Blugolds defeat Oles, fall to Yellowjackets

This week marks the first loss of the season for women’s hockey

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020


After a decisive victory over the St. Olaf Oles, a close game against the UW-Superior Yellowjackets leaves the Blugolds with their first loss of the season.

On the road twice this week, the UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team faced both victory and defeat. On Wednesday, the Blugolds traveled to Northfield, Minnesota, where they dominated the St. Olaf Oles 8-0. Unfortunately, the Blugolds couldn’t quite get the upper hand during Friday’s game, where they lost to the UW-Superior Yellowjackets 3-2.

St. Olaf

The Blugolds kicked off Wednesday’s game with a bang as Abby Roeser, a sophomore forward, scored the first goal of the game only 36 seconds into the first period. The assist came from Taylor Treu, a freshman defenseman.

Emily Bauer, a sophomore forward, scored the second goal of the game, with an assist from her twin sister, Elizabeth Bauer, another sophomore forward, and Reilly Albert, a sophomore defenseman.

The third and final goal of the first period was made by Holly Turnbull, a junior defenseman, with no assist.

“It was a nice away game that I wanted to knock down,” Turnbull said.

Eau Claire continued to pulverise the St. Olaf Oles in the second period, scoring four unassisted goals. These goals were made by Morgan Zirbel, a first-year defenseman, Emma Peterson, a first-year forward, Jennifer Thomsen and Mariah Czech, both senior forwards.

Turnbull said she was satisfied with the way her and her teammates played that game. She said she believes the team showed offensive strength and the forwards worked their corners.

However, Turnbull said her proudest moment of the game was seeing Zirbel score her first goal of the season.

“It’s always cool to see a freshman get her first goal,” Turnbull said.

During the third period, the final goal of the game was scored by Turnbull, with an assist from Elizabeth Bauer and Hanna Zavoral, a first-year forward.

Head Coach Erik Strand said he was pleased with the team’s performance.

“I was really happy with how we stuck to our game plan that whole night,” Strand said. “There’s not a situation I can think of where we didn’t absolutely control that game.”

Strand said the team did everything necessary to get focused for the game. He said he was proud of the way his team out-battled the Oles and paid attention to every little detail.

“It’s always nice winning, and winning commandingly is always nice too,” Strand said. “We played almost a perfect game.”

The Blugolds outshot the Oles 51-18. Wednesday’s crushing victory left the Blugolds with a record of 3-0-1.


Friday’s game did not begin as triumphantly as it did on Wednesday for the Blugolds.

Within the first seven minutes of the first period, the Yellowjackets had gained a 2-0 lead over the Blugolds. Their third goal of the game came during the second period, where the Eau Claire defensemen managed to hold them off for the remainder of the period.

“It didn’t feel too good,” Turnbull said. “It showed us what we needed to work on.”

Despite a tough loss for Turnbull and her classmates, she said she believes the team can use the loss to their advantage.

“It’s always a good motivator for next time,” Turnbull said. “We can come back from that during the next game and almost look for revenge.”

The tide began to change for the Blugolds in the third period. The first Eau Claire goal of the game was scored by Courtney Wittig, a junior forward, with an assist from Elizabeth Bauer and Kelly Knetter, another junior forward.

Elizabeth Bauer brought another point to the scoreboard with a goal less than a minute later. The assist came from Peterson.

After an exciting turn of events in the final period, the Blugolds were still not able to overthrow the Yellowjackets, leaving Eau Claire with a new record of 3-1-1.

Strand said he viewed Friday’s loss as a great lesson for him and his team.

“If you’re not ready to go, (your opponent is) going to beat you,” he said. “They fought all the way to the end.”

Unlike Wednesday’s game, Strand said he believes the Blugolds weren’t winning the “little battles” out on the ice during Friday’s game. While the girls showed a lot of resolve, Superior was “hungrier” and the Blugolds weren’t getting any “puck luck,” Strand said.

“You’re never as good as your best game,” he said. “I loved how we bounced back (after) Friday.”

Eau Claire will be on the road again next week at 2:05 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 18, against UW-River Falls.