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Men’s hockey drops regular-season finale

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The St. Olaf men’s hockey team fell twice to Gustavus Adolphus last weekend during its last games of the regular season. The Oles face the Gusties yet again in the first round of the MIAC playoffs tonight.

EBRU YAYLA/MANITOU MESSENGER

St. Olaf defenseman Connor Quinn ’16 covers a Gustavus Adolphus player in the St. Olaf defensive zone on Feb. 16. Quinn had four penalty minutes in the 0-2 loss at Northfield Ice Arena.

On Feb. 15, the Ole men began their series on the road, losing 1-4. David Rath ’16 scored the first goal of the game on assists from Mark Rath ’16 and Nick Marsh ’16, giving the Oles a 1-0 lead over the Gusties in the sixth minute of play. The Gusties were quick to respond, tying up the game later in the period on a goal by Tyler Lapic.

The Gusties went on to score three more goals from Jack Walsh, Andy Pearson and Adam Smyth, leading to their 4-1 victory over the Oles.

The Oles faced the Gusties again the next day, this time cheered on by a full house of enthusiastic fans at the Northfield Ice Arena. The Gusties completed their two-game sweep, winning 2-0 on goals from Walsh and Lapic. The Oles’ offense showed impressive strength, with 34 shots on goal to the Gusties’ 30.

Despite their losses this weekend, the Oles are currently in fifth place in the MIAC, clinching the last spot in the upcoming playoffs. St. Olaf will travel to play fourth-seeded Gustavus yet again in the playoffs tonight. St. Olaf’s record stands at 10-13-2, 9-7 in the MIAC. Meanwhile, Gustavus has a record of 15-7-3, 9-5-2 in the MIAC.

“I think both teams will be ready for the game,” said Jasper Kozak-Miller ’16, team manager. “The league is just so tight, and we have such great goaltending. I think we can definitely do it, and if we can turn it around, we play St. Thomas the next day, who we swept this season, and after that will be the finals.”

This will be St. Olaf’s fifth appearance in the MIAC playoffs in the past six years. Last year, the Gusties defeated the Oles 4-2 in the MIAC title game. All is at stake for both teams, as the intense competition is reinstated once again tonight.

tibaldi@stolaf.edu