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Men's Hockey Takes Down St. Norbert
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - For the first time since 1995, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team defeated St. Norbert College, picking up a 5-1 victory tonight at Hobbs Ice Center.
While the Blugolds came close last night to knocking off the third-ranked Green Knights, they were able to even out the weekend series tonight. The Blugolds had not won in 39 straight contests against St. Norbert coming in to today. Eau Claire defeated St. Norbert once in 1994 and twice in 1995 before St. Norbert went on to take a 37-0-2 record in the next 39 games played.
Tonight was only the third time this season St. Norbert has been beaten and only the second time in conference play as they now hold a 13-3-1 overall and 8-2-0 conference record. The Blugolds improve to 6-8-3 overall and 2-5-3 in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA). The Green Knights remain in first place in the league while the Blugolds are in fifth.
The Blugolds shot very well tonight, recording the five goals with just 18 total shots. St. Norbert put 33 shots on the Blugolds' net but came up with just one goal.
Eau Claire went up very early, scoring a goal on a power-play just 38 seconds in to the contest. Tyler Romasco (So.-Perry, Ohio) found the back of the net to give the Blugolds the lead.
Nine minutes later, Jordan Singer (Fr.-Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial) increased Eau Claire's lead when he scored on another power-play. Before the end of the opening period, St. Norbert cut the lead to one, also scoring on a power-play.
The Blugolds put two more in the Green Knights' net in the second period. The first came from Kurt Weston (Fr.-Roseau, Minn.), short-handed, at the 1:16 mark. It was his first goal of his collegiate career. The second came at 17:37 on a power-play with Joe Bluhm (Sr.-Red Wing, Minn.) scoring the goal to give the Blugolds the 4-1 lead.
D.J. Clark (Sr.-Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park) added an insurance goal at the 18:38 mark in the third period, again on a power-play.
For the night the Blugolds were 4-for-6 on power-plays while St. Norbert was 1-for-9.
Brandon Stephenson (Fr.-Saline, Mich.) played all 60 minutes for the Blugolds between the pipes and picked up 32 saves. B.J. O'Brien picked up 13 saves as he played 60 minutes in the net for St. Norbert.
The Blugolds will have another challenge next weekend when they host the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.). The Saints are currently ranked fifth in the nation and are the only other team in the conference to have beaten St. Norbert once this year. Both games next Friday and Saturday will begin at 7 p.m. at Hobbs.