By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey resumed WIAC (Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) play on Wednesday as they hosted the UW-River Falls Falcons. Earlier in the season, the Blugolds and Falcons skated to a 2-2 after a last-minute goal by River Falls. Despite being down early, the Blugolds would take control in the third period and complete the comeback for their 16th win and 2nd conference win of the season.
The first period did not go the way the Blugolds had hoped at all. Despite outshooting the Falcons 15 to 4, River Falls would capitalize on two Eau Claire penalties and ended the period with a two-goal lead.
The second period would see quite an improvement for the Blugolds. Things would start on the powerplay as Adam Parsells (So. – Wausau, WI/West) would find himself with space on the half wall, drove to the middle, and picked the top corner over the goaltender's glove as Hobbs erupted. It would tally as his fourth goal on the season. With just seconds remaining in the second, Steen Cooper (Jr. – Duncan, BC) would give a saucer pass across the offensive zone to find Johnny Mueller (Sr. St. Peters, MO/Francis Howell Central) on the back door for his third goal of the season. Heading into the third, every single goal would be scored on the powerplay for both teams.
The third and final frame would bring the most exciting hockey of the night. Parsells would open the period scoring at the halfway mark after stepping down from the blue line and ripping the puck top shelf past a screen on River Falls' goalie. Just five minutes later, the Falcons would score on a fast break and once again silence Hobbs. But leave it up to captain Logan Von Ruden (Jr. – Northfield, MN) to answer the bell just 15 seconds later after a defensive breakdown by the Falcons.
As if a four to four tie game wasn't enough for this conference weekday battle, things would end righteously for the Blugolds. Parsells would complete the hat trick with under five minutes remaining after picking up a rebound out front and putting it once again, top shelf. This would be Parsells' first collegiate hat trick while also collecting a career high ten shots on goal. The Blugolds would survive the dwindling minutes of 6-on-5 hockey as the Falcons pulled their goalie.
Eau Claire native Jake Bresser (Jr. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) recorded four assists on the night with Cooper and Mueller also posting multi-point totals with another assist for each.
Zach Dyment (So. – Abbotsford, BC/Yale Secondary) would stop 13 of the 17 shots he faced to earn his 9th win of the season on home ice. His personal record improves to 15-1-2.
The Blugolds will now have their sight set on Friday night as they travel to No. 1-ranked UW-Stevens Point. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.