EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 14 UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team was not able to hold onto its early 2-0 lead and was swept at home by the No. 8 Green Knights of St. Norbert 5-2.
The Blugolds owned the first period scoring two goals. The first one at 13:20 by Andrew Wilcox (Sr.-Rochester Minn./Century), was an open deflection shot that found the top corner as the Green Knight goalie could not regain himself from his first block. Jared Williams (So.-West Chicago, Ill./Bartlett) followed that up at 17:57 when he shot one 10 feet out on the goal line that pinged off the side post to drop in. Williams' goal put the Blugolds ahead 2-0 in the first period.
Penalties in the second period cost the Blugolds the game. St. Norbert's Seth Soley got the Green Knights on the board at 5:41 with a goal. Soley came back again at 10:00 and scored on the power play to tie the game up at 2-2. Isaiah Bennis (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) was called for hooking at 17:27 and was sent to the penalty box dropping the Blugolds down to four skaters on the ice. Ten seconds later the Green Knights would take advantage of the power play and Cody Keefer would score the eventual game winning goal of the night. St. Norbert was able to find the back of the net one more time in the second period at 18:27 to pull ahead 4-2.
In the third period, the Blugolds thought they had a chance to bring themselves within one goal when the puck made its way past the goal line, but officials called it a no goal saying it had deflected off the skate of a Blugold forward. Mason Baptista put the nail in the coffin when he scored his first goal of the season for the Green Knights and put the score at 5-2.
Getting his first loss of the season between the pipes was Andrew Martin (Fr.-Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton). Martin only had 13 saves on the night and gave up five goals. The Blugolds outshot the Green Knights 35-18, but could not take advantage of the power play opportunities the way the Knights did. Eau Claire is now 4-4-0 overall on the season and 2-4-0 in NCHA play.
The Blugolds will be on the road next weekend playing in the Adrian Thanksgiving Tournament. The first opponent of the tournament will be host Adrian College. The puck drops for the first game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.