Men’s hockey finishes as runner up in the WIAC

UW-Stevens Point proves to be too much in the conference championship

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Men’s hockey finishes as runner up in the WIAC

Andrew McGlynn, a first-year forward, scored the first goal for the Blugolds against Stevens Point.

Andrew McGlynn, a first-year forward, scored the first goal for the Blugolds against Stevens Point.

Photo by Submitted

Andrew McGlynn, a first-year forward, scored the first goal for the Blugolds against Stevens Point.

Photo by Submitted

Photo by Submitted

Andrew McGlynn, a first-year forward, scored the first goal for the Blugolds against Stevens Point.

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The UW-Eau Claire’s men’s hockey team suffered defeat at the hands of UW-Stevens Point this past weekend in the WIAC title game, with a final score of 3-2. The loss to the undefeated Pointers ended the season for the Blugolds, who did not receive a bid to the NCAA tournament.

The first period of action saw Stevens Point take a 2-1 lead.

The Pointers got on the board first with a power-play goal from Steven Quagliata, a second-year defenseman. Just under four minutes later, the Blugolds responded with a goal of their own off the stick of Andrew McGlynn, a first-year forward.

The goal was good for McGlynn’s sixth of the year. However, another power play opportunity and conversion from Stevens Point’s Carter Roo, a second-year forward, would put the Pointers on top.

The Blugolds came back from the deficit to win the second period 1-0, heading into the third period tied at 2-2.

They got their goal from Adam Parsells, a second-year defenseman. Both teams would have multiple more scoring chances throughout the remainder of the second period, but neither could convert.

The game-deciding goal came midway through the third period when Danny Kiraly, a third-year defenseman, scored unassisted for the Pointers. Although the Blugolds were able to put more shots on net than Stevens Point, they could not get any to find the back of the net.

The Blugolds would spend a total of 14 minutes in the penalty box compared to Stevens Point’s 8 minutes.

The Pointers converted on 2-7 power plays, while the Blugolds made good on 1-4 attempts. UW-Eau Claire’s Head Coach, Matt Loen, said that this was only half of the reasons why the Blugolds couldn’t secure the WIAC throne.

“We had a couple of undisciplined penalties, one that led to a 5-on-3 powerplay,” Loen said. “That was pivotal and took the wind out of our sails in the first period. But I don’t think that was the whole difference in the game. It was an intense game.”

Jake Bresser, a third-year forward, felt that the reason the Blugolds missed opportunities, so they couldn’t escape with a win.

“The game was pretty equally matched,” Bresser said. “The difference was that their goalie made some nice saves and we didn’t make the most of our scoring opportunities.”

Despite the loss and their season being ended, Loen remains optimistic for the team’s future.

Going into this season, the team lost eight of their 10 goal scorers from 17-18, which left a big question mark as to who would step up for the Blugolds.

Loen says that that question was answered this season, where their core group of young players all stepped up to the challenge.

“There’s no reason we can’t sustain our program excellence with this group of guys next year.” Loen said.

The players know, though, that it won’t be easy. Bresser stressed the competitiveness of the conference, claiming they have work to do to continue being a quality program.

“When we get to spring skates we will be able to see what everyone needs to do to get better and help our team,” Bresser said. “The conference isn’t getting any weaker, so just like everyone else we need to continue to get better.”

The loss on Saturday marks the third-straight year that the Blugolds have lost to UW-Stevens Point in the WIAC Championship. Each one of those losses has come with a final score of 3-2.

Semb can be reached at [email protected]

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