By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
ST. PAUL, Minn. (blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey team took to the road for their second game of the week as they traveled to St. Paul to take on the Hamline University. The Blugolds came away with a 3-2 win in overtime, bringing their road record to an impressive 6-1.
The first period was an up and down battle with both goalies saving everything that came their way. Erin Connolly (Fr.-Mequon, WI/Homestead) got the start in net once again after capturing a 5-3 win against the College of Saint Benedict earlier in the week. The Blugolds would finish the period out-shooting the Pipers 13 to 10.
In the second period it was another hard battle, but it would be Eau Claire striking first. Lauren Norgren (Jr.-Fergus Falls, MN) would catch the puck on her stick, make a nice move around two Hamline defenders and shoot the puck right over the goalie's glove to put the Blugolds up 1-0 with only 2:22 left in the period. The assist on the goal would be credited to Courtney Wittig (So.-Green Bay, WI/Bay Port). Norgren would later record an assist on Eau Claire's second goal, and Witting increases her team leading point total to 11.
Despite being out-shot in the entire game 42-27, the Pipers would tie the game at one only 1:39 into the third. That was answered just minutes later by Jaedyn Walz (Jr. -Woodbury, MN/East Ridge) on the power-play. Walz would take the puck behind the net and try to stuff it in with a wrap-around, but it would be stopped by the Piper goalie. The junior didn't stop there as she ended up collecting her own rebound and helped the Blugolds retake a one goal lead.
But once again, Hamline wouldn't give up and Darby Dodds would tie the game at two with her second goal of the night and the game would need overtime.
After the game, Head Coach Erik Strand said he was "really happy with how we controlled the play and persevered tonight." Not only did the Blugolds out-shoot the Pipers in every period, but ended up scoring in the overtime with just 0:54 remaining on the clock. Holly Turnbull (So.-Hayward, WI) would receive a pass from Erin Goodell (So.-Mapewood, MN/Woodbury) and would shoot the puck at the net. The puck would find its way past the goalie, who never saw it, thanks to a screening Goodell in front.
"It was a hard fought win," said Strand. "It's a very good sign from a young team."
The Blugolds (8-4, 1-1 WIAC) will return to Hobbs Friday night for a match-up with Saint Mary's (Minn.). Eau Claire shutout the Cardinals 4-0 on November 26th in Winona and will look to complete the sweep. The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m.
Follow all the action this season on Blugold Game Day.