The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Back to the final: Blugold women’s hockey beat UW-Superior to reach eighth consecutive WIAC Championship match

No. 9 ranked Blugolds now will face No. 1 ranked UW-River Falls in next Saturday’s Championship game
Fourth-year Eden Gruber slices the puck towards goal. Photo used with permission from Chico La Barbera.

The UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team battled UW-Superior in a best of three series for a spot in the O’Brien Cup Final last weekend. The Blugolds ended up topping the Yellowjackets in only two games, both of which took place at Hobbs Ice Arena.

 The first matchup was on Friday Feb. 23, and finished with the Blugolds victorious with a score of 6-2. In the second matchup, they similarly found themselves on the winning side, winning with a score of 4-1.

 The Blugolds dominated both games, Ava Bullert opened the scoring in the second game on the 15:12 mark in the first period during a powerplay in which Bullert sliced the puck in off of the post.

 In the second period, the Blugolds continued to pressure the goal of UW-Superior and were rewarded with two goals during the period. First, Sophie Rausch scored at the 4:48 mark in the second period and towards the end of the second period Eden Gruber’s strike hit the net and increased the Blugolds lead to 3-0 before the period was done.

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 In the third period, Rausch rifled home a shot in the top corner to essentially put the game to bed. A last minute powerplay goal from UW-Superior ended the chances of a potential shutout for UW-Eau Claire but didn’t end the Blugolds hopes for a cup this season.

Rausch’s two goals on the day took her to second in the nation in points scored this season and also marked her 50th point of the season.

After the game, coach Erik Strand had some kind words for Rausch on her historic night. 

“That’s the great thing about her, when she has an average night it’s something where you walk away going holy cow that was incredible,” Strand said.

 Speaking about the challenge of facing undefeated and #1 in the nation UW-River Falls in the WIAC Championship game, Strand said, “it’s a challenge we’re excited for and we can get to work.”

 Rausch commented about reaching the WIAC Championship game again, saying, “We’re really excited to go back to that championship and get the chance to raise a cup.”

 The WIAC championship game between UW- Eau Claire and UW-River Falls will take place at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, in River Falls.

 DaCosta can be reached at [email protected]

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