Women’s hockey loses both games against UW-River Falls

    Falcons cause issues for Blugolds in River Falls last weekend

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    Photo by Sam Martinez

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team dropped both games in a weekend home-away series to UW-River Falls, losing 4-1 at home Friday and 3-1 on the road on Saturday.

    The two losses bring the Blugolds record to 3-3-2 overall and 1-2-1 in conference play.

    Head coach Erik Strand said although the team did not notch a win, he was happy with the way they competed against a good River Falls team.

    “I thought our women played hard all weekend,” Strand said.

    The score was a little misleading, Strand said, as senior goalies Paige Turner and Kim Van Brunt put the team in a position to win.

    Turner said the game was a great test to see where their team sat, and there are some things they need to work on to beat teams like the Falcons.

    But regardless of the score, Turner said the team already has a blue-collar toughness that will help them beat opponents that put a lot of talent on the ice.

    “We’re not afraid to get down and dirty,” Turner said.

    One area the team needs to get better at is generating offense, Strand said.

    Turner said crashing the net will give the offense more opportunities to score.

    The team is able to get shots in, Strand said, but by generating second and even third attempts on the net after deflected shots will lead to more goals.

    “We’re getting good looks,” Strand said. “But we are not finishing.”

    Despite it only being Strand’s first year as the women’s hockey team’s head coach, he said he is impressed with the way the team has bought into the system he has brought so far.

    Strand said the Blugold system is about trust; every player has a specific role and responsibility and they need to trust each other to follow through with it.

    Every team has a moment where everything “clicks”, Strand said, and although the team is still waiting for that moment he believes they are getting close to it.

    “(The team) is becoming more and more confident in what our game plan is everyday,” Strand said.

    The team is proud to have Strand coaching, Turner said. He is leading the team in the direction they need to go.

    At 7 p.m. Tuesday the team will host Hamline University (Minn.) in Hobbs Ice Center.