EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey team started Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship (presented by Culver's) play Friday, taking down UW-Stevens Point by a score of 4-1.
Despite several early scoring opportunities for the Blugolds, it was Stevens Point who struck first at the 16:03 mark of the first period and took a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.
The Blugolds came out strong to start the second period and took advantage of an early power play as Sami Meister (Fr. – Plymouth, MN/Wayzata) found the back of the net at 5:35.
Eau Claire added another power play goal ten minutes later off the stick of Kelly Knetter (So. – Wausau, WI/West) with assists from Jaedyn Walz (Jr. – Woodbury, MN/East Ridge) and Holly Turnbull (So. – Hayward, WI).
Two minutes later, Turnbull tallied a goal of her own giving the Blugolds a 3-1 lead. Meister and Knetter were credited with assists for Eau Claire.
The Blugolds added to their lead in the final period at 6:43 as Mariah Czech (Sr. – Andover, MN) found the back of the net for an unassisted goal, securing the 4-1 victory.
Eau Claire out-shot the Pointers 36-20 and had the edge in face-offs, 36-33.
Erin Connolly (Fr.-Mequon, WI/Homestead) had another stellar performance between the pipes, notching 19 saves.
The Blugolds (17-8-1) will face the Pointers Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM for game two of the series. Follow all the action on Blugold Game Day.