EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) — Last year the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team started the season with a loss to I-94 rival UW-Stout. This year, they played host to the Blue Devils to open the season and made sure to return the favor.
The Blugolds jumped all over the Blue Devils early and opened the 2012 season with a 4-2 victory at Hobbs Ice Center.
Eau Claire native Andrew McCabe (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) started things off for the Blugolds at 6:41 of the first period. McCabe buried a beautiful pass from Jordan Singer (Sr.-Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial) for the 1-0 lead.
It looked like the first period would end that way, but Andrew Wilcox (Sr.-Rochester, Minn./Century) put home a rebound with 0:52 left in the period on an assist from Jack Callahan (So.-Red Bank, NJ/Christian Brothers) to send the Blugolds to the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
UW-Eau Claire continued to dominate UW-Stout in the second period and took control of the game midway through. At 12:49, Robbie Anderegg (Jr.-Urbandale, Iowa/Dowling Catholic) put home a loose puck after a shot by David Donnellan (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) snuck behind the Blue Devils goalie. McCabe added an assist along with Donnellan on the goal.
Shortly after, at 14:52, Donnellan another Eau Claire native, buried a backdoor one-timer on a pass from Kurt Weston (Sr.-Roseau, Minn./Roseau). Ross Andersen (So.-River Falls, Wis./River Falls) also assisted on the goal.
With the Blugolds in control, Singer received a five-minute major checking-from-behind penalty along with a game misconduct at 18:48 of the second period. That gave the Blue Devils a little momentum heading into the third period.
UW-Stout scored at 13:12 and 14:50 of the third period to cut the Blugold lead in half and make the final period interesting.
But Brandon Stephenson (Sr.-Saline, Mich./Saline) made sure the Blue Devils would not get any closer. He finished the game with 30 saves and picked up his first victory of the year in goal for the Blugolds.
The Blue Devils are now 0-1-1 after playing to a 3-3 tie at Marian University last weekend. The Blugolds start out the season 1-0-0 and also pick up a big win in NCHA play early in the season.
The two teams will take to the ice again Saturday night at Hobbs with the game set to start at 7 p.m.