By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's hockey team completed the weekend sweep on Saturday with a win over the Saint Mary's University Cardinals. The Blugolds would counter-attack a gritty Cardinals team looking for their first win, by outshooting St. Mary's 46 to 21.
Despite another slow start by the Blugolds, it would once again come down to special teams to make the difference. The Cardinals would strike first on the powerplay with just four minutes remaining in the third. After that, the visitors would struggle to fight back against the dominate force that is the Blugold defensive.
With a much-needed spark to fire up the Blugolds, Lucas Kohls (Sr. – Forest Lake, MN) would take matters into his own hands as he would make a nice move to the middle around a Cardinal defenseman and snap a wrister through the Saint Mary's goalie's five-hole. This powerplay goal not only tied the game, but seemed to open the gates to some much needed momentum on the bench and throughout the crowd.
A main focus for all players on the Eau Claire team has been "play for the guys next to you" and that mantra stood true in Saturday's win. Jake Bresser (Jr. – Eau Claire, Memorial) and Connor Koviak (Fr. – Canton, MI/Plymouth) would lead the team with four blocked shots a piece for a team total 23 on the night. Adding to the mix was Tyler Tomberlin (Jr. – St. Paul/Andover) as he would record three blocked shots himself, one of which would be credited as the game winner.
During Saint Mary's fifth powerplay, Tomberlin would aggressively earn a turnover in his defensive zone and the puck would roll to center ice. Already having a stride ahead of the Cardinal player, Tomberlin would find himself on a breakaway. With a slick move from his forehand to his backhand, he would slide the puck right under the goalie to give Eau Claire the lead.
In the third, Adam Parsells (So. – Wausau, WI/West) would capitalize for the second Blugold powerplay of the night as he would blast a one timer to the top shelf and into the net to seal the deal.
The Blugolds are back on the road next weekend with a tough task in sight. They will face last year's national champions, the St. Norbert Green Knights on Friday, November 16th at 7pm.