Women’s hockey lets lead slip away
After snapping a six-game losing streak Friday night, the women’s hockey team had to settle for a series split with Lake Forest College (Ill.) after surrendering an early three-goal lead during Saturday’s game at Hobbs Ice Arena.
Two first-period goals from sophomore left wing Sara Keiffer and a pair of quick second-period goals from freshman right wing Kristi Hawkinson helped the Blugolds establish a 4-1 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the second period.
Lake Forest (6-13-1, 2-12-0) responded with two goals before sophomore right wing Lindsey Siesennop scored at the 17:20 mark to put the Blugolds up 5-3 heading into the third period.
Hurt by turnovers and penalties, Eau Claire lost its momentum again. The Foresters scored a power-play goal at the 6:31 mark, then tied the game with 1:12 remaining in regulation.
Lake Forest scored the game winner with 1:14 left in the extra set, leaving the Blugolds and coach Mike Collins stunned.
“We made a lot of mistakes and they all came back to bite us,” Collins said.
Sophomore left wing Sarah Zollars, who assisted Siesennop’s goal, said the Blugolds had ample opportunity to put Lake Forest away.
“We had a couple of chances and we just didn’t put it away,” Zollars said. “(Lake Forest) capitalized on the chances they got.”
Friday night, in their first home game since Dec. 15, the ‘Golds scored four unanswered goals, two from freshman defender Sarah Sharkey, to earn a 5-3 victory.
Eau Claire won two of four games in its season series with Lake Forest.
The Blugolds are two points ahead of the Foresters in a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the NCHA. Both teams have two conference games remaining on their schedules.