Late goal solidifies 1-1 weekend

The Blugolds end season in third place of WIAC

Story by Austin Mai, Staff writer

The UW- Eau Claire men’s hockey team finished its regular season Saturday night at 17-7-1 with a conference record of 6-5-1.
Sophomore forward Charles Thauwald said the record and national ranking does not reflect the team’s ability and level of play.
“We should’ve had a better record,” Thauwald said. “It’s a good record but there’s a few games we wish we could have back.”
Thursday night, Eau Claire hosted UW-Stout with plans to reclaim second place in the WIAC.
The first period at Hobbs Ice Center went scoreless as Eau Claire outshot Stout 15-10.
Into the second period, the Blue Devils scored off the power play at 7:02.
Junior forward Joe Krause was able to quickly tie the game up as he sunk a rebound off a shot from senior defenseman David Donnellan. Thauwald assisted on the play.
As the buzzer sounded to end the period, a scuffle complete with roughing and grabbing a facemask led to the ejection of a Blue Devil.
The second period ended in a tie at 1-1. Stout outshot Eau Claire 12-11.
The third period began with three Blugolds in the penalty box, and Stout was able to strike at 1:34 to go up 2-1.
Once all penalties expired, the Blue Devils found their way to the net once again to lead the game 3-1.
In a comeback attempt, sophomore goalie Tyler Green was pulled and replaced with junior defenseman Jack Callahan at 18:28. Three seconds later, Callahan got one past the goalie to make it a 3-2 game.
With hardly any time left, Green stayed out and Eau Claire applied extra pressure to tie up the game. Despite several quality shot chances and a time out, they couldn’t score. Stout defeated Eau Claire 3-2. The Blugolds outshot the Blue Devils 53-28.
Thauwald said Stout’s goalie played well, and too many mistakes caught up with the Blugolds.
“We came out flat and the puck wasn’t bouncing our way,” Thauwald said. “We hit a couple pipes and missed a couple open nets.”
Saturday night the Blugolds traveled to River Falls to finish the regular season.
Eau Claire took on the No. 10-ranked Falcons intending to bounce back from Thursday’s disappointment.
River Falls scored early, taking advantage of the power play to start the game 1-0.
The Falcons held the lead for more than 37 minutes as the remainder of the first period and second period went scoreless.
The third period began and freshman forward Patrick Moore got the Blugolds on the board with a game tying goal at 2:03. Forwards Ross Andersen and Adam Knochenmus got the assists.
With just 1:15 left in regulation, freshman forward David Henry scored his first collegiate goal to give the Blugolds a one-goal lead. Thauwald and Callahan assisted on the game-winning goal.
Thauwald said the third period was one of the best periods they played all season.
Eau Claire outshot River Falls 32-26, including a 17-3 margin in the third period.
Even with the Eau Claire victory, the Falcons finished with a conference record of 8-4-0 which crowned them as the WIAC regular season champions. The Blugolds finished just behind UW- Stevens Point who claimed second place in the conference.
Eau Claire will play in the semifinals at 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday at Stevens Point.