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Final-Minute Goals Crush Blugolds in Conference Opener
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - In an unbelievable finish, two power-play goals allowed in the final minute of competition sunk the UW-Eau Claire men’s hockey team in a competition against No. 14-ranked UW-River Falls in the Blugolds' first conference game of the season.
Until the final 32 seconds of play, the Blugolds’ had maintained an advantage over the Falcons for much of the game. Jordan Singer (So.-Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial), with help from Andrew Wilcox (Jr.-Rochester, Minn./Century), converted a power play opportunity into a Blugold lead at the 8:58 minute of the first period. When River Falls tied the game just under four minutes later, the Blugolds regained a 2-1 lead 18:08 into the second period as Tyler Romasco (Jr.-Perry, Ohio), assisted by Singer and Tim Possehl (Sr.-Fond du Lac, Wis.), found the back of the net during another power play.
As the clock ticked down, the Blugolds remained in control until River Falls evened up the score at 19:28 into the third period on a power play. The devastating blow to the Blugolds came just six seconds from the final buzzer. The Falcons managed to get the puck in the back of the net when Eau Claire was again shorthanded. The final-second goal put the Falcons on top of the Blugolds, 3-2.
In the loss, River Falls outshot Eau Claire 31-26. Both teams converted on two of their eight power play attempts. For the Blugolds, Scott Pederson (Jr.-Lake Villa, Ill./Grayslake) guarded the Eau Claire net for the complete 60 minutes and made 28 saves on the night.
The Blugolds drop to 2-2 overall and start out conference play 0-1 in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
Eau Claire will have a chance to even out the record tomorrow night in a rematch against River Falls. The second game of the series is set to begin at 7 p.m.