EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) — Playing their final game before the holiday break, the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team was looking to finish on a high note. But UW-River Falls had other ideas, handing the Blugolds just their second loss of the season, a 2-1 final.
The Blugolds (11-2-1, 7-2-1 NCHA) peppered the Falcons (5-5-2, 1-5-2 NCHA) Friday night with five goals, but just a night later, they struggled to find the back of the net.
UW-River Falls started the scoring at 7:19 of the first period with a power-play goal. That was the only tally of the period and in the second period, the Blugolds would tie the game up with a power-play goal of their own.
Isaiah Bennis (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) scored his ninth goal of the season with an assist to Jack Callahan (So.-Red Bank, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy) to tie the game 1-1.
In the third period, it was the Falcons who broke the tie on a goal at 7:46. That goal stood to be the game-winner as the Blugolds were not able to solve Falcons goalie Scott Lewan.
The Blugolds pulled goalie Brandon Stephenson (Sr.-Saline, Mich./Saline) with 0:47 to play, but the Falcons held on for the win. Stephenson finished with 25 saves and the Falcons outshot the Blugolds 27-26. The Blugolds were 1-for-4 on the power-play while the Falcons capitalized on their lone man-advantage, finishing 1-for-1.
The Blugolds will be off now until Friday, Jan. 4 when they host Saint John's at Hobbs Ice Center.