DE PERE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The ninth-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team battled top-ranked and defending national champion St. Norbert down to the wire as the Green Knights scored the game-winning goal with just 25 seconds left in the third period to defeat the Blugolds 3-2 here tonight at the Cornerstone Community Center.
The Blugolds fall to 3-1-1 on the season while the Green Knights improve to 6-0-1. Eau Claire has competed well versus the Green Knights over the last three years going 3-4-1 during that stretch. Both teams have combined to win the last four NCAA Division III national championships in men's ice hockey.
Less than four minutes into the game RJ Majkozak (Fr.-White Bear Lake, MN) scored his first career goal for Eau Claire at 3:42 of the first period assisted by Ethan Nauman (Jr.-Mosinee, WI) and David Henry (So.-Foster City, CA/Junipero Serra) for an early 1-0 lead. The Green Knights countered scoring two goals late in the first period at 17:08 and 18:33 giving St. Norbert a 2-1 advantage entering the first intermission.
After a scoreless second period Jake Hopfner (Fr.-Eastpointe, MI/Warren Woods Tower) tied the game at 2-2 with his first career goal as a Blugold at 9:57 of the third period assisted by Adam Knochenmus (So.-Roseau, MN) and Jesse Tredinnick (Fr.-Onalaska, WI). With just 25 seconds remaining in the third period the Green Knights scored the game-winning goal at 19:35 of the third period. Eau Claire pulled their goalie with nine second remaining in regulation but was unable to score the tying goal.
Goalie Jay Deo (So.-Langley, BC) saved 27 shots between the pipes playing 59:51 before being pulled for an extra goal scorer. His season record now stands at 1-1-1.
Eau Claire was whistled for six penalties on the evening while St. Norbert were called for four. The Blugolds went 0-for-6 on power play opportunities while the Green Knights went 1-for-4. Eau Claire was outshot by St. Norbert 30-15.
The Blugolds return home on Friday, November 21 when they will welcome fifth-ranked Adrian College of Michigan to Hobbs Ice Center. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m.