By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey team traveled to St. Paul, MN on Monday night as they took on #6 Hamline University in their second meeting of the season against the Pipers. The #9 Blugolds fell in the first game back in October to Hamline but came into the game off two big home wins the weekend before and undefeated on the road. With a very physical game anticipated, the Blugolds could not hold on to their early lead and would skate to a tie with the Pipers.
It only took roughly two minutes for the Blugolds to assert their dominance across state lines as Morgan Zirbel (So. – Green Bay, WI/Ashwaubenon) would tally the game's first goal and her second of the year. Abby Roeser (Jr. – Cottage Grove, MN/East Ridge) would get credit for her fifth assist on the season.
Later in that opening frame, the Blugolds would capitalize with their 14th powerplay goal on the year. Courtney Wittig (Sr. – Green Bay, WI/Bayport) would use her powerful slapshot to beat the Piper goalie at the 10:37 mark. This would give Eau Claire a comfortable 2-0 going into the second period.
The second period wouldn't see an Eau Claire tally, but the Blugolds would do their job on defense. After getting out-shot 17 to 15 in two periods, Erin Connolly (Jr. – Mequon, WI/Homestead) would stand tall behind her squad and only allow one goal through 40 minutes of play. Eau Claire would kill a 5-on-3 with five minutes remaining to remain with the lead going into the third.
The Blugolds couldn't seem to keep the puck rolling with a season low five shots in the final frame. The Pipers would top things off with a late goal with five minutes remaining. The score would remain tied through the period and past overtime to end the game in a tie.
Connolly finished the game with season high 38 saves on 40 shots and recorded her second tie of the year.
The Blugolds are now 7-2-2 as they just about reach their winter break. They will travel back to Minnesota on Friday as they take on non-conference opponent St. Catherine at 7:30 p.m. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.