By Justin Dade – UWEC Sports Information
MENOMINEE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 8 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team opened up conference play on the road with a huge 7-0 win over the University of Wisconsin-Stout behind a five-goal performance from Adam Knochenmus (Jr. – Roseau, MN) on Thursday night.
Knochenmus fired five shots on goal throughout the game and found the back of the net all five times to take a school record five goals in just two periods with the first five Blugold goals.
The Blugolds opened the scoring with Knochenmus' first goal six minutes into the game on the power play assisted by Garret Clemment (Jr. – Wausau, WI) and Patrick Moore (Jr. - Grand Rapids, MN). The rest of the period came without any more goals, and the teams were both even at 11 shots on goal at the end of the period.
At the 7:54 mark of the second period, Knochenmus fired another shot past Blue Devil goaltender Chase Hollander with the assist coming from Moore again to extend the lead to 2-0.
The junior attained his hat trick with just 1:37 left in the second period to add to the Blugold lead on two great passes from Ethan Nauman (Sr. – Mosinee, WI) and captain Jeff Pauluk (Sr. – Bloomington, MN).
The favorable third period brought good fortune once again to the Blugolds as Knochenmus put his fourth goal of the game into the back of the net on assists from Lucas Kohls (So. - Forest Lake, MN) and Tyler Hart (Fr. Woodbury, MN).
Just three minutes and four seconds later, Knochenmus put his name in the record books with his fifth goal of the evening this time again on the power play assisted by Clemment and Pauluk.
The Blugolds tallied two more late in the period on goals from Nauman and Todd Koritzinsky (So. – Verona, WI) to extend the lead even further where the Blugolds would ultimately prevail taking the War on I-94 over UW-Stout by the score of 7-0.
Knochenmus has been phenomenal for the Blugolds all season and now has a team leading 14 goals on the season paired with his four assists for a total of 18 points through just 11 games.
The three power-play goals on their five attempts with the man advantage finally got the Blugold power-play unit back on track to improve their power-play percentage to 31.1 percent. The penalty kill unit continued to roll by not allowing a goal for yet another game to improve the Blugolds' penalty kill percentage to an impressive 95.7 percent.
Goaltender Tyler Green (Sr. – Noblesville, IN) recorded his second shutout of the season, saving all 33 of the Blue Devils' shots on goal. Green's record will improve to 4-1-1 on the season.
The Blugolds will look to ride this momentum as they return to Hobbs Ice Arena to continue conference play against UW-River Falls Saturday night at 7 p.m.