By: Justin Dade – UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 11 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team improved their record to 8-3-2 on the season with a strong all-around performance in a 4-2 victory over the Hamline University Pipers on Saturday night at Hobbs Ice Arena.
Hamline started the game strong and got the game's first goal 6:50 on the power play on a shot from Mitch McPherson to take the lead for the Pipers.
The Blugolds answered right back just under three minutes later off as Adam Knochenmus (Jr. – Roseau, MN) found the back of the net for his 15th time of the season this time coming on the power play jamming home the rebound with the assists coming from Garret Clemment (Jr. – Wausau, WI) and Patrick Moore (Jr. - Grand Rapids, MN). Clemment's assist was his team-leading 13th helper of the season.
UW-Eau Claire came out rather strong in the second period firing 20 of their 39 shots on Piper goaltender John Sellie-Hanson and really began to take the momentum, but the period ended scoreless for both sides.
The Blugolds took the lead for the first time of the evening 8:42 into the third period on a goal from Jake Hopfner (So. – Eastpointe, MI) off a beautiful pass from T.J. Stuntz (So. – Austin, TX) set up by Tredinnick.
Things seemed to be in control for the Blugolds until a penalty left them down a man once again and conceded their second power-play goal on the evening on the second goal from McPherson.
In yet another momentum shift, the Blugolds dug deep and got the game-deciding goal from Tredinnick with 4:29 left in the period assisted by defenseman Tyler Hart (Fr. – Woodbury, MN) to retake the lead. Tredinnick dominated on the offensive end of the ice all night long leading to his best performance of the season.
The Pipers put on plenty of pressure down the stretch, but the Blugolds iced the victory on an empty-net goal scored by Stuntz assisted again by Tredinnick with just 44 seconds left to play.
Green was a rock for the Blugolds and made some key saves stopping 32 of the 34 Piper shots on goal highlighted by a diving save off the stick of Hamline captain Charlie Adams in the second period who thought he had a wide open net. The senior net minder's record will improve to 5-2 on the season.
The Blugolds will now get a break as they have finishing their last game of the entire month of December. They will take the ice next on January 8th at home against Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.), and then the following evening also at home against St. Olaf (Minn.). The puck will drop at 7 p.m. for both of those contests.