By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team started their season on Friday night as they hosted non-conference opponent, the Milwaukee School of Engineering Raiders. Before the game, the Blugolds celebrated last year's WIAC Conference championship as they unveiled their "2018 WIAC Conference Champs" banner to start the evening. The winning momentum continued into the start of the season as rookie Andrew McGlynn (Fr. – St. Louis, MO/Christian Brothers College) scored his first two goals in his collegiate career and Eau Claire would power through MSOE, 3 to 1.
The Blugolds started the game strong by testing the MSOE Raider goalie early. With six shots in the first nine minutes, the Blugolds would break open the flood gates after McGlynn took a slapshot from the blue line. Despite the effort just being a time-consuming effort to let his line mates change, the puck would sail past the Raider goal, hit the crossbar, and bury itself in the back of the net.
The Eau Claire offensive would not stop after the 1st period and the Blugolds would start the season off hot by going 2 for 8 on the powerplay. The first powerplay goal would come just minutes after the first goal. After some crisp passing from the point to the backdoor, McGlynn would easily set the puck into the back of the net as he had almost the entire net open. Jake Bresser (Jr. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) and Lucas Kohls (Sr. – Forest Lake, MN) were credited with the assists as the Blugolds increased their intensity to reach their third goal. Again, on the powerplay the puck would be shot on net and Johnny Mueller (Sr. – St. Peters, MO/Francis Howell Central) would find the loose puck and send it home. The Blugolds would close out the 2nd period by giving up a goal off a rebound.
With both teams struggling to stay out of the penalty box, Eau Claire would kill off every penalty they faced and managed to block 11 shots while doing so. Tyler Hart (Sr. – Woodbury, MN/East Ridge) would lead the defensive front with 3 blocked shots of his own.
Zach Dyment (So. – Abbotsford, BC/Yale Secondary) secured his first win of the season as he saved 25 of the 26 shots he faced. Dyment ended last season with a save percentage of .905 and doesn't seem to be slowing down one bit.
The Blugolds take back to the ice on Saturday, October 27th as they host another non-conference opponent, Lake Forest College. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.