Women’s hockey brings Blugolds to a 2-0-1 record on Thursday and Saturday

    UW-Eau Claire defeated the Pipers, but couldn’t quite shake the Gusties

    Madeline Fuerstenberg

    More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

    November 2, 2020

    Photo by SUBMITTED

    Thursday’s and Saturday’s games left the Blugolds undefeated in women’s hockey.

    UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey kicked off this week with a home opener against the Hamline University Pipers. After a strong first period, the Blugolds came out on top with a final score of 3-0, securing the beginnings of a undefeated streak in women’s hockey.

    Courtney Wittig, a junior forward, scored the first goal of the game, and her first goal of the season, at 8:35 into the game. The second and final goal of the period was scored with just under five minutes left in the period by Hanna Zavoral, a first-year forward. Elizabeth Bauer, a sophomore forward and last year’s leading Blugold in assists, was credited with the assist for both goals.

    “I think we played pretty good,” Wittig said. “We came together as a team.”

    No goals were made by either team in the second period of the game.

    Abby Roeser, a sophomore forward, went on to score the Blugolds’ final goal of the game in the third period, bringing the game to a close with a Blugold victory, totalling 35 shots and 46 percent in the face-off circle.

    “It’s always the tough part this early in the season,” Head Coach Erik Strand said. “I was very happy with how we played.”

    In addition, Strand said the players did a good job of recognizing and executing during the game, and he was very pleased with their effort.

    On Saturday, Eau Claire was on the road in St. Peter, Minnesota, against the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties. The Blugolds couldn’t quite shake the Gusties in Saturday’s game, resulting in a tied score of 2-2.

    Emily Bauer, a sophomore forward, scored the first goal of the game during the first period with an assist from her twin, Elizabeth, at 7:22.

    The Gusties fought back hard, evening the score with a goal just minutes into the second period. The Blugolds struck back quickly, reclaiming the lead 11 seconds before the end of the period. The goal was made by Kelly Knetter, a junior forward, gaining her first goal of the season. The assist came from Jaedyn Walz, a senior forward.

    The Gusties tied things up once again with a final goal in the third period, sending things into overtime. Neither team was able to score again for the remainder of the game, but the Blugolds out shot the Gusties 27-21.

    “It’s kind of bittersweet,” Wittig said, “but it’s better than a loss.”

    Wittig said she is confident that the team will come out even stronger for their next game, as long as they work on their communication and continue to count on each other.

    “I think that was one of those games where we did do enough to earn the win, but we also made a few mistakes,” Strand said.

    Strand said he believes the players are still trying to figure out their identities and dynamics within the team, but he’s expecting “one heck of a battle” for the women in the next few games.

    “You’ve got to be ready to play everyone,” Strand said, “I’m really looking forward to this week.”

    With an overall undefeated record of 2-0-1, the Blugolds will be back on the road again this week at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday against the St. Olaf Oles at Northfield Ice Arena. The Blugolds kick off conference competition at 7 p.m. on Friday at UW-Superior.