Women’s hockey drops final games of regular season to Superior

Story by Rob Hanson

Posted: 12:00 p.m. 2/27/2010

The UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team didn’t exactly plan on being shutout in the in the last game of the regular season to head into the NCHA quarterfinals.

But then again, coach Mike Collins said they didn’t exactly plan on having their leading scorer Kristin Faber out of the lineup with an injury either.

With Faber’s injury as a disadvantage heading into two games at Superior’s Wessman Arena on Friday and Saturday, the Blugolds fell 2-1, 1-0 to drop to 12-10-3 in regular season play, while the Yellowjackets advanced to 15-8-2.

In Friday night’s matchup UW-Eau Claire sophomore Katie Ward opened scoring in the second period with a goal at the 6:13 minute mark. But the Blugolds’ offense would remain quiet for the rest of the night, and the weekend.

UW-Superior’s Torri Shelafoe tied the game up around the three-minute mark in the third period before Jasmine Pollock sealed the victory for Superior on a power play just two minutes later.

“I think Superior is a good team and they play well,” Collins said.

Blugold goalie junior Danika Porter finished with 28 saves as the Yellowjackets outshot the Blugolds 30-9.

Porter stayed tough during the second installment on Saturday with 30 saves, holding the Yellowjackets scoreless through 56 minutes of play. However, at the 16:17 minute mark UW-Superior broke a previously scoreless game with a goal from Jodi Holland.

Again the Yellowjackets far outshot the Blugolds 31-11.

“I thought our goaltender Danika Porter did particularly well,” Collins said. “She just needed help in front of her.”

UW-Eau Claire senior Beth Dittrich said the Blugolds’ biggest concern over the weekend was their inability to generate offense.

“It was the first game since the last game of last season that we’ve been shutout,” she said. “We just didn’t generate offense.”

The Blugolds head to UW-River Falls (16-3-6) on Friday for the quarterfinals.

As one of two graduating Blugold seniors, Dittrich said the possibility of Friday’s game being her last has never made the desire to advance stronger.

“It’s kind of like reality hits you right now,” she said. “This is where the train could stop.”

“This week we are focusing on making sure we practice how we play.”

Dittrich said the team will also focus on generating offense and zone defense before heading to UW-River Falls.

The Blugolds and the Falcons tied in both of their previous matchups this season in River Falls.

“At this time of the year you’re not going to change a lot,” Collins said. “I think we have to be mentally ready to go into someone else’s rink, a good team and know that we can compete.