Women’s hockey season ends at River Falls

Despite facing the Falcons multiple times to end year, Blugolds can’t catch a break

Story by Trent Tetzlaff, Copy Editor

As the clock neared zero, the reality that his team’s season was just about over set in to UW-Eau Claire women’s head coach Mike Collins.

Despite the losses the past few weekends against conference foe River Falls to bring the year to a close, Collins said a lot of positives came from a 5-21-1 season that saw the Blugolds struggle to stay healthy.

“I think we can really build off the fact that we have a lot of potential as a team and a lot of room to grow,” Collins said.

The Blugolds showed fight over the weekend in their two matchups with Falcons, but lost Friday 6-1, and Saturday 5-1.

Junior goalie Paige Turner saved 29 shots on Friday and 49 on Saturday, marking the ninth time she saved more than 40 shots in a game.

Turner said she and her team did all they could against the Falcons, but in the end their style of play wore down the Blugolds.

“We kept changing our game to try to match their style of play, but it wasn’t effective for us,” Turner said. “They really wore us down being we only had 12 skaters, which hurt the ability of the neutral zone trap we run to get good shots.”

Turner is already looking toward the future rather than back on the past season’s ups and downs.She said the team will have a few weeks off before offseason workouts begin.

“We know that when it comes to hockey, strength and cardio training are extremely important in staying competitive,” Turner said, “so getting back to workouts with our trainers is the biggest thing for us in making progress.”

Eau Claire will only be losing three seniors this season: Amanda Kane, Sam Knutson and captain Andi Husted. This makes the rebuilding process that much easier.

Collins said the current group of seniors will be tough to replace.

The seniors put in a lot of effort to help themselves and their teammates grow as a unit this year, which puts the underclassmen in a good spot as they look to become leaders, he said.

Along with Collins, Turner said she thinks the future looks bright for the Blugolds because of the young talent that has created chemistry over the season.

“Honestly, I think the strongest part of our team this season was our team chemistry,” Turner said. “I think we showed we can compete with the top teams this year and if we continue to grow as a unit we can become much more consistent.”