No one could have predicted the magical playoff run St. Olaf made last season. In their final regular-season games of the year, the Oles tied Hamline, then, were swept by St. Mary’s before heading into the playoffs. Obviously, it didn’t matter much to St. Olaf as it made it all the way to the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
This season, the Oles will be without their top goaltender from a year ago, Dan Kehler. Kehler was a modest 8-7-3 last season with a 2.64 GAA and .902 save percentage. His likely replacement will be senior Jeff Wilde who was 4-3-2 a year ago with a 2.40 GAA, a .914 save percentage and a pair of shutouts.
Also departed is St. Olaf’s leading scorer Ted Bickel (9-11-20) but the Oles do return senior wingers John Egge (9-9-18) and Kyle Hilmershausen (6-12-18) and sophomore winger Dylan Mueller, the Oles’ leading goal-scorer last season (11-5-16).
Defense will be the key for St. Olaf. Last season the Oles were third in the MIAC, giving up an average of 2.50 goals per game in conference play while killing of a league-leading 88.8 percent of penalties.