SUPERIOR, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The 13th-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team was down 2-0 just 81 seconds into the first period but surged back scoring five of the game's last six goals to defeat UW-Superior 5-3 here tonight at Siinto S. Wessman Arena.
The Blugolds improve to 14-5-2 overall and 6-2-0 in the WIAC while the Yellowjackets fall to 7-16-0 overall and 0-10-0 in conference play. Eau Claire runs its streak to 14-straight unbeaten games to Superior going 11-0-3 during that stretch and 4-0-3 at Wessman Arena.
The magic number for Eau Claire is four as it is 12-0 this season when it scores four or more goals in a game.
Superior stormed out of the gates scoring goals at 0:38 and 1:21 of the first period to take an early 2-0 lead. Eau Claire regrouped and began its comeback when Ross Andersen (Sr.-River Falls, WI) scored at 16:50 of the first period assisted by Jack Callahan (Sr.-Red Bank, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) cutting the Yellowjacket lead to 2-1 at the first intermission.
Eau Claire flexed its offensive muscle in the second period scoring three goals in just over six minutes of action. Adam Knochenmus (So.-Roseau, MN) scored his second goal in as many nights assisted by Ethan Nauman (Jr.-Mosinee, WI) and David Henry (So.-Foster City, CA/Junipero Serra) at 3:47 tying the game at 2-2. Nauman scored his first goal of the weekend at 7:32 assisted by Callahan and Brandon Wahlin (So.-White Bear Lake, MN) giving the Blugolds their first lead of the game at 3-2. Wahlin added his second goal of the weekend at 9:56 on a Blugold power play assisted by Nauman and Jake Hopfner (Fr.-Eastpointe, MI/Warren Woods Tower) extending the Blugold lead to 4-2.
Entering the third period with a 4-3 lead Eau Claire added an insurance goal at 13:24 when Andersen scored his second goal of the evening assisted by Wahlin and Patrick Moore (So.-Grand Rapids, MN) locking up a 5-3 Blugold victory for the second-straight night.
Andersen ended the night with two goals while Wahlin scored a goal and added two assists. Andersen scored six points in two games against the Yellowjackets while Moore and Wahlin each added five points. Wahlin recorded his first game-winning goal of the season.
Goalie Tyler Green (Jr.-Noblesville, IN) earned the win allowing just one goal over the final 58 minutes of play saving 25 Yellowjacket shots. His season record now stands at 9-3-1.
Eau Claire outshot Superior 35-28. The second-least penalized team in the WIAC, the Blugolds where whistled for just two minor infractions while the Yellowjackets received eight penalty minutes on four infractions. Eau Claire converted on one-of-three opportunities while the Yellowjackets were held scoreless on its only power play.
The Eau Claire penalty kill continues to be as impressive as its ability to score goals. In conference play the Blugolds have allowed just one power play goal in 26 attempts for a percentage of 96.2% which is more than 20 percent higher than its next closest competitor. Overall the Blugolds rank fourth in the nation in penalty kill allowing just eight goals in 78 opportunities which equals a kill percentage of 89.7%. The Blugolds have allowed just two power play goals in its last 15 games, a stretch that started on November 22.
The Blugolds return home next weekend to Hobbs Ice Center where they will host UW-Stevens Point who is ranked third in the latest USCHO.com NCAA Division III national poll and leads the WIAC just two points ahead of Eau Claire. Face-off is set to begin on Friday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m.