Blugolds leave weekend at Superior undefeated

The Camaraderie, a well-known and popular bar and restaurant on Water Street, was almost completely destroyed by a fire that swept through the building on the morning of Jan. 7.

Story by Haley Zblewski

The UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team came away from a weekend series at UW-Superior without a loss, beating Superior 3-1 win on Friday and tying 2-2 on Saturday.

Junior forward Kurt Weston was pleased with the team’s performance.

“We know how talented a group of players we are,” Weston said. “We have the upper hand going against any opponent if we play our best game.”

The Blugolds’ victory on Friday extended the team’s winning streak to five games. Coach Matt Loen said was impressed with the effort his team put forth and noted that junior goaltender Brandon Stephenson’s performance stood out.

“Brandon won the game for us Friday,” Loen said. “He had some nice saves and did a good job tracking the puck.”

Stephenson made 24 saves on 25 shots during the game.

Weston scored a goal at 10:42 in the second period and netted his second goal on a breakaway in the third period, six seconds before the game was over.

“Last year, I was one of the goal scorers,” Weston said, “but this year I’ve been struggling to score.  Things just fell into the right place for me on Friday.”

Sophomore forward Jared Williams missed practice on Thursday while recovering from the flu. Williams, however, scored the first goal of the evening at 15:19 in the first period.

“I was kind of drained on energy, but coach threw me in the lineup on Friday,” Williams said. “My linemates helped me out a lot to score.”

Saturday night’s game between the Blugolds and the Yellowjackets went into overtime.  Weston said the team has been struggling this year on Saturdays but was satisfied with his team’s performance.

“It was a lot tougher of a battle,” Weston said. “We were trying to get out of that Saturday slump, and we did. We had the upper hand for about the whole game.”

Williams said he thought both teams put up a good fight.

“We both had a lot of opportunities to score and we wound up missing a few good opportunities we should have scored on,” Williams said.

One of those missed opportunities was a goal that was disallowed in the second period of the game.

“If the goal hadn’t been disallowed, I think we would’ve had the opportunity to win the game,” Loen said. “It would have been our second goal and we would have been up two-nothing going into the second period.”

Sophomore Brian Nehring scored the first goal of Saturday’s game at 8:26 in the second period, which Superior quickly followed up with a score of their own at 10:04.

At an almost identical time on the clock in the third period, the Blugolds were on top after junior Isaiah Bennis scored in the third period, but again the Yellowjackets scored shortly after.

The weekend at Superior puts the Blugolds at 11-6-2 overall and 5-6-1 in conference play. This weekend, the Blugolds will face UW-Stevens Point at home on Friday and travel to St. Norbert on Saturday.