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River Falls Overtakes Men's Hockey in Third Period
By: Matt Troge, Sports Information Student
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - UW-River Falls, ranked 14th in the latest USCHO.com national poll, scored five goals in the third period to defeat the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team 6-3 tonight at Hunt Arena.
The first period yielded no score for either team, although Eau Claire's offense took 13 shots while River Falls took nine shots.
The Falcons were the first to strike at 6:03 in the second period, but the Blugolds offense remained strong as Brant Marple (Sr.-Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) scored an even-strength goal at 16:13 with the assist from Nic Weight (So.-Eagle River, Wis./Northland Pines) to even the score.
With four seconds left before the horn sounded in the second period, Travis Peckskamp (Fr.-Sauk Rapids, Minn.) found the back of the Falcon net, his first goal of the year, with assists from Joe Bluhm (Sr.-Red Wing, Minn.) and Tyler Trudell (Sr.-Waukesha, Wis./South) on a power-play to give the Blugolds the 2-1 lead.
The third period proved to be the Falcons period, scoring at 5:59 and 7:28. Marple responded with a penalty shot at 9:41 to tie the game at 3-3. River Falls pulled away however, scoring three more unanswered goals at 11:50, 18:00 and 19:36 to give the Falcons the 6-3 win.
Eau Claire put up 23 shots on the night while River Falls took 29. River Falls took advantage of their power-plays, converting on three-of-seven, while Eau Claire only converted one-of-seven. The three power-play goals given up ties a season-high while 12 Blugold penalties is the most the team has had this year.
Brandon Stephenson (Fr.-Saline, Mich.) defended the goal for the Blugolds and picked up 23 saves on the night.
The Blugolds drop to 7-13-3 overall and 3-10-3 in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association while the Falcons improve to 14-7-2 overall and 8-6-2 in the NCHA.
The Blugolds will travel to Duluth, Minn., next Friday to take on fourth-ranked St. Scholastica (Minn.) in their final road game of the season. The puck is set to hit center ice at 7 p.m.