By Justin Dade – UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, WI (Blugolds.com) – The No. 8 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team fell to the No. 4 Stevens Point Pointers 2-1 in game two of the WIAC Semifinals on Saturday night at Hobbs Ice Arena to end the Blugolds' conference tournament run.
After earning a 2-2 tie with the Pointers the night before in a comeback effort, the Blugolds' comeback bid fell short in this one as the Pointers rallied behind goaltender Max Milosek who made 28 saves on 29 shots on net and allowing the lone goal.
This game started a lot like the previous night as the Pointers were the crisper team early and found the back of the net first on a goal scored by Jacob Barber 5:40 into the period.
UW-Stevens Point added another goal 1:44 later on a goal scored by Jono Davis to extend the Pointers' lead to 2-0.
The Blugolds found life in the second period for the second consecutive evening as they took advantage of a Pointer penalty and got a huge power-play goal scored by Adam Knochenmus assisted by David Henry (Jr. – Foster City, CA) and senior captain Jeff Pauluk (Sr. – Bloomington, MN).
After the Blugolds committed two penalties within about a minute of one another late in the second period, the Blugolds killed off a huge 5-on-3 advantage for the Pointers on a great defensive effort led by Pauluk who blocked three shots in one shift alone.
The Blugolds came out of the locker room of the second intermission with all of the momentum, but it was matched flawlessly due to a great skating period from UW-Stevens Point.
UW-Eau Claire managed a few chances near the end of the period, but were ultimately unable to beat Milosek one more time to force overtime.
Goaltender Tyler Green (Sr. – Noblesville, IN) played his last game at Hobbs Ice Arena as a Blugold and kept his team in it despite giving up the two early goals. Green saved 32 of the 34 Pointer shots and was key in keeping the comeback opportunity alive in the third period. Green will finish with a season record of 10-5-3.
The Blugolds will now have to wait and see if they have done enough to earn a bid for the NCAA Tournament finishing with a season record of 15-6-6.