EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) — After a 7-0 loss in the opening game of the 2012 season, the UW-Eau Claire women's hockey team was looking to bounce back against Bethel University (Minn.). After playing on the road Friday night, the two teams met at Hobbs Ice Center Saturday afternoon.
The Royals scored the only goal of the first period at 17:45. But it was the second period where Bethel University was able to do the real damage.
The Royals scored at 3:17 and added a power-play goal at 8:59 of the second period to take the 3-0 lead. The Blugolds had a chance late in the second period to cut into the lead after Bethel University took a checking penalty at 14:12 and an interference penalty at 14:55.
Head coach Mike Collins took a timeout after the first penalty, but UW-Eau Claire was not able to capitalize on the 5-on-3 opportunity.
Heading into the third period, the Blugolds finally showed some life. Taylor Bowker (Fr.-Cambridge, Minn./Cambridge-Isanti) scored at 7:09 of the third period on assists by Katie Ward (Sr.-Andover, Minn./Coon Rapids) and Ashley Baugher (Fr.-Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) to cut the lead to just two.
But the Royals put the game away on a goal at 10:37 of the final stanza to push the lead back to three.
Paige Turner (Fr.-Iron River, Wis./Duluth East) got the start in goal for the Blugolds and made 16 saves in two periods. Kim Van Brunt (Fr.-Eagle River, Wis./Northland Pines) relieved Turner in the third period and made five saves on six shots.
The Blugolds had three power-plays but were not able to take advantage, including the 5-on-3. Bethel University went 1-for-5 on the power-play.
UW-Eau Claire will jump into conference play next weekend when they welcome NCHA opponent UW-Superior to Hobbs Ice Center for a two-game series. The first game is Friday night, followed by the second contest Saturday night, both are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.