Des Plaines, Ill. / Elk Grove
The St. Olaf men's hockey team returned to conference play after the holiday break with a big sweep of Hamline thanks to outstanding defense and particularly good play in the net. Ole junior Steve Papciak (Des Plaines, Ill./Elk Grove) was great in goal in both victories, racking up 50 saves in the two wins with one shutout, just two goals allowed, a .962 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.00. For his performance, Papciak was named the MIAC Men's Hockey Athlete-of-the-Week.
Papciak was outstanding in Friday's 5-0 win with plenty of offensive support as well. The St. Olaf goalie was a wall, stopping all 26 Hamline shots for a shutout victory. He was good again a day later as his team secured the sweep. Papciak faced 26 shots, allowing two goals and making 24 saves in a 4-2 victory. This season, Papciak is 4-6-3 in goal with a 2.50 goals against average and a .912 save percentage. He's made 342 saves in 790:35 minutes of ice time.
Thanks to the MIAC sweep, St. Olaf improved to 5-9-3 overall and reached .500 in conference play at 3-3-2. With 11 points, the Oles are currently in fourth place in the conference standings. Papciak and his teammates hope to keep the win streak alive this weekend with a big series against Bethel. Friday's game will be on the Royals' home ice at 7 p.m., and Saturday the Oles host Bethel at 7:30 p.m.