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Taking home the Commissioner’s Cup

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Alivia Kistler

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UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey beats UW-Stevens Point in WIAC Championship

Eau+Claire+is+Wisconsin+Intercollegiate+Athletic+Conference+%28WIAC%29+Tournament+Champions+for+the+first+time+since+2014.
Eau Claire is Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament Champions for the first time since 2014.

Eau Claire is Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament Champions for the first time since 2014.

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Eau Claire is Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament Champions for the first time since 2014.

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The Blugold men’s hockey team was in Stevens Point Saturday night to take on the Pointers in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship game. This was the second year in a row UW-Eau Claire had the opportunity to participate in the tournament championship and this year, they took the title.

To be crowned champions, Head Coach Matt Loen knew that the team would have to look past the intimidation of not playing at home.

“Stevens Point is a really good team,” Loen said. “They’re third in the country, and they have a great student section. So it was intimidating to go there and play in front of them and that was probably the biggest thing our team had to overcome.”

UW-Stevens Point’s Carter Roo won the game’s first faceoff, but Eau Claire’s Lucas Kohls, junior forward, took the first shot of the game soon after. The Blugolds then managed two power plays, the second resulting in the Blugolds first goal of the game. Mac Janson, a senior forward, made the first goal with an assist from teammates Johnny Mueller, a junior defenseman, and Jesse Tredinnick, a senior forward.

The Blugolds outshot the Pointers in the second period with a total of 11 shots to their 6 but Stevens Point’s Roo tied the game at one with just over a minute left in the second frame.

Early in the third period, Todd Koritzinsky, a senior forward for Eau Claire, successfully made it past Stevens Point’s goalie, Max Milosek, to give the Blugolds a 2-1 lead. This lead was extended by Alex Strand, a second-year forward, with the goal coming on an assist from Adam Parsells, a first-year defensemen.

With over half of the final period gone, the Pointers responded to the Blugolds’ lead with a power play goal of their own. For the remainder of the period, Eau Claire defense sealed the deal as Zach Dyment, first-year goalie, saved 24 of the 26 shots he saw on the night.

The Blugolds won the game with a final of 3-2 and also took home the title of WIAC champions and the Commissioner’s Cup. This is the Blugolds’ second WIAC tournament title since their first in 2014.

Eau Claire ended their season with a 16-11-1 record. Coach Loen received WIAC Coach of the Year, along with Coach Terry Watkins for Stevens Point. Four Blugolds were named All-WIAC, with one additional honorable mention.

Summing up the game and the season, Loen said, “It was a great win, a great ending for the seniors.”

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Taking home the Commissioner’s Cup