ST. PAUL, Minn. (Blugolds.com) — The UW-Eau Claire women's hockey team squared off with Hamline University (Minn.) just a week ago in Eau Claire at Hobbs Ice Center. The Blugolds held on for a 4-3 victory. Wednesday night, the two teams met again, this time in St. Paul at Warner Coliseum. The result was not as favorable for the Blugolds this time, as they fell 3-1.
Penalties proved to be key in this matchup. All three of the Pipers' goals came with the power-play, while the Blugolds (4-16-2) were unable to capitalize with the advantage.
The Pipers scored their first power-play goal of the night in the first period at 14:10. That was the only goal of the period, as the Hamline took a 1-0 lead into the second period.
Both teams picked up goals in the second period, but it was Hamline that struck first, again on the power-play. The Pipers struck at 7:09 of the second period to take a 2-0 lead.
Just over two minutes later, the Blugolds cut the lead in half. Sam Knutson (Jr.-North St. Paul, Minn./North St. Paul) scored with helpers from Andi Husted (Jr.-Scottsdale, Ariz./Shattuck St. Mary's) and Paige Dale (Fr.-Andover, Minn./Andover).
Hamline took the two-goal lead back, however, at the 12:32 mark with their final goal of the night, another power-play tally. That was how the second period would end, with the Blugolds trailing 3-1.
UW-Eau Claire finished 0-for-5 on the power-play, while Hamline was 3-for-4 and that proved to be the difference in the game.
Hamline also held the edge in shots, outshooting the Blugolds 27-16. Kim Van Brunt (So.-Eagle River, Wis./Northland Pines) made 24 saves on 27 shots, but took the loss for the Blugolds.
UW-Eau Claire is hitting the final stretch of their season, with just three games left in the regular season. They will travel to Stevens Point on Saturday, Feb. 8 for an afternoon matchup with the Pointers. The game is set to start at 2:30 p.m.
After that, they are at River Falls on Saturday, Feb. 15 for a 2 p.m. game with the Falcons. They will play the Falcons again on Saturday Feb. 22, again at 2 p.m., this time at Hobbs Ice Center in Eau Claire.