By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey returned to the ice Monday night as the College of St. Benedict Blazers came to town for a non-conference meeting. The Blugolds looked to bounce back after a tough 3-2 road loss to Gustavus Adolphus (MN) last Tuesday.
Coming into the game the Blugolds had outscored their opponents 36-23 on the year and on Monday It took less than three minutes for the Blugolds to strike. After a scrum in front of the net, the puck landed on the stick of Erin Goodell (So.-Maplewood, MN/Woodbury). Goodell would shoot once, receive her own rebound and then put it home to get her first of the season and to put UW-Eau Claire on the board first. Just two minutes later, Elizabeth Bauer (Fr.-Wausau, WI/East) would collect the puck to the left side of the net and would slide it across the crease and find Courtney Wittig (Fr.-Green Bay, WI/Bay Port) on the back door. Wittig would finish it off and score her 11th goal on the year. Wittig currently leads the Blugolds and is second in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in goals.
The Blazers would answer late in the first with a power-play goal and a fast break goal in the last 10 seconds. To end the period the teams would be tied at two, but the Blugolds controlled the puck for a majority of the period and outshot the Blazers 10-5.
The second period featured mostly up and down hockey with the Blugolds again dominating in shots, 13-4, and also controlling the faceoff circle. UW-Eau Claire would finish the game winning 34 of the 51 face-offs. Once again in the final minutes of the period, the Blazers found the back of the net putting them up by one heading into the third.
But the third period was all UW-Eau Claire right from the get go and it was led by the newcomers. It took just 24 seconds for Abby Roeser (Fr.-St. Paul, MN/East Ridge) to catch the puck in the slot and go top shelf glove side to even the score at three. This would be Roeser's first point in a Blugold jersey. Coming into the game the Blugolds were just 10 for 46 on the power-play, but continued a four-game streak of scoring at least one power-play goal. With the player advantage, the puck would be shot at the net from the blue line and almost every player converged on the net. The puck would end up sliding out right in front of Elizabeth Bauer (Fr.-Wausau, WI/East) who was sitting on the back door away from the action. Bauer poked in the loose puck for the go-ahead goal. This was her second goal of the year, but her ninth point on the season.
The Blugolds weren't done there. Just minutes after a successful penalty kill, Monica Sjodin (So.-Anoka, MN) would send the puck up the boards to a sprinting Chloe Summerfield (Fr.-Austin, MN). Summerfield would collect the puck on the right faceoff dot with just one defender between her and the goalie. Summerfield made a quick sidestep left, leaving the defender behind her, and she fired the puck five hole on the Blazer goalie increasing the lead to 5-3. The Blugolds would finish the game out-shooting the Blazers 35 to 15.
Erin Connolly (Fr. Mequon, WI/Homestead) would stop 10 of the 13 shots she faced to increase her save percentage at 90.2 percent on the year. She leads the Blugolds with a record of 4-3-0.
The Blugolds (7-4, 1-1 WIAC) have an action-packed week as they will travel to St. Paul, Minn. to take on Hamline University on Wednesday night and will return to Hobbs on Friday and Saturday as they host Saint Mary's (Minn.) and Marian University.
Follow all the action this season on Blugold Game Day.