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Men's Hockey Upsets Fourth-Ranked Saints
By: Matt Troge, Sports Information Student
DULUTH, Minn. (UWECBlugolds.com) - After losing two close games earlier this season to St. Scholastica, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team defeated the fourth-ranked Saints 3-2 tonight at Mars Lakeview Arena.
The Blugolds' victory over St. Scholastica is the first since October 2008 when Eau Claire earned a 4-1 victory at home. The win gives the Blugolds an 8-13-3 overall record and a 4-10-3 record in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association play. St. Scholastica, which is ranked fourth nationally in the Division III USCHO.com poll, just behind conference leader St. Norbert College, drops to 17-4-4 overall and 11-3-3 in the NCHA. The Blugolds holds a 40-21-6 all-time record against the Saints.
St. Scholastica kicked off the scoring within the first 25 seconds, ending the first period 1-0 in favor of the home team.
The second period saw the first Blugold goal at 19:32 as Eric OHearn (Fr.-Traverse City, Mich./Central) scored with assists from Bryce Wilcox (Fr.-Roschester, Minn./Century) and D.J. Clark (Sr.-Blaine, Minn./Spring Lake Park) to tie the game 1-1.
The third period began with St. Scholastica scoring at 8:47, but the Blugolds' Isaiah Bennis (Fr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) responded ten seconds later with an even-strength, unassisted goal to tie the game.
The Blugolds put the final nail in the coffin as Ross Janecyk (Jr.-Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central) scored the winning goal at 12:56 with assists from John Kearns (Jr.-Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) and Travis Peckskamp (Fr.-Sauk Rapids, Minn.) to give Eau Claire the 3-2 victory.
Tyler Brigl (Sr.-Eagan, Minn./Eastview) picked up the win for the Blugolds tonight, playing the full 60 minutes and picking up 21 saves on the night.
Eau Claire shot 24 times on the night, edging St. Scholastica's 23 shots on the night. The Blugolds could not convert on their two power-play attempts and St. Scholastica could not convert on their three attempts.
Eau Claire will play its final game of the regular season tomorrow against UW-Superior. The puck is set to drop at 7 p.m. at Hobbs Ice Center.