Women’s hockey drops weekend series to UW-Superior

Penalties and mistakes too much to overcome for Blugolds

Story by Trent Tetzlaff, Copy Editor

Consistency has continued to be the biggest problem for the Blugold women’s hockey team this season as they have failed to put a full game together, head coach Mike Collins said.

Despite cutting turnover numbers down, Eau Claire fell short to No. 9 UW-Superior twice to remain winless on the year.

On Friday night in Superior, the Blugolds fell behind quickly to the Yellowjackets but were able to respond thanks to one of sophomore Paige Dale’s two equalizing goals in the second period.

However, in the third period, the Blugolds allowed three unanswered goals and the game slip away, losing 5-3.

“We need to be more consistent and just need to get stronger in our overall play,” Collins said. “Spending less time on defense, capitalizing on opportunities and creating more offensive traffic will allow us get there.”

On Saturday, the Blugolds were home for another meeting with Superior, and for the second day in a row came up short with a 4-2 loss.

Once again in the first period, the Yellowjackets came out firing, peppering junior goalie Paige Turner with shots but only scoring once in the period.

As the second period began, the Blugolds had multiple powerplay opportunities to score and even had a five-on-three chance for over a minute but allowed the Yellowjackets to get back to full strength unscathed.

“As a team, we need to work on not trying to be too fancy during these situations,” senior defender Andi Husted said. “We don’t need to be perfect when we have opportunities but rather just remain calm and fundamentally sound.”

Midway through the period, the Blugolds went a player down after a penalty and gave up a second goal to the Yellowjackets on a one-timer. They responded quickly thanks to senior Sam Knutson’s goal with 9:19 remaining in the period.

The celebration after Knutson’s goal was short lived.

Less than a minute after the faceoff, the Yellowjackets scored again to go up 3-1, and shortly after that they made it 4-1.

Despite a late second period goal from sophomore Claudia Gagnon to bring the game back within fighting distance at 4-2, the Blugolds weren’t able to pull off the comeback as they would fall to the Yellowjackets for the second straight night after a quiet third period filled with penalties.

Eau Claire will be in action once again Friday at UW-River Falls and Saturday at Hobbs Ice Center against the No. 6 Falcons.

Junior goaltender Paige Turner said River Falls is always a tough opponent for them, and every matchup is extremely physical between the two.

“I don’t know what it really is, but I see our River Falls games as sort of an I-94 grudge match,” Turner said. “We beat each other up no matter what every time.”

Turner said the Blugolds have a shot to contend with the Falcons, and know if they stick to their game it should be exciting.

“We know we are capable of keeping up with every team we play with no matter their ranking,” she said. “As long as we control the things we can within our gameplan and play with strong heads and hearts, we have a shot.”