RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds. Com) – The 14th-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team outscored 3rd-ranked UW-River Falls 3-0 over the final two periods defeating the Falcons 5-2 here tonight at Hunt Arena.
The Blugolds improve to 10-4-2 overall and 2-1-0 in the WIAC while the Falcons fall to 14-3-1 overall and 3-2-0 in conference action. Eau Claire has won eight of its last 10 meetings against River Falls including a 5-1 record at Hunt Arena. Over their last 10 meetings the Blugolds have outscored the Falcons 37-16.
Eau Claire turned the lamp on first when Ethan Nauman (Jr.-Mosinee, WI) scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season at 5:22 of the first period assisted by Todd Koritzinsky (Fr.-Verona, WI/Middleton) getting out to an early 1-0 advantage.
With the game tied 1-1 the Blugolds regained the lead when Jake Hopfner (Fr.-Eastpointe, MI/Warren Woods Tower) scored a power play goal at 9:58 of the first period assisted by Nauman and Brandon Wahlin (So.-White Bear Lake, MN). The goal marked the sixth straight game in which the Blugolds have scored a power play goal.
Hopfner broke a 2-2 tie scoring his second goal of the game at 0:50 of the second period assisted by Wahlin giving the Blugolds their first lead of the game at 3-2. Nauman scored his second goal of the game at 9:19 of the second period off another power play opportunity assisted by Wahlin and Jack Callahan (Sr.-Red Bank, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy).
Wahlin ended a strong evening scoring his fourth point of the night, this time doing so with his seventh goal of the season at 18:00 of the third period on an empty Falcon net assisted by Callahan and Patrick Moore (So.-Grand Rapids, MN). Callahan's second assist of the night gives him a team-leading 14 assist for the season.
The Eau Claire power play continues to sizzle scoring two goals on four opportunities. Over their last six games in which they have had a power play opportunity, the Blugolds are converting 46.7% of their power plays, scoring 14 goals in 30 opportunities.
Goalie Tyler Green (Jr.-Noblesville, IN) earned the win saving 14 shots in 58 minutes of play. His season record now stands at 6-2-1.
Eau Claire outshot River Falls 30-16. The Falcons were held scoreless on three power play opportunities. Eau Claire was whistled for five minor infractions serving 10 penalty minutes while the Falcons were called for seven penalties serving 14 minutes.
The Blugolds return to Hunt Arena tomorrow night where they will once again battle the Falcons. Face-off is set for 7:05 p.m.