By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Men's hockey team started Wisconsin Intercollegiate Conference (WIAC) play on Wednesday night as they took on rivals from Menomonie, the UW-Stout Blue Devils. After suffering their second loss of the season last weekend, the Blugolds would bounce back big with a statement 5-1 win.
The loss from the previous weekend stung and left a bad taste in the mouth of Eau Claire, as they would come out flying in the first period. Just seven minutes in, Lucas Kohls (Sr. – Forest Lake, MN) would use his size and his hands to fight and toe-drag around two Stout defenders to open up to space. Afterwards came an even more impressive shot. As soon as Kohls saw daylight, he rifled the puck under the Stout goalie and gave the home crowd something to jump around for. The assist would be credited to Steen Cooper (Jr. – Duncan, BC) and Nathan Dingmann (So. – Plymouth, MN/Wayzata) which would be the first of two assists for Cooper on the night.
Four Blugolds would record multi-point nights, with one of those being Adam Parsells (So. – Wausau, WI/West). He would earn Eau Claire's second goal of the night on the powerplay. After getting a rink-wide pass from Cooper, Parsells would slide down to the slot, snipe the top corner over the Blue Devil goalie's blocker, and turn to give an exciting celebration to the fans on the glass. That second goal of the night would come just under five minutes remaining in the second and would hold true to the Blugold domination. Johnny Mueller (Sr. – St. Peters, MO/Francis Howell Central) would get credit with the secondary assist and that would be the start of his three-assist night.
A glimmer of light shined for a bit in the beginning of the second period, as Stout converted on the powerplay to bring them to within one goal of Eau Claire, but it would not be nearly enough. With tension and frustration rising throughout both benches, Eau Claire would capitalize and put down the Blue Devil resurgence with a third goal on the night. Jake Bresser (Jr. – Eau Claire, WI/ Memorial) would enter the zone to continue the puck behind the net and shortly after getting rocked into the boards. As everyone's attention was focused on Bresser, Jack Murphy (So. - Prior Lake, MN) picked up the puck and found Jon Richards (So. – Callaway, MN/Detroit Lakes) in the slot for a one-timer that was too quick for the Stout goalie.
The final two goals of the night came from a constant net front presence by the Blugolds. Murphy scooped up a loose rebound on the back door for the fourth, and Dingmann redirected a shot from the point on the powerplay to cap off the night.
Zach Dyment (So. – Abbotsford, BC/Yale Secondary) extended his second win streak of the year to three games as he stopped 26 of 27 and improved his record to 9-1-0 and 1-0-0 in conference play.
The Blugolds will take two days rest before the continue WIAC play on Saturday against UW-River Falls on the road. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. If you can't make it to the game, follow all the action live at Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.