By Justin Dade, UWEC Sports Information
It didn't take long for the Blugolds to get on the board as the first shot on goal of the night found the back of the net just 41 seconds into the game scored by Patrick Moore (Jr. - Grand Rapids, MN) assisted by Adam Knochenmus (Jr. – Roseau, MN).
The Gusties would answer back despite the Blugolds controlling puck possession for most of the period on a goal from Alex Koopmeiners with 8:27 left in the period to tie the game at one.
Things began to open up for UW-Eau Claire in the second period led by two power-play goals from Hopfner with the first coming 2:50 into the period assisted by Hodge and Derek Knetter (Sr. – Wausau, WI). Hopfner found the back of the net the second time with 7:52 left in the period assisted by Jesse Tredinnick (So. – Onalaska, WI) to extend the Blugold lead to 4-1.
After the Blugolds outshot the Gusties 36-24 after the first two periods, they began to pull away with five more goals coming in the final frame.
On the first shot on goal of the period, Moore buried another on a very similar play to his first tally just 17 seconds into the period on the power play assisted by Garret Clemment (Jr. – Wausau, WI) and David Henry (Jr. - Foster City, CA).
Mac Jansen (So.- White Bear Lake, MN) earned his fourth goal of the season 5:53 into the period assisted by Hodge.
After a few late Gustavus penalties, the Blugolds would add two more goals stemming from a 5-on-3 advantage coming off the sticks of Hodge and Jacob Wolter (So. - Fairbanks, AK).
UW-Eau Claire continued to show their dominance with the man advantage in this game converting on five of their seven chances on the power play, improving their percentage to 32.7 percent for the season.
With a pair of assists in the game, Knochenmus added two more points to his point total on the year to lead with the team with 22 (15 goals, 7 assists).
Goaltender Tyler Green (Sr. – Noblesville, IN) was rock solid throughout the game saving 31 of the 32 Gusties' shots on goal to improve his season record to 6-2.
The Blugolds will take the ice again tomorrow night for their second home game of the weekend against St. Olaf. Puck will drop at 7 p.m. at Hobbs Ice Arena.