EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 14 UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team had plenty of chances tonight but was not able to take advantage of them as it took its first loss of the season at home to the No. 8 Green Knights of St. Norbert 3-2.
First period was quiet for both sides with neither team scoring a goal. St. Norbert had two power play opportunities and was not able to capitalize off of them. However, the Green Knights did outshoot the Blugolds 9-2. The Blugolds did come close to scoring in the last minute of the first period when a shot was made and it bounced off the glove of the Green Knight goaltender Jacobson and fell into the paint inches from the goal line.
It was not until the second period that things started getting exciting for both teams. Within the first 10 seconds, the power play was on for the Blugolds. But it was St. Norbert who got the first goal of the night at 4:03 by Cody Keefer on a power play with a shot that was lifted up to the far corner of the net over the glove of Blugold goalie Brandon Stephenson (Jr.-Saline, Mich./Saline). Travis Peckskamp (Jr.-Sauk Rapids, Minn/Sauk Rapids) had the perfect chance at 9:30 to tie it up 1-1 when he had a wide open shot, but missed it wide to the right. Green Knight Seth Soley took advantage of a pass from Marian Fiala and Joe Perry and got the second goal of the night at 14:49 to pull the Knights ahead 2-0. With 1:39 remaining on the clock in the second period, the Blugolds tried to make a run but were denied the goal and a fight broke out on the ice. All 10 skaters on the ice were sent to the penalty box and given double-minor penalties for roughing.
The ten players remained in the penalty box for the start of the third period. When it looked like the game was nearing its finish and the fate of the Blugolds was decided, Tyler Jundt (Sr.-Williston, ND/Williston) got one through the arms of Jacobson and scored the first goal for the Blugolds. St. Norbert forward answered back with his second goal of the night at 11:05 to pull the Green Knights ahead 3-1. Not wanting to settle, Jon Waggoner (So.-Fairbanks, AL/Lathrop) scored the second goal for the Blugolds and brought them back to within one. But it was not enough of a rally as the Blugolds took their first loss of the season at home.
Stephenson took the loss for the Blugolds. He had 25 saves in his 59:00 minutes of play. He is now 2-3-0 on the season.
The Blugolds return to action tomorrow at Hobbs Ice Center to get their vengeance on the Green Knights. The puck will drop at 7 p.m.