NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Senior Xandi Swedberg scored the St. Olaf College women's hockey team's first goal at St. Olaf Ice Arena, but No. 4/6 UW-River Falls spoiled the Oles' debut in their new home by a 3-1 score on Friday evening.
Alyson Niebur scored on the first-ever shot at St. Olaf Ice Arena to give UW-River Falls (12-2-0) the lead just 1:32 into the game, as the visitors scored the game's first three goals. Swedberg got St. Olaf (0-9-1) on the board for the first time in their new rink, scoring unassisted at 17:16 of the second, but the Falcons held on to claim the first victory at St. Olaf Ice Arena.
Inside the first two minutes of the game, Kora Torkelson sprung Hailey Herdine and Alyson Niebur on a 2-on-1 rush that Niebur finished between the legs of Sam Klemann to put the Falcons on top in the early stages.
The score remained 1-0 until midway through the second period when UW-River Falls grabbed two goals in the space of 3:02 to take a commanding 3-0 lead. At 8:26 of the second, Erica Schramel blasted home a one-timer from the right point on the power play to make it a 2-0 game and Callie Hoff stretched the Falcons' lead to 3-0 a little over three minutes later.
Swedberg opened the Oles' account at their new rink, robbing a UW-River Falls defenseman of the puck at the blue line before beating Tatyana Delaittre up high over the shoulder for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.
In the third period, Swedberg had a chance to bring St. Olaf within a goal with just over 14 minutes remaining on a 2-on-1 with Mary Kate Eiden, but Delaittre made the stop. Two minutes later, Johanna Glaaser had an opportunity on a breakaway up the right side, only for Delaittre to deny her with her shoulder.
Junior Sam Klemann made 38 saves, one shy of her season-high total, for St. Olaf, with 32 of her saves coming over the final two periods. Delaittre picked up the victory with a 17-save night.
The Oles conclude the first weekend at St. Olaf Ice Arena when they host the College of Saint Benedict on Sunday, Jan. 6 at 3 p.m.