Women’s hockey rebounds from loss, splits weekend series in Illinois

After losing to Lake Forest (Ill.) Friday night by a score of 3-2, the UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team beat the team in a second match 5-2 Saturday afternoon in Lake Forest, Ill.

Coach Mike Collins said he thinks his team played equally as well on both Friday and Saturday. Lake Forest’s goaltending was better Friday night than Saturday, he said.

The team faced a challenging lineup due to illness, Collins said. The team only had 13 players on the bench, with four players who didn’t practice all week due to flu-like symptoms. Junior Lauren Havard and freshman Meghan Lorenz played defense instead of their regular forward positions. Collins said the team overcame the injuries.

“They played hard and competed,” he said. “It was a great effort by the entire team.”

During Friday night’s game, the Blugolds were neck and neck with Lake Forest all the way into the third period. Freshman Kristin Faber scored shorthanded in the first period, making her fourth shorthanded goal of the season. Lake Forest answered, ending the period 1-1.

Early in the second period, Lake Forest took the lead. Freshman Christine Knop, assisted by freshmen Shannon Nelson and Kelli Johnson, evened the scored by the end of the period. But the Blugolds weren’t able to recover from a third on a powerplay halfway into the third period, and fell to Lake Forest 3-2.

On Saturday, Faber scored early in the first period. Junior Margaret Campbell also scored, finishing the first period with a 2-0 lead. The second period started with another goal from Campbell. Nelson scored the fourth goal on a powerplay. Lake Forest finally got on the board late in the second period, making the score 4-1. Havard, assisted by Campbell, scored the final goal during a third period powerplay to capture the win.

Collins said Campbell, with two goals and assists on Saturday, played well.

“She was in the right place at the right time and made smart decisions with the puck,” he said.

The two games put the Blugolds at 11-10-0 overall, 8-6-0 in the NCHA and 2-1 against Lake Forest this season. Next weekend, the Blugolds host two games against UW- Superior in Eau Claire. Friday’s game will start at 7 p.m., at Hobbs Ice Arena.

“UW-Superior will be very tough,” Collins said. “It will be a big challenge. Hopefully we’ll get a little healthier and find a way to be competitive.”

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