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ISSUE 121 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/7/2007

Lackluster performance, late penalties chill weekend

By Barrett Kennedy
Sports Editor

Friday, December 7, 2007

Jack Frost granted the St. Olaf men's hockey team an extra night to refocus after Friday's 6-2 loss to St. John's University. Blizzard weather postponed Saturday's rematch in St. Cloud, Minn. to Sunday. The men managed a 3-3 tie Sunday, salvaging a point in an early but pivotal series in the MIAC conference.

The men utilized the vast offensive zone on the power play when Nick Stalock '09 scored the first goal of the game at 14:31 of the first period. Stalock, still on a goal-a-game pace for the Oles, was set up by John Paulson '08 and Mike MacMillan '08. St. John's drew the game even just moments before the first intermission, scoring at the 19:59 mark.

St. Olaf rebounded quickly in the second period as Jeff Budish '08 scored his third goal of the season at 5:38 into the period. Dylan Mueller '09 and Matt Cosgriff '11 provided the assists on Budish's goal.

Later in the second period, Bryan Osmondson '10 tallied his second goal of the weekend after sniping a water-bottle shot from the left face-off circle. Sophomore center Matt LaBombard notched an assist on Osmondson's goal, and St. Olaf enjoyed a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.

"Third period penalties were the difference," Brett Kistner '08 said. "We gave St. John's the game on three third period penalties." The Johnnies posted two power play goals in the final 20 minutes to tie the game 3-3. St. John's out shot St. Olaf 23-6 in the final frame, and 50-22 for the game. Goaltender Jake Busch '09 made 47 saves to even his season record at 1-1-1. The tie salvaged a point on the weekend and preserved the Oles' second place standing in the conference.

Before the snowfall, the Oles struggled against the Johnnies at home Friday, losing 6-2 despite jumping out to a quick start. Barret Simons '09 scored his third goal of the year just 1:15 after the opening faceoff. Stalock assisted on the goal and currently leads the men in scoring with nine goals and five assists through nine games.

However, a Johnnies strike 7 1/2 minutes later sparked a rally of six unanswered goals. Five of the goals were scored at even strength, the other coming on a St. John's power play.

Osmondson scored his first goal of the season at 12:48 of the third period, assists going to LaBombard and Ben Umhoefer '10. Sunday registered Umhoefer's first game back in the lineup after suffering a preseason shoulder injury. Umhoefer, who led St. Olaf first-years in scoring a season ago, played in his first weekend series of the 2007-08 campaign.

Shots on net were nearly even in the game, with the Johnnies out shooting the Oles 34-32. Brycen Eberwein '10 made 28 saves in net for the Oles.

Friday's loss ended St. Olaf's five-game winning streak against St. John's, dating back two seasons.

This weekend the Oles play Gustavus twice. Friday the team travels to St. Peter, Minn. while Saturday's game is at the Northfield Ice Arena. The puck drops at 8 p.m. both nights.

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