Men’s hockey takes victory and looks forward

UW-Eau Claire won on Friday night against Saint Mary’s on their home ice

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Men’s hockey secured a close victory against Saint Mary’s this weekend.

After their loss against St. Thomas on Thursday, the UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team bounced back with a win at Saint Mary’s on Friday, walking off the ice with a final score of 5-4.

Lucas Kohls, a junior forward, scored the first goal before the 6:26 mark in the first period. This was the start of a close game.

Less than a minute after, the Cardinals would came in with a goal on the Blugolds, matching the score up 1-1.

Eau Claire walked off the ice after the first period with a one point lead over Saint Mary’s.

“I thought we played very well in the first period,” Colton Wolter, a senior forward, said. “But we had troubles keeping that same compete level throughout the game.”

The intensity picked up in the third period where most of the scoring happened, maintaining the theme of the back and forth plays.

Saint Mary’s scored on goal in the first two minutes, but Blugolds followed up with a shot from Nathan Dingmann, a first-year forward, with the assist of teammates Wolter and Alex Strand, a sophomore forward.

“We were able to respond and bounce back when we got scored on,” Jake Hopfner, a senior forward, said. “We put a lot of shots on net which is always a great thing, we just need to continue to get guys to the net so we can put away the rebounds.”

The Eau Claire men had a total of 46 shots on goal throughout the game, while Saint Mary’s had 21.

The team’s defense had a stand out performance, Jesse Tredinnick, a senior forward, said.

“They (the defense) definitely have proven themselves so far this season and it’s exciting to watch,” Tredinnick said.

The Cardinals tied up the game once again at 4-4, but that didn’t stay for long.

Tredinnick, with the assist of teammates Hopfner and Mac Jensen, a senior forward, scored the winning point with five minutes left of the game.

The Blugolds were successful in holding this lead, and finished the game with a win.

Looking forward to next weekend, Eau Claire will be facing off against the No. 1 seeded team in the country, Saint Norberts, on their home ice.

Head coach Matthew Leon said the game will provide insight on the outlook for the season.

“We’ll find out where we stand,” Leon said. “They haven’t lost a game this year.”

Wolter said the players are looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s no secret that Friday night against St. Norbert is a big game,” Wolter said. “It’s a true test of where we are at as a team so far.”

The Blugolds compete against St. Norbert at Hobbs Ice Arena this Friday at 7 p.m.