Blugolds come out unscathed over the weekend

With a win and a tie, the men’s hockey team ends the first half of the season on a high note

More stories from Parker Reed



With only one loss so far this season, Eau Claire looks poised to continue their success in the second half of the season.

The UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team played two games this weekend on the road, and escaped with a win and a tie. They defeated Hamline University (Minn.) 5-4 on Friday, and tied against Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) 2-2 on Saturday.

Eau Claire’s season record now sits at 9-1-3, and 2-0 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play. Both games went into overtime, but they unfolded in two very different ways.


The Blugolds’ game on Friday against Hamline was almost a blow-for-blow contest, as both teams came out swinging from the start.

In the first period, both squads managed to tack on one point to the scoreboard. Eau Claire’s Kyle Lee scored an unassisted goal at the 17:13 mark, and Hamline’s Cody Bentzel scored at the 11:11 mark on a goal assisted by Mitch McPherson. However, the scoring would soon shift in the Blugolds favor.

As soon as the second period started, Eau Claire began dominating in all facets of the game. Eau Claire scored three times in the second period.

These goals came at the 19:00 mark on a goal by Adam Knochemus and assisted TJ Stuntz and Adam Leven, at 17:13 on a goal by Garret Clemment and assisted by Adam Knochenmus and Patrick Moore, and finally on a goal by Patrick Moore at 14:42, which was assisted by Bryan Sinz and Adam Knochenmus.

Hamline did however manage to find the net once themselves in the second period, as Russ Jordan found the backside of the net at 10:12 in the second period assisted by Brandon Wahlin and Jesse Kessler.

Going into the third period, the Blugolds held a healthy lead of 4-2 over Hamline. Almost like a teeter totter, the momentum of the game would soon shift back to Hamline.

The third period of the game was dominated by Hamline, as they managed to slap the puck past Eau Claire goalkeeper Jay Deo twice. And as the final horn sounded, the game was locked up at four goals apiece sending the game into overtime.

After a series of back and forth movements of the puck up and down the ice without anyone finding the back of the net, Eau Claire would end the game at the 2:08 mark on a goal by TJ Stuntz that was assisted by Kyle Lee and Mac Jansen.

Even though the Blugolds had just achieved a hard fought 5-4 victory over Hamline, they could not celebrate for very long as they would have another tough game the following night.


Going into their game Saturday against Gustavus, most individuals that regularly follow the Eau Claire men’s ice hockey team thought it would be an easy contest for the Blugolds due to Gustavus Adolphus’s record.

Going into Saturday, the Gusties held a record of 1-8-2, a record that seemed quite lackluster when compared to Eau Claire’s record of 9-1-2. But, the end result of the game would show that the outcome of a game cannot be predicted by pregame factors such as a team’s wins and losses.

Eau Claire was slow on the ice, and the only score of the first period came at 12:49 when Gustavus’ Joe Lindberg slapped the puck past Eau Claire’s Jay Deo to put them up 1-0 over Eau Claire.

Blugold sophomore defenseman, Tyler Hart, echoed that statement claiming that they just didn’t play with the same intensity in their game against Gustavus.

“I thought Friday we played well, but Saturday we looked a little tired,” Hart said. “We didn’t bring it last night, and we didn’t have the energy that we did on Friday.”

The Blugolds then managed to match Gustavus’ offense output of one goal in the second period, putting Eau Claire at a one-point deficit entering into the third and final period.

Tying is something that does not occur very often in most major sports, but that is exactly what occurred on Saturday. After a goal by Eau Claire’s Garret Clemment at 3:56 that was assisted by Patrick Moore and Tyler Hart, the scoring would cease and send the game into overtime (the second straight overtime game for Eau Claire).

After a couple of close calls on both sides of the puck, the overtime would close with no scoring on either side ending the game in a tie, which Hard said was an anticlimactic way to end it.

“That was a tough way to end the first half of the season, because we felt like we were the better team,” Hart said.

Blugold goalkeeper, Jay Deo, was on the same page as Hart, claiming that the tie was a disappoint in the Eau Claire locker room.

“With no automatic qualifier, any tie is pretty much a loss for us,” Deo said. “It definitely hurts, but at the same time we’ve just got to learn from our mistakes and make sure it doesn’t happen in the future.”

With a tie against Gustavus, the Blugolds will take a three week break as winter break begins (and the Fall academic semester comes to an end). This also marks the end of the first half of the season for Eau Claire, and so far it has been a good one for the team.

With a record of 9-1-3, Eau Claire currently is ranked among the top hockey teams in Division III, and they now look to continue their success in the second half in pursuit of another D3 championship.

Hart said the team is pretty happy with their performance so far this season, but feels they can continue to improve throughout their break.

“We want to win every game, and we’ve got a few ties against schools we feel like we should’ve beat,” He said. “But overall, I feel like the first half has gone well and our expectations for the second half are high.”

Eau Claire will return to action on Dec. 31 against Marian University at 3:30 p.m. at Zorn Arena. An immediate post-game box score, and game recap, will be available after the game on