By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team was back at Hobbs Ice Center on Friday night, as they looked to defend home ice against the visiting Saint John's University (MN) Johnnies. Despite two evenly matched periods to start the game, it was the Blugolds taking control in the final frame to earn their 14th win of the season.
In the first 40 minutes of play, the ice seemed to be quite even with both teams answering just minutes after a lead change. Lucas Kohls (Sr. – Forest Lake, MN) would lead the charge for the Blugolds with two goals on the night. The first coming off a rebound would tie the game at 1 with just 7 minutes to go in the first, and the second would be a scorcher from the point that would find the top corner and a 2-1 lead.
The third period would see much of the same action, but it would be Eau Claire finding the edge and the advantage early on. Zach Kennedy (So. – Eagle River, WI/Northland Pines) would bury a rebound out front to regain the lead, but arguably the best play of the night would come from Braxton Collins (So. – Eau Claire, WI/Regis) on the fourth goal. With just seconds remaining in the game, the Blugolds would face a 6-on-4 penalty kill with the goalie pulled on the St. John's end. With the faceoff coming back to the point, Collins would move in front of the Johnnie defenseman. The shot would bounce off his shin pads and end up at center ice. A rewarding empty net goal for his hard work would be recorded as his first goal of the season.
Zach Dyment (So. – Abbotsford, BC/Yale Secondary) would stop 15 of the 16 shots he faced to earn his 7th win of the season on home ice. His personal record improves to 13-1-2.