ST. PETER, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – A record-breaking season for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's hockey team came to an end on Saturday night as the Blugolds fell to Hamline University 3-2 in the NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship Tournament.
After needing three overtime periods to defeat Gustavus Adolphus College Friday night, the Blugolds had a tough task Saturday, playing the fresh Hamline University Pipers.
Hamline took an early lead, scoring within the first five minutes of the game and would add a second goal at 15:27 to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Pipers would tally their third goal just over a minute into the second, but the Blugolds would finally get on the board on the power play late in the period on Courtney Wittig's 14th goal of the season. Emma Peterson (Fr. – Superior, WI) and Holly Turnbull (Jr. – Hayward, WI) would earn assists on the goal.
The Blugolds needed a spark in the third period and they would get one from Mariah Czech (Sr. – Andover, MN). The senior would get a breakway midway through the third period and put home a short-handed goal to bring Eau Claire within a goal with 12:10 remaining in the game.
The Blugolds would put shots on goal but could not get the equalizer to keep their season alive. Eau Claire would outshot the Pipers 25-20 in the loss while Erin Connolly (So. - Mequon, WI/Homestead) tallied 17 saves in goal.
Eau Claire wraps up their historic run with a 19-7-4 record, setting a new school record for wins in a season while making their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament and winning their first O'Brien Cup.