UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team wins exhibition game against Lawrence University

    Men’s hockey starts their season with a pre-season game on the road

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    Photo by Gabbie Henn

    Blugold men’s hockey began their season on the road with a win under their belt

    UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team had their pre-season exhibition game this past Friday. 

    The game took place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 against Lawrence University. 

    According to Sammy Martel, third-year business administration student and right-wing forward, the game started slowly in the first half as the team got acclimated to their new players. 

    “It was a long bus ride and we had a lot of new faces on the team,” Martel said. “A lot of the guys were nervous for our first game, but it just took a little bit of time to get warmed up, and then we were ready to go” 

    According to Head Coach Matt Loen, the team has a lot of strong players this season.  

    “There’s a lot of competition in all of our positions,” Loen said. “We have very strong forwards this year and we are hoping those guys will be able to carry the load of the team.” 

    According to Loen, the team lost quite a few players from the last season, but this year’s team has great potential. 

    “Getting our new guys acclimated to our style of play and getting an exhibition game under their belt will help us in the future,” Loen said. 

    According to Martel, the team came out strong in the second half, scoring three goals within the first 20 minutes. 

    With only two weeks of practice under their belt, the team performed very well, according to Loen. 

    They ended the game with a total of six goals, taking their first win. The final score was 6-2. 

    According to Willy Stauber, a third-year entrepreneurship student, the team is excited to see where the year takes them, coming out of a successful last season. 

    “We have a lot of new faces and we are excited to get the season going and see what happens,” Stauber said. “We want to continue to have good speed of play and physicality.”

    The men’s hockey team ended last season on a great note and intend on carrying their confidence into the new hockey season, according to Loen. 

    The 2021-22 season ended when they won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship after defeating UW-Stevens Point. Last year’s championship earned the team its fourth Commissioner’s Cup, according to Blugold Athletics

    The championship win was the seventh win in a seven-game winning streak for the Blugolds. They ended their season with a record of 18-11-1, according to blugolds.com

    “Our second half of the year was excellent, and we hope to be able to bring that momentum into this upcoming season,” Loen said. “However, we did lose quite a few players from last year’s team so we have to keep growing and building as a team.”

    Loen was recently named associate head coach for the USA World University hockey team. The team is comprised of DIII players from across the country, giving them an opportunity to compete on the global stage, according to blugolds.com

    The Blugold’s first conference game of the season will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4 at Hobbs Ice Arena against St. John’s University. 

    Allessi can be reached at [email protected].