Early in January, the Oles lost both games (2-0, 3-2) of a home-and-home series against the conference leading Tommies of St. Thomas to start the season 4-9-2. All seemed lost and the playoffs were seemingly out of the question. Then everything started clicking.
The Oles swept Augsburg in two closely contested games, pulling out a home victory, 4-3, in overtime before winning 5-4, this time in regulation, two days later on the road. Next, the Oles returned home and salvaged a 2-2 tie against Gustavus. The Oles eked out a victory at Hamline before returning to home ice and laying an 8-0 beating on the Pipers to keep them winless in conference play. Bethel proved no challenge as the Oles cruised to a 5-0 victory over the Royals. The Oles finished the season with two tough games against St. Marys University. The games were so intense that both needed an extra session to be decided. The first game featured a thrilling 3-2 victory to move the Oles within one point of the Cardinals in the standings. The season culminated with a 2-2 tie, as neither team scored in overtime.
When the dust settled, the Oles had moved all the way up to fifth place, one point ahead of Augsburg. However, the Oles were awarded a victory, and the subsequent two points in the standings, as a result of the Feb. 13 Bethel game that was cancelled. This revelation vaulted the Oles into a third place tie with Concordia while keeping them a point above St. Marys and three points ahead of the Auggies. Given that the top five teams make the MIAC playoffs, the Oles are on the verge of capping a remarkable run with an improbable playoff berth.
Unfortunately, the Oles do not control their own destiny. Augsburg has two games remaining against abysmal Saint Benedict. If they sweep that series, they would move ahead of Oles and drop them dangerously close to an extended off-season. St. Marys must win one game of their remaining two games, or tie both, against the conference leading Tommies, who have yet to lose a conference game, in order to eliminate the Oles from the MIAC tournament.
Win, lose, or draw, the Ole women can take pride in all they have accomplished and feel optimistic about whatever lies ahead. The Oles will return all but three players. Senior captains Amanda Chumbley and Sarah Ray and senior forward Anne Whipple will all graduate in the spring. Whether now or next year, the future looks bright for the Ole women.