RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Playing in their first Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey team came up just short of their first O'Brien Cup, falling 3-2 in overtime to No. 3 UW-River Falls.
The Blugolds struck first as they took advantage of an early power play in the first period. Mariah Czech (Sr. – Andover, MN) tallied her sixth goal of the season off an assist from Claudia Gagnon (Sr. - Duluth, MN/East) to give Eau Claire the early lead.
From there it was a defensive battle, as neither team would score the rest of the period or in the second.
The third period saw more action as River Falls tied it up three minutes into the frame. But the Blugolds capitalized on another power play at the 11:10 mark as Elizabeth Bauer (Fr. - Wausau, WI/East) netted her seventh goal of the season to reclaim the lead. Holly Turnbull (So. - Hayward, WI) was credited with the assist.
The Falcon offense wasn't done just yet, as Carina Randazzo scored at 17:08 to tie the score again and send the title game into overtime.
River Falls would get the game-winner in OT as Carly Moran scored at 8:39 to give the Falcons the win.
The Falcons out-shot the Blugolds 40-21 on the day and held a slight edge in faceoffs won, 27-26.
Eau Claire turned in strong performance on special teams as they were 2 for 3 on power plays and were perfect on the penalty kill.
Erin Connolly (Fr. - Mequon, WI/Homestead) tallied 37 saves in goal, falling to 15-7-1 on the season.