RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – For the second night in a row, the 14th-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team traveled to third-ranked UW-River Falls and went home with a win, this time earning a 4-3 victory here tonight at Hunt Arena.
The Blugolds improve to 11-4-2 overall and 3-1 in WIAC play while the Falcons fall to 14-4-1 and 3-3-0 in conference action. Eau Claire continues to add to its recent success over River Falls, now winning nine of the last 11 matchups between both schools including a 6-1 record at Hunt Arena. Over the past 11 games the Blugolds have outscored the Falcons 41-19.
Both the Blugolds and Falcons are tied for second place in the WIAC with six points trailing UW-Stevens Point with 10 points. The Pointers are 5-1 in league play while the Falcons are 3-3 and the Blugolds, who have played two fewer games, are 3-1.
Down 1-0 at the end of the first period, Patrick Moore (So.-Grand Rapids, MN) scored his fifth goal of the season at 1:36 of the second period assisted by Ross Andersen (Sr.-River Falls, WI) tying the game at 1-1.
The Falcons regained the lead at 6:28 of the second period but the Blugolds answered when David Henry (So.-Forest City, CA/Junipero Serra) scored a power play goal at 9:47 assisted by Jack Callahan (Sr.-Red Bank, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) and Moore tying the game at 2-2.
In the third period Eau Claire took its first lead when Callahan scored his third goal of the season at 6:08 assisted by Adam Knochenmus (So.-Roseau, MN). Eau Claire extended its lead to 4-2 when Moore scored his second goal of the game at 8:17 assisted by Andersen and Jeff Pauluk (Jr.-Bloomington, MN/Jefferson).
The Falcons cut the lead to 4-3 scoring a goal at 15:04 but the Blugolds held River Falls scoreless over the final 4:56 earning an important WIAC road win.
Moore finished the night with three points including his first game-winning goal of the season. Andersen and Callahan each scored two points on the evening while Henry scored his first power play goal of the season.
Goalie Jay Deo (So.-Langley, BC) saved 31 shots in 59:44 of action to collect the win. His season record now stands at 5-2-1.
The Blugold power play continues to produce, scoring at least one goal in its last seven games. Overall Eau Claire is converting 44.1% of their power play during that stretch scoring 15 goals out of 34 opportunities.
Eau Claire was outshot by River Falls 34-19. The Blugolds converted one-of-four power play opportunities while killing off five Falcon power plays. Eau Claire served 17 penalty minutes on seven infractions while the Falcons served 12 penalty minutes on six minor infractions.
The Blugolds return to Hobbs Ice Center this Friday, January 30 when they host UW-Stout for Alumni Weekend. Eau Claire has played just one home since December 13, a 5-3 victory against Marian University on January 9. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m.