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Women's Hockey Wins Big Over Finlandia
By: Matt Troge, Sports Information Student
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - After losing last week to conference rival UW-Stevens Point, the UW-Eau Claire women's hockey team made a full recovery tonight as it defeated Finlandia University (Mich.) 7-1 at Hobbs Ice Center.
Allison Malecek (Fr.-Maple Plain, Minn./Delano) kicked off the Blugolds' scoring spree on the night by scoring an even-strength goal at 2:54 with the assist from Meghan Lorenz (Jr.-Minnetonka, Minn./Wayzata). Taylor Jenkins (So.-Austin, Minn.) took advantage of a Blugold power-play at 5:03 with an assist from Dani Kerr (Fr.-Little Canada, Minn./Roseville), while Toni Simones (So.-Rosemount, Minn./South St. Paul) scored an unassisted, even-strength goal at 6:21, to give the Blugolds the 3-0 lead at the end of the first period.
The Blugolds continued scoring with ease in the second period as Toni Simones scored an even-strength goal at 11:30 with assists coming from Lorenz and Rita Simones (Jr.-Rosemount, Minn./South St. Paul). With 40 seconds left in the period, Shannon Nelson (Sr.-Blaine, Minn.) scored an even-strength goal with the assist coming from Toni Simones to give the Blugolds the 5-0 lead.
The third period saw even more Blugold scoring as Beth Dittrich (Sr.-Roseville, Minn./Roseville Area) scored an even-strength goal at 1:55 with assists from Casey McMullen (Fr.-Minneapolis, Minn./South) and Jenkins. Emily Haluska (Fr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) scored the final even-strength goal for Eau Claire at 4:54 with assists from Jenkins and Beth Dittrich to give the Blugolds their final goal. Eau Claire would not get a shutout on the night as Finlandia scored its lone goal at 15:15 to make the final score 7-1 in favor of the home team.
Eau Claire's offense more than tripled Finlandia, shooting 47 times, the sixth most shots in a game in program history, compared to Finlandia's 14 shots. The Blugolds had nine power play opportunities, converting on one of them, while Finlandia could not convert on any of their four chances. It was the 12th time this season the Blugolds allowed no power-play goals.
Mara Stormer (Fr.-Waunakee, Wis.) picked up the win tonight, the first of her career, as she defended the Blugold net for the full 60 minutes and picking up 13 saves.
The Blugolds now move to 11-8-3 overall and 6-5-2 in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association play while Finlandia drops to 5-17-0 and 1-12-0 in the NCHA.
Eau Claire will play its final home game of the regular season tomorrow against Finlandia University. The puck is set to drop at 2 p.m.