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Men's Hockey Moves One Game Closer To Uncharted Territory
Posted: Friday, February 22, 2008
SUPERIOR, Wis. - For the first time since 1995, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team won a Peters Cup playoff game as they defeated UW-Superior 4-2 tonight.
Eau Claire only has to tie or win tomorrow's game against the Yellowjackets to advance to the semifinals and face either No. 1 St. Norbert College or Lake Forest College (IL). If Eau Claire loses, there will be a 20-minute mini-game to determine the series winner. The Blugolds have never gone to the second round and the last playoff victory was an 11-6 victory over UW-River Falls in 1995.
Jesse Vesel (Jr.-Hibbing, MN) started the Eau Claire scoring at 12:37 in the first. His power-play goal came off passes from Dan Decato (Fr.-Verona) and Sean Garrity (Sr.-North St. Paul, MN/North). The Blugolds outshot Superior 11-to-6 in that period and in the second.
The Yellowjackets wasted no time in the second, scoring just 10 seconds into the period when Andrew MacKenzie found net. Just more than a minute later, Andrew Johnson (Jr.-Andover, MN/Anoka) gave Eau Claire its lead back with Joe Bluhm (So.-Red Wing, MN) assisting. Dan Fina (Jr.-Fontana/Glenbard South, IL) provided another Eau Claire score at 15:12 when he scored on the advantage. Bryan Plaszcz (So.-Apple Valley, MN) and Greg Petersen (Jr.-Maple Grove, MN/Totino-Grace) assisted on the score, which gave Fina a playoff goal in three straight years.
Superior outshot Eau Claire 9-to-6 in the third, but the Blugold defense held up to take the game. Brian Bina did score a power-play goal at 7:23 to get within one. Eau Claire had an empty-netter credited to Johnson with three seconds left as the visitors took the 4-2 victory.
Tyler Brigl (So.-Eagan, MN) made 19 saves as the Blugolds outshot Superior 28-to-21. Both squads had seven penalties and Eau Claire converted 2-of-7 advantages. Superior scored on one of its seven.
The Blugolds like their chances tomorrow, as they have fared well against Superior this season. They beat them 3-1 on Dec. 8 and took them to overtime on Feb. 8 before losing 2-1.
The possibly historic game will start at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Wessman Arena.Eau Claire-Superior Game One Box Score
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