EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team fell behind early and was unable to play with the lead as the Blugolds fell to UW-Stout 4-3 here tonight at Hobbs Ice Center.
The Blugolds fall to 12-5-2 overall and 4-2-0 in WIAC play while the Blue Devils improve to 8-10-1 overall and 3-3-0 in conference action. Eau Claire is 10-0-0 when they score four or more goals in a game and are 2-5-2 when they score less than four goals in a game. The loss also ended a streak in which the Blugolds had scored a power play goal in eight straight games.
It was the Blue Devils who got going early tonight scoring goals at 4:46 of the first period and 7:54 of the second period taking a 2-0 lead. It was the first time since playing St. Thomas on January 17 that the Blugolds were down 2-0 to an opponent.
The Blugolds started their comeback when Ross Andersen (Sr.-River Falls, WI) scored his fourth short-handed goal of the season at 13:57 of the second period assisted by Joe Schmitz (Lino Lakes, MN/Centennial) and goalie Tyler Green (Jr.-Noblesville, IN). Andersen has scored four of the Blugolds' five short-handed goals this season.
Jake Hopfner (Fr.-Eastpointe, MI/Warren Woods Tower) tied the game at 2-2 scoring with just 27 seconds remaining in the second period assisted by Schmitz. The Blugolds ended the second period outshooting the Blue Devils 23-9.
Tied 2-2 entering the third period the Blue Devils scored goals at 5:40 and 6:52 giving Stout a 4-2 lead. The Blugolds called a timeout at 17:33 and pulled Green from goal. After the timeout Andersen scored his second goal of the night at 19:33 assisted by Schmitz and Brandon Wahlin (So.-White Bear Lake, MN) cutting the lead to 4-3 but the Blugolds were unable to score the tying goal as time expired.
Andersen ended the night with two goals and Schmitz recorded three assists. Green saved 19 shots on goal playing 57:33 before being pulled to add an extra offensive attacker.
Eau Claire outshot Stout 51-23. The Blue Devils were called for six infractions totaling 12 penalty minutes while the Blugolds was whistled for just three minor infractions serving six penalty minutes. Eau Claire went did not score a goal on six power play chances while Stout also went scoreless on three power play opportunities.
The Blugolds return to the road next weekend when they play two games at UW-Superior starting Friday, February 6. Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. in Wessman Arena.