EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Coming off a three-week break for the holidays, it would have been understandable if the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team came out a little rusty Tuesday night when they returned to the ice against Augsburg (Minn.) at Hobbs Ice Center. The Blugolds were anything but rusty as they came out and dominated Augsburg all the way through to a 4-0 victory.
There was no scoring in the first period, but the Blugolds (8-3-1) dominated play and had plenty of chances. The Auggies (8-2-1) kept it close due to the play of goaltender John Bretzman, but in the second period, UW-Eau Claire broke through.
Just 1:26 into the period, Patrick Moore (Fr.-Grand Rapids, Minn./Grand Rapids) buried his own rebound for his first career goal to put the Blugolds up 1-0. Alex Olson (Sr.-Devils Lake, N.D./Devils Lake) and Charles Thauwald (So.-Rochester, Minn./Mayo) assisted on the goal.
At 5:53, the Blugolds went on their first power-play of the game. Just 12 seconds into the man-advantage, Joe Krause (Jr.-Hermantown, Minn./Hermantown) took a backdoor pass and buried it top-shelf over Bretzman for the 2-0 lead. Jack Callahan (Jr.-Red Bank, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) and Jon Waggoner (Sr.-Fairbanks, Alaska/Lathrop) picked up helpers on the goal.
The Blugolds pulled away late in the period when Jared Williams (Sr.-West Chicago, Ill./Bartlett) took a pass from goaltender Tyler Green (So.-Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) and raced all the way down the ice and beat the goalie with a nice wrister for the 3-0 lead.
After a relatively clean first period that saw just one penalty, there were nine penalties in the second period, including a five-minute major and a game misconduct on the Auggies for checking-from-behind into the boards. The penalty carried over into the third period, but a penalty on the Blugolds in the third kept them from converting on the long power-play.
At 9:14 of the final period, Ethan Nauman (So.-Mosinee, Wis./Mosinee) put the game away with his first goal of the game. Mark Pustin (Sr.-Northridge, Cal./Granada Hills), who was playing in his first game of the season, and Moore picked up assists on the goal.
The Blugolds outshot the Auggies 48-20, including 18-5 in the second period. They dominated play throughout and set the tone for the second half of the season. Green made 20 saves on 20 shots to pick up his first career shutout and improve to 4-3-0 this season.
UW-Eau Claire went 1-for-3 on the power-play, while Augsburg finished 0-for-3.
The win over Augsburg was the start of a six-game home stand for the Blugolds. They will return to action this weekend when they play Northland on Friday and Lawrence University on Saturday. Both games are set to start at 7 p.m. at Hobbs Ice Center.