By Justin Dade, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team defeated the UW-Stout Blue Devils 5-2 on Wednesday night at Hobbs Ice Arena to improve to 3-2 in conference play.
The "War on I-94" rivalry was renewed for the second time this season, and the Blugolds had the upper hand all night led by the line of Jake Bresser (So. – Eau Claire, WI), Colton Wolter (Sr. – Fairbanks, AK) and Jacob Wolter (Sr. – Fairbanks, AK) that collected eight total points.
The Blue Devils came into this one winless since Dec. 1 and continued to struggle despite the return of goaltender Tommi Ahlgren.
It didn't take five minutes for the Blugolds to grab a lead that they wouldn't relinquish on a highlight-reel goal from Bresser that made it 1-0 with the assists to going to both Wolter brothers.
As the Blugolds continued to dominate possession, the puck found a streaking Tyler Hart (Woodbury, MN) in the slot and he buried his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 with 8:24 left in the first period. Colton and Jacob would again earn the assists on the goal.
A bad penalty given up by UW-Eau Claire would set up the Blue Devils on the power play where they have been strong this season converting over 20 percent of their opportunities with the man advantage. They improved that percentage after Kyle Sylvester buried one over the shoulder of Zach Dyment (Fr. - Abbotsford, BC) to cut the lead in half with 5:44 left in the opening frame.
A first period full of action saw one more tally as the Blugolds converted on a powerplay of their own scored on a blast from Scott Munro (So. – Vancouver, BC) to regain the two-goal advantage before the end of the period. Captain Jake Hopfner (Sr. – Eastpointe, MI) and Jesse Tredinnick (Sr. – Onalaska, WI) were credited with assists on Munro's third goal of the season.
The ice shifted just a little in the second period, as UW-Stout found a little bit more offensive zone time. While still only managing six shots on goal, they would cut the lead in half once more on a goal scored by Gavin Smith off a rebound that made it 3-2 with under five minutes to go in the period.
The Blugolds would hold a commanding 26-12 lead in shots on goal after 40 minutes of play.
Jacob Wolter would add his third and fourth goals of the year in the final period with one into the empty net to propel the Blugolds to the 5-2 win. Jacob now has four goals in just eight games.
UW-Eau Claire would double up UW-Stout in shots (34-17) and finished with a large lead in faceoff wins (47-26).
Dyment made his eighth straight start in the net for UW-Eau Claire and saved 15 of the 17 shots he saw on the night to improve to 5-3.
The Blugolds (13-8-0, 3-2-0) will head to the road for another conference game against UW-Superior on Saturday night with the puck set to drop at 7 p.m.
Follow all the action on Blugold Game Day.