By Justin Dade - Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team fell to the Northland College Lumberjacks 5-2 on Saturday night at Hobbs Ice Center in their first game returning from the holiday break.
The Lumberjacks can now pair this victory with their win over UW-Eau Claire back on Dec. 5 tallying two empty net goals to put an end to the Blugolds' comeback hopes.
Jack Murphy (Fr. – Prior Lake, MN) tallied his first collegiate goal with 2:10 left in the first period to give the Blugolds a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Kyle Lee (Sr. – Wausau, WI) and Todd Koritzinsky (Sr. – Verona, WI) were credited with the assists on the goal.
The Blugolds led 12-11 in shots on goal after one period of play.
Things would unravel near the middle of the second period as the Lumberjacks would score two goals in just over a minute to make it 2-1 with one period left to play.
The Blugolds were looking to tie it up with a man advantage halfway through the final period, but a shorthanded goal scored by Lucas DeBenedet would make it 3-1 instead.
Captain Jake Hopfner (Sr. – Eastpointe, MI) would get one back on the power play just over three and a half minutes later to make it 3-2. Mac Jansen (Sr. – White Bear Lake, MN) and Johnny Mueller (Jr. - St. Peters, MO) were credited with the assists on Hopfner's seventh goal of the year.
UW-Eau Claire would look for the equalizer, but Northland would add two empty net goals in the final minute to go on to win 5-2.
Zach Dyment (Fr. - Abbotsford, BC) made his first start in net on the season for UW-Eau Claire and saved 28 of the 31 shots he saw.
The Blugolds (8-6-0, 1-1-0) will remain in Eau Claire and will be back at Hobbs Ice Center next weekend first with a matchup with Gustavus Adolphus on Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Follow all the action on Blugold Game Day.