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ISSUE 121 VOL 12 PUBLISHED 2/29/2008

Women's hockey battles hard in season-ending series loss

By Barrett Kennedy
Sports Editor

Friday, February 29, 2008

The St. Olaf women's hockey team concluded its season Saturday with a 5-2 home loss to second-place St. Thomas. The Tommies jumped out to an early lead, and the Oles found themselves in a three goal deficit before the 10 minute mark of the first period.

Captain Laura Wild '08 got the Oles on the scoreboard with her power-play goal at 17:36 of the first period. Kim '10 and Kari '10 McClintick provided the assists.

Katie Bennett '08 scored her 10th goal of the season with 37 seconds remaining in the first period to draw the women within one. Forward Elizabeth Dunlap '11 notched the assist on Bennett's goal.

However, Meghan Stumpf '11 was called for holding with just seven seconds remaining in the first period. St. Thomas capitalized as the power play advantage carried over into the second period, making the score 4-2.

The Tommies scored again on the power play later in the second, a period riddled with penalties. In all, the teams combined to have 13 power play opportunities. St. Olaf capitalized on one of seven chances while St. Thomas went two of six on the man advantage.

St. Thomas outshot St. Olaf 41-30 in the game, and goaltender Sarah Mills '10 made 36 saves in the season finale.

The women played Thursday night at St. Thomas to open the final regular season series for both schools. The women lost 7-3, but started the game with a strong defensive performance.

Goaltender Corbin Ruiz '11 turned away 16-of-17 first period shots, and the Oles trailed just 1-0 after 20 minutes of hockey.

Scoring erupted in the second period as the teams combined to net seven total goals. St. Thomas opened the period with a pair of goals, but St. Olaf responded by scoring two of their own to draw within one.

Bennett and Stumpf scored goals only two minutes apart, Stumpf's goal coming on the power play advantage. Forwards Katie Iraci '11 and Tessa Christensen '09 provided the assists for both goals. These forwards contributed four of the top six point totals for the Oles this season. However, the Tommies responded by scoring twice in one minute before tacking on another insurance goal with just 20 seconds remaining in the second period. Despite defenseman Heidi Morse's '08 unassisted goal at 5:10 into the third period, the women were unable to mount another comeback.

Erin McNamara '11 replaced Ruiz in net about halfway through the game. The two goaltenders made 17 saves apiece in Thursday's loss.

Saturday marked the final home collegiate game for four St. Olaf seniors: Bennett, Janae Fabini, Morse and Wild.

Wednesday, Bennett was named to the MIAC All-Conference team. Bennett led the Oles in points with 25, tallying 10 goals and 15 assists. Her 82 career points place her fifth in St. Olaf history.

Iraci, Kari and Kim McClintick each received All-MIAC honorable mention recognition. In addition, Iraci was named to the All-MIAC rookie team.

Wild was named a member of the MIAC's All-Sportsmanship squad.

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