By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team looked to continue their early season success on Friday night as they hosted the University of St. Thomas. The Blugolds entered the game ranked in the top 15 in both national polls due to their 5-game winning streak. The Tommies came in ranked #15 by USCHO.com as both teams looked for a win to gain momentum into the weekend. Special teams played a big part for the Blugolds as they went 1 for 4 on the powerplay and 6 for 6 on the penalty kill to earn a 2-1 win.
Despite getting outshot in the first period, the Eau Claire defensive would have their hands full all night allowing a season-high 28 shots on goal. The total would have been much higher, but the Blugolds also had a season-high 20 blocked shots.
With the physicality of the game increasing by the minute, the Blugolds would find themselves with a 5-on-3 opportunity early in the second period. Just 19 seconds into the player-advantage, Scott Munro (Jr. – Vancouver, BC/St. George's) would blast home a one-timer from the point recording the fifth powerplay goal for Eau Claire this season. Johnny Mueller (Sr. – St. Peters, MO/Francis Howell Central) and Steen Cooper (Jr. – Duncan, BC) would both get credit with assists.
Later in that period, Cooper would lead a 2-on-1 into the zone with Jake Bresser (Jr. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) and the Blugolds would capitalize. Despite the initial pass from Cooper to Bresser going astray into the corner, Bresser would regain control and saucer pass the puck back to the middle for Cooper who was wide open. Steen's goal would be his third goal this season since transferring from Minnesota State-Mankato.
With just seconds remaining, the Tommies would pull their goalie for an extra attacker and would have multiple chances in front, but the defense stepped up blocking the last four shots and securing the team's third win at home.
Zach Dyment (So. – Abbotsford, BC/Yale Secondary) recorded a season-high 27 saves as he and the Blugolds improve to 6-0-0 and remain undefeated.
Eau Claire is back in action on Saturday, November 10, at 7 p.m. as they host Saint Mary's University (MN) at Hobbs Ice Center. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.