By Justin Dade, UWEC Sports Information
FON DU LAC, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 10 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team fell to the Marian Sabres 5-2 on Saturday night recording just their second loss of the season.
UW-Eau Claire led in shots on goal and faceoffs for the game in their comeback bid, but fell short allowing a goal in the third period and then a late empty net goal to concede their most goals in a game this season.
The Sabres opened up the scoring with 6:53 left in the first period on a goal from freshman forward Jack Howie and then added to their lead 2 minutes and 25 seconds later on a goal from senior forward Warren Carter.
With just nine seconds left in the period, the Blugolds found life with a huge goal scored on the power-play by Ethan Nauman (Sr. – Mosinee, WI) assisted by Jake Hopfner (So. – Eastpointe, MI) and Preston Hodge (Jr. Normal, IL) to cut the Sabre lead in half and take momentum into the locker room.
The first half of the period came without scoring, but the Sabres added to their lead 10:54 into the frame on a goal from Devin Stuermer.
The Blugolds roared back again this time just 15 seconds later on a goal from T.J. Stuntz (So. – Austin, TX) assisted by David Henry (Jr. – Foster City, CA) and Jesse Tredinnick (So. – Onalaska, WI) to reduce the deficit back to only one.
UW-Eau Claire fought hard and put 23 shots on Marian goaltender Mike Gudmandson in the second and third periods alone to create chances but were unable to add any more goals to complete the comeback.
The Sabres added another goal in the third period from Jack Howie, and then tacked on a final empty-net goal to seal the 5-2 victory.
The Blugolds won big in the face-off department winning 44 of the 69 draws led by Colton Wolter (So. – Fairbanks, AK) who won 10 of 15.
UW-Eau Claire's penalty kill continued to be dominant denying the four Sabre power plays to improve their season penalty kill percentage to 95.1 percent.
Goaltender Jay Deo (Jr. – Langley, British Columbia) recorded his loss of the season Saturday night saving 25 of the 29 Sabres' shots on goal. Deo's record will fall to 3-1-1 on the season.