Blugold men’s hockey takes care of UW-Superior in dominating fashion

Eau Claire found the back of the net seven times in their return to Hobbs Ice Arena

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Blugold men’s hockey takes care of UW-Superior in dominating fashion

Eau Claire hockey players celebrate after one of their seven goals Saturday against Superior.

Eau Claire hockey players celebrate after one of their seven goals Saturday against Superior.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Eau Claire hockey players celebrate after one of their seven goals Saturday against Superior.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Photo by SUBMITTED

Eau Claire hockey players celebrate after one of their seven goals Saturday against Superior.

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After a disappointing loss to UW-Stout on Thursday in Menomonie, the UW-Eau Claire men’s ice hockey team dominated UW-Superior 7-1 Saturday at Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire. This puts Eau Claire’s season record at 15-4-3, and their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) record at 4-1-0.

After a string of tough games the last week, the dominating win seems to have lifted the Eau Claire men’s spirits according to junior forward, Mac Jansen.

“We’re feeling really good,” Jansen said. “It definitely gives a boost to the whole roster. It gives us a jump going into our next games, and hopefully we can get some more w’s there too.”

The win against Superior came after a disappointing loss to Stout on Thursday, where the Blugolds fell 2-1. Eau Claire men’s hockey head coach, Matthew Loen, said the team is enjoying the much-welcomed change of pace in terms of performance.

“I think they’re finally excited,” Loen said. “It is a good response from a lackluster performance on Thursday against Stout. I hope they’re pretty excited about it.”

The Blugold’s offensive onslaught began from the puck drop, as they scored two goals in the first period alone. The first came at the 3:22 mark on a goal by Jesse Tredinnick, which was assisted by Jake Hopfner. The second came at 15:14 when Patrick Moore found the backside of the Superior net on a goal assisted by Adam Knochenmus.

The second period would provide more of the same, as Eau Claire slapped two powerful goals past the opposing goalie. The only whimper that Superior could muster the entire game was a power play goal at the 13:29 mark in the second period when Tanner Skaja found the space behind Eau Claire goalie, Jay Deo, on a goal assisted by Eric Shand.

The goal by Skaja was the only blemish on a solid game by Deo, as he saved 19 out of a possible 20 Superior shot attempts. Deo has been a pillar of the Blugold roster, manning the space in front of the net every game this year for Eau Claire. He would cap off a great game with a shutout of Superior in the third period of play.

Unfortunately for Superior, there is no mercy rule in college hockey, so nothing but the game clock could stop the offensive onslaught by the Blugolds in the third period. Adam Knochenmus, Mac Jansen and Patrick Moore all seamlessly found the backside of the net in the third, ending the game with a dominating score of 7-1 in favor the Blugolds.

The game against Superior Saturday was the Blugold’s first home game since they played UW-River Falls on Jan. 19. Eau Claire suffered a 1-2 road trip after that 4-2 win against River Falls at Hobbs, so the Eau Claire men were thankful to finally play in front of their home fans again, said Mac Jansen.

“It was great playing at home again,” Jansen said. “I was actually talking with some of the guys on the team about it. Having that crowd, and that energy, really gets us going. If we score a couple of goals early (like we did), it just helps us out a lot in that atmosphere. It’s just fun.”

Eau Claire now has their sights set on finishing with a strong record in the WIAC conference and hopefully making a run at another Division III national championship. This would be their first chance since 2013.
Eau Claire’s first step toward that ultimate goal will take place on Feb. 10 when they take on UW-Superior on the road. The game will start at 7 p.m. and can be streamed online at blugolds.com.

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