Blue Devils Defeated

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Blue Devils Defeated

Story by Haley Zblewski, Currents Editor

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Play was rough over the weekend for the Blugold men’s hockey team as they faced long-time rival UW-Stout on Friday and Saturday due to physical play

The Blugolds came away victorious from both games, scoring four points in each.

In Friday’s game, the Blugolds kept the Blue Devils off the scoreboard until the third period, and won the game 4-2.

Head Coach Matt Loen said to take four points in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association is a good start for the team. However, he said he thought the men didn’t play as well as they could have on Friday.

“Friday we were a little sluggish on our own end and I think we got a little bit better Saturday, but I think we’ve still got some work to do,” he said. “I think it’s just a matter of them
getting to know each other and being a little more disciplined on our own end with the puck and position.”

The Blugolds scored their four goals across the first two periods, and Stout dominated the third, despite many saves from senior goalie Brandon Stephenson.

Senior forward Andrew McCabe said that with eight new team
members, it’s not all going to come together right away.

“We’ve got some new guys working on the power plays together right now and we only scored one power play goal all weekend, so I guess that could be definitely one place we need to improve on,” he said. “Overall, as a team we won two games so I think we’re gelling just fine.”

On Saturday, the rivalry between the two teams became more and more apparent as fights broke out on the ice. The teams racked up a combined 15 penalties, nine of them
committed by Stout.

Halfway through the second period, one fight racked up penalties for both teams, including a five minute penalty for Stout’s senior forward Charles Lachance for checking from behind and misconduct, along with roughing for the Blugolds.

Freshman forward Eathan Nauman played in his first game for the Blugolds on Saturday and said he wasn’t really surprised at the intensity of the match.

“After watching the game yesterday, I kind of expected for it to be real chippy like it was tonight, hard hitting, lots of hits, lots of grinding and mucking in the corner,” he said.

Nauman snuck the puck through Stout’s defense at 9:54 in the second period, scoring the first goal of the night, with assists from McCabe and forward Niko Kapetanovic.

“The puck just bounced out to me in the slot, I was lucky to get a piece of it and it just went in,”
Nauman said.

McCabe said he thought it was great to see Nauman get on the scoreboard right away.

“He just did what we preach all the time in practice, we’ve been working really hard on getting to the net and burying rebounds and that’s exactly what he did,” McCabe said. “That was a really positive way to start the game.”

The Blue Devils scored with less than five minutes left in the period. It was a  close game until the third, where the Blugolds scored three goals and managed to shut out the Blue Devils for the rest of the game.

As the seconds on the clock wound down, the intensity of the game was high enough for junior
defenseman David Donnellan to break one of his skates.

“It doesn’t happen too often,” he said with a laugh. “It was unfortunate with four minutes left in the game. But I got out there for a few more shifts, so that was good.”

Donnellan said Saturday’s game was a big improvement on Friday’s, where he thought the team came up a little short.

“We didn’t pay attention to the details like we needed to but we came out (Saturday) and stuck to our plan,” he said. “We just kept working hard and overcame adversity and got the win. We came out and played better in the defensive zone and that helped us win.”

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