RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Powered by Ross Janecyk's (Sr.-Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central) hat trick, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team found redemption from last night's defeat by sinking 14th-ranked UW-River Falls 6-3 in tonight's rematch.
After Kurt Weston (So.-Roseau, Minn.) kicked off the scoring 12:37 into the first period, Janecyk commenced the high-scoring second period with a goal at the 8:51 minute mark and put the Blugolds up 2-0. The Falcons struck back under two minutes later to pull to within one of the lead.
Janecyzk laid down his second goal of the night 16:24 into the period, but River Falls scored just 24 seconds later. Despite less than three minutes remaining in the second, Eau Claire's Tyler Romasco (Jr.-Perry, Ohio) and Weston each found the back of the Falcon net and jumped the Blugolds out to a 5-2 lead.
The Falcons managed to score once more early in the third period, but could not surmount the Blugold lead. To seal the victory, Janecyk, assisted by Weston, nailed a goal with only five seconds remaining in the game. Janecyk recorded the hat trick, and the Blugolds earned their first conference win of the season.
In the victory, Brandon Stephenson (So.-Saline, Mich.) made 19 saves in his 60 minutes as Blugold goalie. Eau Claire outshot the Falcons 34-22 and converted on two of its 12 power play opportunities.
The big win vaults the Blugolds to 3-2-0 overall and an even 1-1 in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. River Falls drops to 2-2 in the NCHA.
The Blugolds return to Hobbs Ice Center next Friday and Saturday night for a pair of games against UW-Superior. Both matches are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.