UWEC downs UWS to claim first NCHA regular-season titleThe UW-Eau Claire Blugolds clinched their first Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship with a 4-1 win over the University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s hockey team Saturday night at Wessman Arena.
The UW-Eau Claire Blugolds clinched their first Northern Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season championship with a 4-1 win over the University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s hockey team Saturday night at Wessman Arena.
The Blugolds finished the season with records of 19-4-2 overall and 14-3-1 in the NCHA, two points ahead of St. Norbert (19-5-1, 13-4-1).
By finishing first, UWEC gets a first-round bye in the upcoming Peters Cup playoffs.
The Yellowjackets on the other hand, fall to 11-12-2 and 6-10-2 and finish tied for fifth place with UW-River Falls (12-9-4, 5-9-4). With a 3-2 win over the Falcons earlier this season, along with tie games of 1-1 and 2-2, UWS wins the tiebreaker with UWRF and will play its quarterfinals two-game series next weekend at St. Scholastica.
Other first-round playoff pairings are UW-Stout at St. Norbert and UW-River Falls at UW-Stevens Point.
Jordan Singer scored UWEC’s first two goals, with 13.9 seconds left in the first period on a power play, and 7:56 into the second period on a back-hander in the slot.
UWS made it a 2-1 game on Wes Judnick’s first collegiate goal with 2:59 remaining in the second period.
The Blugolds sealed the victory with third-period goals by Andrew Wilcox and Ethan Nauman.
The Yellowjackets held a 28-16 shot advantage, but Brandon Stephenson finished with 27 saves for UWEC. Drew Strandberg had 12 saves for UWS.
’JACKET JOTTINGS: St. Norbert had won the last three NCHA regular-season titles and 13 of the last 16 titles. … The Peters Cup semifinals are Feb. 23 and the championship game will be March 2.
UW-Eau Claire 1-1-2—4
First Period: 1. UWEC, Jordan Singer (Chris Heineman, Alex Olson), 19:47 (pp).
Second Period: 2. UWEC, Singer (Olson, Daniel Olszewski), 7:56. 3. UWS, Wes Judnick (Josh Kesler, Tanner Dion), 17:01.
Third Period: 4. UWEC, Andrew Wilcox (Olszewski, Derek Knettar), 3:52. 5. UWEC, Ethan Nauman (Isaiah Bennis), 16:27.
Saves: Brandon Stephenson, UWEC 5-11-11—27. Drew Strandberg, UWS 1-8-3—12.