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Men's Hockey Advances For First Time Ever
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2008
SUPERIOR, Wis. - For the first time in program history, the fifth-seeded UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team is advancing to the second round of the Peters Cup Playoffs after going to a mini-game and winning 1-0 against fourth-seeded UW-Superior tonight.
Because of a 5-0 loss in the second game of the series, Eau Claire had to play a 20-minute mini-game to decide the winner of the quarterfinal matchup. Early on in the game, Sean Garrity (Sr.-North St. Paul, MN/North) lit the lamp to give Eau Claire the only goal it needed. The defense would hold up against several Yellowjacket power-plays to blank Superior and advance to face UW-Stout next weekend. There was a late Superior goal during one of those power-plays but it was waved off.
The Blue Devils are seeded third and are ranked 13th in the nation. They beat sixth-seeded UW-Stevens Point in two games with scores of 8-4 and 7-1. The Blugolds lost both times they faced Stout this season. On Dec. 1, the score was 2-1 and on Feb. 1, the score was 4-1. Seventh-seeded St. Scholastica (MN) upset second-seeded UW-River Falls with a win and a tie in two games. They now face top-seeded and top-ranked St. Norbert College.
Before the mini-game, which does not count for stats, the night started with a 5-0 loss. The first two Yellowjacket goals came in the first, at 6:58 and then 12:58. The second came on the power-play.
Eau Claire outshot Superior 18-to-10 in the second, but the Yellowjackets came away with the goal. The score came at 7:06 while on the advantage.
The third period's goals came at 9:54 and then late at 18:15. The last one was on a power-play and was Dane Bushey's second of the game.
Superior outshot the Blugolds 34-to-31 and took advantage of the Eau Claire penalties. They went 3-of-10 on the advantage while the Blugolds went 0-for-9. Tyler Brigl (So.-Eagan, MN) made 29 saves in the game. He also picked up the win in the mini-game.
Eau Claire has lost in the first round of the playoffs every time it has competed until now. The last win of even one game was in 1995. Eau Claire is now 1-2 in mini-games all-time.
Now the team will travel to Menomonie on Saturday. The second round has one do-or-die game unlike the first round's series. Eau Claire's game will begin at 7:30 p.m.Eau Claire-Superior Game Two Box Score
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