January 29, 2014

Women's Hockey Hangs on for 4-3 Win Over Hamline

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's hockey team snapped a five-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory over Hamline University (Minn.) at Hobbs Ice Center on Wednesday night.

The Pipers (3-11-2) struck first at the 8:06 mark of the first period. The initial shot was stopped by Paige Turner (So.-Iron River, Wis./Duluth East), but a Hamline player poked home the rebound for the 1-0 lead.

But the Blugolds (4-14-2) responded at 14:03 when Tory Heller (So.-Cottage Grove, Minn./Hill-Murray) tipped home a shot from Hadley Cookson (So.-Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka) to knot the game up at 1-1. That was how the first period would end.

Kim Van Brunt (So.-Eagle River, Wis./Northland Pines) took over for Turner in goal for the Blugolds to start the second period and she made some big saves right out of the gate. UW-Eau Claire took the lead on a goal from Claudia Gagnon (Fr.-Duluth, Minn./Duluth East) at 2:47 when she put home a rebound on a shot from Amanda Kane (Jr.-Maplewood, Minn./North St. Paul) for the 2-1 lead.

The Blugolds took that lead to the second intermission, and in the third period, they would add some insurance. With the Blugolds on the power-play, Hamline was whistled for another penalty, giving UW-Eau Claire a 5-on-3 advantage. They quickly capitalized when Nikki Kothenbeutel (Sr.-Sauk Rapids, Minn./Sauk Rapids-Rice) scored her fifth goal of the season. Emily Larson (Sr.-Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji) and Heller assisted on the goal.

Just 26 seconds later, at 8:47, still with the power-play, Cookson gave the Blugolds a 3-goal lead with assists from Katie Burkey (Fr.-Ramsey, Minn./Anoka) and Kothenbeutel. A few minutes later, the Blugolds switched goalies again, this time it was Alexys Woodward (Fr.-Vadnais Heights, Minn./Hill-Murray) that took over in goal.

At 11:38, Hamline went on the power-play down 4-1 and they took advantage, scoring just 10-seconds into the advantage to cut the lead in half at 4-2. Hamline continued to put on pressure the rest of the period, and with just 25 seconds left in the game, they made it interesting with a goal to cut it to just a 4-3 lead.

With 17 seconds, the Pipers pulled their goalie, but they were not able to get a shot off and the Blugolds held on for the victory.

Turner made eight saves on nine shots in one period for the Blugolds. Kim Van Brunt picked up the win, finishing with 17 saves on 17 shots in 30 minutes and 29 seconds of action. Woodward played the final 9 minutes and 31 seconds and gave up two goals on 10 shots to finish with eight saves. The Blugolds finished with 34 shots on goal.

Each team was whistled for five penalties, but Hamline received a five minute major and game misconduct for a head contact penalty in the second period. The Blugolds were 2-for-4 on the power-play while Hamline finished 1-for-3.

The Blugolds are back in action Saturday, Feb. 1 at Hobbs for a WIAC matchup when they take on UW-Stevens Point at 7 p.m.  

-JM-