Men's Hockey Advances to Finals of WIAC Championship
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Down by one game in the semifinals of the WIAC Championship, the ninth-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team was able to win game two 1-0 over third-ranked UW-Stevens Point Saturday night to force a mini-game, and then won the mini-game 2-1 to advance to the final game of the WIAC Championship.
The Blugolds got on the board first at 11:21 in the opening period when Joe Krause (Jr.-Hermantown, Minn.) scored a short-handed goal, unassisted. That was all the scoring the rest of the way and the Pointers narrowly outshot the Blugolds 29-28.
In the mini-game, Ross Andersen (Jr.-River Falls, Wis.) scored an even-strength goal, unassisted at 3:42 to give the Blugolds a 1-0 lead. Just over six minutes later, Patrick Moore (Fr.-Grand Rapids, Minn.) scored on a power-play with assists from Charles Thauwald (So.-Rochester, Minn./Mayo) and David Donnellan (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial).
The Pointers attempted a comeback and scored using an extra attacker with 43 seconds left in the mini-game to get back to within one. But the Blugolds were able to hold on for the win. Stevens Point outshot the Blugolds 9-7 in the extra session.
Jay Deo (Fr.-Langley, B.C.) played in-goal tonight for the Blugolds, 59:52 in the semifinal game and 20 minutes in the mini-game. He finished with 37 saves, eight of them coming in the mini-game.
Eau Claire improves to 18-8-1 on the season while Stevens Point drops to 20-5-2.
While the winner next Saturday will capture the WIAC title, it will not guarantee a spot in the NCAA Championship as the WIAC does not receive automatic qualification. Selections to the NCAA Championship will be announced next Sunday night (March 9).