Men’s hockey sweeps the weekend, women’s team falls

The teams battle against conference opponents
Women’s hockey fell 2-5 to a tough UW-River Falls team.  (Photo by Zach Jacobson, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)
Women’s hockey fell 2-5 to a tough UW-River Falls team. (Photo by Zach Jacobson, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)
Photo by Zach Jacobson

The UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team swept their opponents this weekend, winning two games against conference teams. 

The team started off the weekend strong in a game against Northland College, winning 6-1 on the road. In a dominant game by the Blugolds, they took a total of 61 shots while holding the Jacks to 14 shots and one goal. 

In a history-making night, Trenten Heyde tied the school record for most assists in a game, leading the team with five. 

Leading the team with goals was Leo Bacallao, scoring twice during the game. 

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Throughout the game, four of the Blugold’s goals came during power plays, a stat that Coach Matthew Loen said he is very pleased with. 

“I’m very happy with our power play and where it’s at,” Loen said. “We’ve been getting really good chances and scoring some goals which I hope will continue.”

The team was back on the road the following night, heading to UW-River Falls to take on another conference opponent.

In a very close game, the Blugolds prevailed, beating the Falcons 2-1 thanks to goals by Aaron Swanson and Heyde. 

Despite penalties plaguing the team throughout the game, they utilized the minutes they had on the ice to outshoot their opponent 29-23. 

Heading into the next game, Loen said the team is ready to compete against a historically challenging team. 

“Saint Norbert’s is a great program with a winning tradition,” Loen said. “They’ll be ready for us, and it’ll probably be one of our toughest tests of the year.”

The Blugolds are back on the road Friday as they head to St. Norbert College in a non-conference matchup. The puck drop is at 7 p.m.

The UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team also had a game this weekend, falling to UW-River Falls 2-5 at home on Saturday. 

Despite the loss, coach Erik Strand said that he is very happy with the team’s performance. 

“Overall, we did a nice job today,” Loen said. “Obviously the score wasn’t what we wanted to see, but there were points in the game where we really controlled the momentum and learned more about ourselves as a team.”

The Blugold’s first goal of the night came from Sophie Rausch in the first few minutes of the game, but unfortunately, that would be the team’s only goal scored until late in the third period. 

Sam Bandholz, a third-year forward, scored the second goal of the game towards the end, trying to give the team a spark. 

“It’s definitely a big thing getting that goal at the end,” Banholz said. “Obviously, we didn’t finish how we wanted to, but we won the period, and we view that as a win itself.”

In the end, the fourth-ranked Falcons were too much for the Blugolds, but Bandholz said the team is ready to take them on again later in the season. 

“We’re going to watch a lot of films and break the plays down,” she said. “I think we are right there, now it’s just a matter of cleaning things up for next time.”

The team heads to Vermont on Saturday to compete in the Panther/Cardinal Classic, taking on teams that they aren’t used to seeing in their schedule. 

Despite the tough competition, Strand said the trip is focused more on team bonding and creating memories. 

“One of the best things about these trips is that the team gets to be together,” Loen said. “For us, being away from Hobbs allows us to grow together as more of a tight unit.”

The women’s first game in the classic is on Saturday as they take on Plattsburgh State. Puck drop is at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and will also be livestreamed. 

The team will finish in Vermont on Sunday during a game against Middlebury/Endicott. 


Hokanson can be reached at [email protected]

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