STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) — Coming off a huge win Friday night against St. Norbert, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team had to get right back to work as they traveled to Stevens Point for another key NCHA matchup.
The Blugolds (16-3-2, 11-2-1 NCHA) fell behind in the first period, but they rallied in the second and third period to pick up the 3-2 win.
The Pointers (12-8-1, 6-7-1 NCHA) got on the board with a goal late in the first period at 18:59. The game stayed that way until midway through the second period when Isaiah Bennis (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) found the back of the net to tie it up at 1-1.
With 1:39 left in the second period, the Pointers were taken off for a penalty. With only 0:04 left in the period, the Blugolds changed the entire complexion of the game with a power-play goal by Andrew McCabe (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial).
The Pointers didn't go away, however, as they tied the game back up at 2-2 four minutes into the final period. But the Blugolds responded just over a minute later at 5:42 when Drew Darwitz (Sr.-Woodbury, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) buried the game-winner.
With just under a minute to go, the Pointers pulled their goalie to get the extra attacker, but the Blugolds held on for the 3-2 victory.
Brandon Stephenson (Sr.-Saline, Mich./Saline) had another solid night in net, following his shutout up with 21 saves on 23 shots by the Pointers. With the win, Stephenson is now tied with Tom Johnson (1980-84) for career wins with the Blugolds at 40. He is also now second in wins for a season with 14, behind only Johnson who set the record with 15.
The Blugolds finished 1-for-4 on the power-play, while the Pointers were 0-for-3 on the man advantage.
St. Norbert rebounded with a 4-2 win over UW-River Falls to remain just two points back of the Blugolds in the NCHA standings. With four games left in the regular season, and all of them conference games, each one will be important for the Blugolds.
They return to action Friday, Feb. 1 when they travel to Menomonie to take on UW-Stout at 7:30 p.m. They will be back home the following night to take on UW-River Falls at 7 p.m.