah Brokl '07 added a goal of her own, to make the Ole lead 4-0. Katie Bennett's '08 shorthanded goal, assisted by McClintick, added extra insurance to the Ole lead, making the score 5-0. Bethel scored their only goal of the series late in the third period, but it proved to be too little too late, as the Oles rolled 5-1.

Goalie Sarah Herrick '09 stopped 23 of Bethels' 24 shots on goal for an incredible .958 save percentage.

This season marks the fourth consecutive playoff appearance for the program, the second under head coach John Bazzachini. Moreover, the Oles' second-place regular season finish is the best in team history. Such marks are particularly impressive considering the fact that Bazzachini is the first coach to spend a second season with the team in four seasons.

Now into the postseason and guaranteed at least one home game, the Oles have focused their attention on their semifinals opponent St. Thomas. The Tommies finished just behind the Oles in MIAC play, earning the third seed in the MIAC tournament. The Oles defeated the Tommies twice in a home-and-home series earlier this season, sweeping the perennial MIAC powerhouse. The winner of the Ole-Tommy game will go on to the MIAC title game, where they will face the winner of the Gustavus-Hamline semifinal match.

The Oles and Tommies are set to play this Thursday, March 1 in Northfield. Face-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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