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

    Blugolds pull off upset

    The Blugold men’s hockey team earned its first victory of the 2006 season by upsetting 11th-ranked UW-River Falls at Hunt Arena for the first time since 1997.

    “It was a great feeling,” sophomore goalie Ryan Mensing said. “Every single one of our players stepped up tonight . they made my job easy.”

    With River Falls picked to place in the top two in the NCHA conference and the Blugolds expected to finish last, it was a big win, coach Luke Strand said.

    “(The win against River Falls) is great; the guys deserve this,” Strand said.

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    The ‘Golds jumped out to a 1-0 lead on freshman Tyler Trudell’s first period goal and never looked back, winning 3-2.

    Trudell scored at 13:02 in the first period. He said it was a great feeling to score his first collegiate goal.

    “Being a freshman, scoring the first goal for myself and the team was sweet,” he said.

    The Falcons evened the score at 1-1 on a first period power play goal.

    Junior Sean Garrity scored 5:58 into the second period to pull ahead 2-1.

    At 9:21 in the third period, sophomore EvanByers scored to put the ‘Golds up for good at 3-2.

    “We just have to keep going game by game and period by period,” Byer said. “We looked like a team (against River Falls).”

    Mensing stood his ground in the crease, saving 42 out of 44 shots from the Falcon offense.

    “(Mensing) was dynamite in the net,” Strand said. “He was challenged and stepped up . he came out there with confidence as high as a guy could get.”

    Strand was very pleased with two of the three goals coming from the defense.

    “Hopefully our defense will continue to get (the puck) to the net, and the forwards will capitalize on second shot opportunities,” he said.

    Byers said everyone on the team rose to the occasion.

    “Our forwards were blocking a lot of shots,” he said. “(Mensing) had a great game and overall it was a team win.”

    The Blugolds will play their home opener Friday night at Hobbs Ice Arena against 8th-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.).

    “My expectations for the team are higher,” Strand said. “I think we have the depth we showed (against River Falls).”

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    Blugolds pull off upset