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Men's Hockey Falls in Season Opener
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Despite jumping out to an early lead, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team was unable to hold on and fell 5-3 to Marian University at Hobbs Ice Center tonight to open the season.
The Blugolds got on the board less than four minutes in as Joe Bluhm (Sr.-Red Wing, Minn.) scored his first goal of the season on assists from Brant Marple (Sr.-Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) and Jordan Singer (Fr.-Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial) during a power-play. Marian tied it up at 1-1 five minutes later and added two more goals early in the second period to go up by two.
At 6:44 in the second, Skylar Christoffersen (Sr.-Langley, B.C./Brookswood) struck again for Eau Claire with assists from Eric OHearn (Fr.-Traverse City, Mich./Central) and D.J. Clark (Sr.-Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park) to close the gap to one.
Marian would not let Eau Claire get too close and scored later in the second to go back up by two.
With less than four minutes remaining in the contest, the Blugolds fought their way back with Marple scoring with an assist from Singer to make the score 4-3. However, Marian found the back of an empty net with just over a minute to go to extend its lead back to two.
The Blugolds finished with 39 shots on the night to Marian's 30. Blugold goalie Tyler Brigl (Sr.-Eagan, Minn./Eastview) picked up 25 saves playing 59:44 while the Sabres' goalie Alex Bjerk recorded 36 as he played the full 60 minutes.
Eau Claire was 1-for-7 on the power-play while Marian was 2-for-4.
The Blugolds are now 4-1 all-time against the Sabres. Eau Claire drops to 0-1-0 on the new season and Marian is 1-0-0.
Tomorrow the Blugolds will travel to Appleton, Wis. for a game against Lawrence University. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m.