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ISSUE 121 VOL 7 PUBLISHED 11/9/2007

Men's hockey scores split in first weekend

By Barrett Kennedy
Sports Editor

Friday, November 9, 2007

After nearly two full months of practice, the St. Olaf men's hockey team finally embarked on its regular-season schedule. The Oles traveled to De Pere, Wisc. Friday to face second-ranked St. Norbert College. Despite being heavily out shot 44-19, the scoreboard reflected a much closer game. However, by the end of the night, the Oles lost 4-3 to the Green Knights, a team that was one of the NCAA's Division III Frozen Four participants a season ago.

St. Olaf raced out to a quick 1-0 lead on senior captain Andy Ockuly's first goal of the season at the 2:06 mark of the first period. Dylan Mueller '09 and Barret Simons '09 tallied their first points of the year, both assisting on Ockuly's goal.

The St. Norbert power play unit capitalized on its second opportunity of the night to even the score at 1-1 before the first intermission. In the second period, the Green Knights then scored back-to-back goals before Nick Stalock's '09 goal drew the Oles back to within one. Roger Trousdale '09 and net minder Brycen Eberwein '10 provided the assists.

Down 4-2 with a minute remaining, the Oles pulled Eberwein for an extra attacker. Ockuly then scored his second goal of the night with just 16 seconds remaining in the game. Eberwein made 40 saves in the loss, totaling a .909 save percentage.

Despite playing in a hard fought game the night before and traveling nearly 175 miles to Illinois, the Oles mustered enough energy to go out Saturday night and trounce Lake Forest College 4-0.

Goaltender Jake Busch '09 stopped all 26 Lake Forest shots to make his first career collegiate victory a shutout. At the other end of the rink, St. Olaf scored all four goals at even-strength, with Stalock netting his second goal in as many nights to start the Oles' offense. Dylan Mueller '09, an All-MIAC selection last season after leading the Oles in scoring, scored four and a half minutes later to put the Oles up 2-0 in the first period.

St. Olaf boasted more potent offense early in the second period. Sam Windsor '09 and Matt LaBombard '10 scored less than three minutes apart, putting the Oles up 4-0 before the halfway mark of the game. Windsor also later added an assist on LaBombard's goal, and sophomore defensemen David Adams contributed two assists of his own in the win.

The men notched 31 of their game-total 34 shots in the first two periods before mustering only three shots in the third period.

In the first two games, St. Olaf has successfully killed off 10 of 11 penalties, including first-year Matt Cosgriff's five-minute checking from behind major penalty late in the first period Saturday night. Contrarily, the power play has converted only one of nine opportunities, but the Oles have managed to score goals at even strength so far.

The opening weekend split in another non-conference start to the season puts the Oles ahead of last season when the men started 0-5.

St. Olaf travels to Buffalo, Minn. Friday to play UW-Stout in another, although unique, non-conference game. The game doubles as a fundraiser for the Buffalo Youth Hockey Association. The game is a unique chance for Michael MacMillan '08 and Roger Trousdale '09 to return to their high school alma-mater and play in their old rink.

Saturday marks the home-opener for the Oles as they host third-ranked and currently undefeated UW-River Falls at the Northfield Ice Arena. Both games are set for 7 p.m.

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