Women’s hockey drops close game

Blugolds fall 3-2 against No. 1 UW-Stevens Point

Story by Spectator Staff

UW-Stevens Point defeated the UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey 3-2 Saturday after a close battle for the lead throughout the entire game.

Both teams went back and forth, with the first point scored by Eau Claire senior Emily Larson almost 10 minutes into the first period.

Blugolds head coach Mike Collins said the team played hard the entire game and presented a challenge even though the Pointers are the No. 1 team in the conference.

“We played as well tonight as we have in a long time,” Collins said.

The teams continued to be closely matched with neither taking a significant lead. Stevens Point freshman Kendall Nelson scored with three minutes left, ending the first with in a 1-1 tie.

Neither team scored again until the end of the second period when Eau Claire came back into the lead with a breakaway goal by senior Nikki Kothenbeutel.

Kothenbeutel said despite not getting the win they wanted, Saturday night was still one of the best games of their year.

“It felt good to work hard and know that we can compete with one of the best teams in the conference,” Kothenbeutel said.

Stevens Point rallied quickly with a goal of their own. Senior Megan Nickelson scored with less than three minutes left in the second period.

Both teams spent the third period battling, but Pointer senior Cassandra Salmen scored the last goal of the game 12 minutes into the period.

Blugold women’s hockey only has three conference games left, one more against Stevens Point and two against UW-River Falls. They also have a non-conference game vs. Augsburg College (Minn.).

Collins said the team needs to focus on increasing the amount of offensive opportunities and shots after their game against the Pointers.

“We had two goals on 16 shots,” Collins said. “If we get 15 more shots, who knows?”

The loss puts the Blugolds’ record at 4-15-2 overall and 0-8-1 in the conference. They will play Augsburg at 7 p.m. on Feb. 5 at Hamline University (Minn.).