TEMPE, Ariz. (Blugolds.com) – The No. 8 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team skated to a 3-3 tie with the Arizona State University Sun Devils on Friday night at Oceanside Ice Arena.
The Blugolds held their own against the Division 1 Sun Devils in this one led by Garret Clemment (Jr. – Wausau, WI) who contributed two goals.
Despite a strong start from the Blugolds, the Sun Devils found the back of the net first in this game on a hard shot from the point from Nicholas Gushue.
UW-Eau Claire responded well after falling behind eventually leading the Sun Devils 11-5 in shots on goal for the period.
Clemment tied the game 1-1 on his first goal of the game with 7:35 left in the first period on the power play assisted by David Henry (Jr. – Foster City, CA) and Patrick Moore (Jr. – Grand Rapids, MN).
The lone goal of the second period came on a breakaway unassisted goal scored by Mac Jansen (So. – White Bear Lake, MN) 5:23 into the frame.
The Sun Devils wasted little time finding the equalizer in the third period as Ryan Belonger tied the game back up at 2-2 just 1:45 into the third.
The Blugolds would regain the lead on Clemment's second goal with 11:57 left in the period assisted by Moore and Adam Knochenmus (Jr. – Roseau, MN).
Arizona State would respond one final time to tie the game back up 3-3 on a goal from Joe Lappin just over two minutes later.
The rest of regulation and overtime contained an abundance of high-quality chances for both teams, but neither was able to find the decisive goal.
The game will go down officially as a tie, but the Blugolds were able to win the non-decisive shootout to add to a really strong overall performance.
The Blugolds were a perfect 4-4 on the penalty kill in a game where special teams proved to be crucial for UW-Eau Claire.
Goaltender Tyler Green (Sr. Noblesville, IN) played extremely well in this game making many key saves that kept the Blugolds in it. Green saved 22 of the 25 Sun Devil shots on goal, and with this tie, will now sit at 9-4-3.
The Blugolds (13-5-4, 3-2-1 WIAC) will look to take the series win in their return to Oceanside Ice Arena for game two against Arizona State tomorrow night. The puck will drop at 8:30 p.m. central time.