EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – While the game started off fairly slow, the fourth-ranked UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team was sparked with six second-period goals and went on to beat Concordia University (Wis.) 12-4 at Hobbs Ice Center tonight.
The first period saw three goals, two for Eau Claire and one for Concordia and just one penalty against the Falcons. Kurt Weston (Sr.-Roseau, Minn.) scored the game's first goal at 9:21.
But the second period was an entirely different contest and Eau Claire started a scoring frenzy.
Concordia held the Blugolds in check for almost 12 minutes of the second half but starting at 11:55 and ending at 17:20, the Blugolds scored six straight goals to take an 8-1 lead. The Falcons added one more goal at the end of the period to make the score 8-2 at the second intermission.
Jack Callahan (So.-Red Bank, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) got the Blugolds going in the second period with his first goal as a Blugold. Two goals later, Devin Mantha (Sr.-Sturgeon Falls, Ontario/Ann Arbor Pioneer) found the back of the net for his second goal of the season, which eventually proved to be the game-winner.
The second period also saw some quick goals for Eau Claire with one coming from Ross Andersen (So.-River Falls, Wis.) at 16:35 followed by one from Jordan Singer (Sr.-Lino Lake, Minn./Centennial) at 16:40. In NCAA Division III history, the five second span ranks second all-time for fastest consecutive goals by the same team (UW-Stout holds record of two second set in 1976). Andrew McCabe (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) scored another at 17:20 to end the Blugolds' second period scoring streak.
In the third period, Concordia scored the first goal but Eau Claire answered with two of its own. The Falcons scored once again midway through the final period, but the Blugolds answered with an additional two goals and eventually went on to win 12-4, tying for the seventh most goals scored in school history and the most since 1990.
Weston, McCabe, Andersen and Singer each finished with two goals apiece for Eau Claire while Singer, McCabe, Andersen, Drew Darwitz (Sr.-Woodbury, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) and Mark Pustin (Jr.-Northridge, Calif./Granada Hills) each recorded three assists.
Brandon Stephenson (Sr.-Saline, Mich.) played 40 minutes in-goal for Eau Claire and earned the win with 25 saves. Tyler Green (Fr.-Noblesville, Ind.) played the final period and made 13 saves while allowing two goals.
Concordia finished outshooting Eau Claire 42-38. The game saw just five penalties, three on Concordia and two on Eau Claire.
The Blugolds are now 8-0-1 on the season while the Falcons drop to 4-4. This is the first time in school history the Blugolds have not lost a game after playing nine to start the year.
Sunday, the Blugolds will host Concordia once again for a game beginning at 2 p.m. at Hobbs Ice Center.