EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Though boasting an early three-goal advantage, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team fought off a comeback from the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) to win 4-3 tonight at Hobbs Ice Center.
Despite the close ending, the Blugolds had firm control of the game's first two periods. Jon Waggoner (Fr.-Fairbanks, Alaska/Lathrop), assisted by Ross Janecyk (Sr.-Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central), found the back of the net just 48 seconds into the first to ignite the Eau Claire offense. Before the close of the first period, Kurt Weston (So.-Roseau, Minn.) and Jordan Singer (So.-Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial) notched two more goals, one coming short-handed, to put the Blugolds in possession of a solid three goal lead.
But the game wouldn't end as easy as it had begun.
The Tommies struck quickly in the third, evading the Blugold defenses to put up two scores in the first three minutes of play. With the opponent just a goal away from the tie, Tyler Romasco (Jr.-Perry, Ohio) pushed the Blugolds further ahead by recording his eighth goal of the season on a power play 5:20 in the period. St. Thomas managed another goal with 10 minutes remaining to again draw within one, but the Blugolds held on to beat the Tommies 4-3.
Brandon Stephenson (So.-Saline, Mich.) served as Eau Claire goalie, making 26 saves in the 60 minutes of play. In total, St. Thomas fired 29 shots while the Blugolds tallied a total of 31.
The win vaults the Blugolds to 9-5 overall on the season. This marks just the eighth time Eau Claire has beaten St. Thomas in the team's 25-game history.
The Blugolds will return to Hobbs tomorrow night for a matchup against St. Mary's University (Minn.). Game time is set for 7 p.m.