Men’s hockey goes winless over weekend

Lyssa Beyer

The men’s hockey team hasn’t had an overtime game all season. Until this weekend, that is. The Blugolds had two in a row, dropping the first to UW-Superior 2-1 Friday, but picking up a tie against St. Scholastica (Minn.) 2-2 Saturday.

The loss and tie moves the Blugolds to 9-14-1 overall and 5-7-1 in the NCHA. Coach Matt Loen said the team is guaranteed at least a sixth-place finish.

“Our team goal is to be fourth place or higher,” he said. “We could be moving up to fifth place, it all depends on what happens this week,” he said.

The Blugolds went up early in Friday’s game against Superior when freshman Tim Possehl scored a goal with 10 minutes left in the first period. It was Possehl’s first goal of the season, with assists from sophomores Nate Smith and Nicholas Kuqali.

The Blugolds held strong through two periods before Superior came back and scored a goal in the third period, forcing overtime. The goal ended 118 minutes of shutout play from sophomore goalie Tyler Brigl.

It didn’t take long for Superior to score again, getting a goal just over a minute into overtime, giving the Yellowjackets the win.

“We have to get over it,” Loen said. “We can’t dwell on the past.”

The game had a 49 minute delay after a pane of glass shattered in the first period. Superior outshot Eau Claire 34-27, with Brigl picking up 32 saves.

On Saturday St. Scholastica went up early against the Blugolds, scoring 14:01 into the first period. The Yellowjackets added another goal in the second period.

The Blugolds finally scored in the third period, when freshman John Kearns put the puck between the pipes with less than eight minutes to play. Another 2-1 loss looked imminent for the Blugolds, but senior Sean Garrity lit the lamp with seven seconds left in regulation.

“I was relieved,” Garrity said. “I got out of a slump that I’ve been in personally, and that felt really good.”

Neither team scored in overtime, giving them the tie. Loen said he wasn’t disappointed in the tie.

“I was excited,” Loen said of Garrity’s goal. “Finally something worked the way we wanted it to. It was a big goal for the team.”

Eau Claire outshot the Saints 37-19. Brigl had 17 saves on the night.

The Blugolds will be back at home for their final home game Saturday against UW-Stevens Point.

“Depending on how (other teams) did, it could mean everything or it could mean nothing,” Garrity said. “We’re going to try and get a win and play the best hockey we’ve ever played.”