Men’s hockey breaks minutes record


Photo by Elizabeth Jackson

Junior Joe Krause drives to the night Friday night against UW-River Falls.

The UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team went into its WIAC game against UW-River Falls with a few different things on the line: a consecutive-game winning streak and two NCAA records up for grabs. After Friday night, the Blugolds were able to continue one of the two with an 8-3 win over Falcons.

 They needed 17 minutes and 55 seconds to break the record for most consecutive game time without allowing a goal. With a rowdy crowd and NCAA records on the line, Hobbs Ice Arena was electric.

 “We’re just moving ahead here and sticking to our game plans, sticking to our season plans.” head coach Matt Loen said. “Hopefully we can continue to get better as the season continues.”

 As the first period began, both teams made it clear that tonight’s game was going to be physical. Even after teammate junior defenseman Chris Heineman’s stick snapped, senior forward Jon Waggoner sped down the rink and scored Eau Claires first goal of the night, his eighth on the season. Senior forward Jared Williams and senior defenseman David Donnellan were both credited with assists.

“It (crowd’s energy) had a huge impact,” Waggoner said. “We had so many home games over winter with marginal crowds since the students were gone.”

With goalie Tyler Green making vital saves, the Blugolds lasted 17:55 to break the NCAA record. Every second after that would become another rung on an incredibly difficult ladder to climb.

 At 5:29 into the second period, freshman forward Patrick Moore brought the puck to the Falcon’s goal all by himself for the team’s second goal.

 Not long after, at 6:45 sophomore forward Charles Thauwald went ahead and scored to help but the Blugolds up 3-0. Credited with assists were both junior defenseman Jack Callahan and freshman forward Adam Knochenmus.

 The Blugolds then ended their gametime streak when the Falcons took control of the period. The streak ended at a consecutive 354:26 game time total. And after only one penalty in the first period, there were 10 more in the second. With the score closer and tension in the air, it built up for an exciting third period.

When the third period began, instead of anchoring around the goalie and defending the lead, Eau Claire went out and racked up points. Senior forward Niko Kapetanovic, Donnellan, Moore and junior forward Ross Anderson all scored. Anderson scored twice in the period.

 “(Team scoring) definitely was a big confidence booster for everyone,” Charles Thauwald said. “It shows the hard work and determination everyone has on the team.”

 The Falcons would go on to score twice in the third period but all too late, as Eau Claire won 8-3.

 The Blugolds fell 3-1 to the Falcons Saturday night.