EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team defeated UW-Superior 3-2 in overtime in the second game of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) semifinals (presented by Culver's) to even the series and force the decisive mini game where the Blugolds won 2-0 to punch their ticket to the WIAC championship game.
Superior jumped to an early lead, scoring within the first few minutes of the game but Eau Claire would answer just a minute and a half later as Jon Richards (So. – Callaway, MN/Detroit Lakes) tallied the first Blugold goal.
Six minutes into the second period, the Yellowjackets used a man-advantage to regain the lead and would maintain a 2-1 lead heading into the third, despite the Blugolds out-shooting the Yellowjackets 35-13 after two periods.
In the third, Simon Sagissor (Fr. – Stillwater, MN) notched the equalizer on the power play with just 2:40 left in regulation off an assist from Steen Cooper (Jr. – Duncan, BC). Austin Redders (So. – McFarland, WI) had a shot at the buzzer but it was yet another big save for Superior's Oscar Svensson.
In overtime, Richards tallied his second goal of the game at 2:23 to give Eau Claire the win and force the 20-minute mini game.
For the game, Eau Claire held a 53-19 advantage in shots, but Superior dominated the faceoff circle, winning 45 of 67.
In the extra frame, Richards lit the lap yet again for the Blugolds, scoring at 13:15. With 12 seconds remaining, Tyler Tomberlin (Jr. – St. Paul, MN/Andover) tallied an empty net goal to seal the win for Eau Claire.
Zach Dyment (So. – Abbotsford, BC/Yale Secondary) had another stellar night in goal for Eau Claire to earn his 19th win of the season. The sophomore net minder recorded 17 saves in 62:23 minutes.
The Blugolds (19-6-2) will face UW-Stevens Point in a rematch of last season's WIAC title game on Saturday, March 2. A year ago, Eau Claire took home a 3-2 win. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.