Season ends for UWS men's hockey

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The season came to an end for the University of Wisconsin-Superior men's hockey team with a 3-3 overtime tie with the UW-River Falls Falcons Saturday night at Wessman Arena.

The Falcons, who also won 7-1 Friday night to win the WIAC quarterfinal series 1-0-1, will now play at No. 1 UW-Stevens Point in the semifinals this coming weekend. The other semifinal series has UW-Stout playing at UW-Eau Claire. The championship game is March 3.

UWS (9-15-3) held a 3-2 lead through two periods Saturday night, but Cayden Cahill's second goal of the game tied the game for the Falcons with 3:15 remaining.

Former Superior Spartan Daniel Litchke was stopped at the left post with 10 seconds remaining and the game went into a 5-minute overtime.

UWS, which outshot UWRF 7-0 in the extra session, pulled its goalie with 2:34 left and then had a 6-on-4 advantage for the final 42.8 seconds thanks to a Falcon penalty.

But Quinn stopped everything that came his way and the final buzzer sounded with the puck bouncing around in front of him in the crease.

The Falcons took a 1-0 lead 1:08 into the game when Cahill got behind the UWS defense, pulled UWS goaltender Cole Skinner out of position and slid the puck past him.

UWS tied it up five minutes later when Ian Ecklund skated behind the net and fed Troy York, who put home a one-timer from the right circle. Tanner Skaja also helped out on York's seventh goal of the season.

Skinner kept the game tied with around six minutes left in the first period when UWRF's Rowan Savidant blocked a clearing attempt, broke in alone on the goal, but was stymied by Skinner with a skate save.

The Yellowjackets were dealt a huge blow when Bruno Birzitis was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for contact to the head with Quinn.

UWS killed off the major penalty that carried over 1:46 into the second period, but wasn't as fortunate two minutes later when Eddie Matshushima won a race to a puck behind the UWS goal and centered to Aussie Miller, who put a one-timer over Skinner.

UWS tied up with 13 seconds left on UWRF too-many-men penalty when Ryan Carlson scored on a slap shot from just inside the blue line. Dylan Nelson assisted on Carlson's third goal.

The 'Jackets then took a 3-2 lead with 49.3 seconds left in the second period when York scored on a wrist shot from in front of the UWS bench.

UWS missed out on a golden opportunity to add to its lead early in the third period when it failed to score on back-to-back minor penalties on the Falcons.

Superior was then forced to kill off a pair of penalties, but UWRF eventually tied it up with 3:15 remaining when Cahill flipped the puck over Skinner, who was laying on the ice after making a save.

Quinn finished with 41 saves and Skinner had 21 saves.

Friday’s game

Litchke gave UWS a 1-0 lead with his 12th goal of the season 8:49 into the game, but River Falls scored the final seven goals to overpower the Yellowjackets 7-1 in the opening game of the series Friday night.

Peter Karavos scored twice and the Falcons were 4-for-8 on power plays as UWS was whistled for 10 penalties.

'JACKET JOTTINGS: After the teams combined for 58 minutes of penalties Friday night there were 51 minutes of penalties on Saturday. UWS had 41 of those minutes, including two 10-minute misconducts after overtime.

UW-River Falls 1 1 1 0 -- 3

UW-Superior 1 2 0 0 -- 3

First Period -- 1. UWRF, Cayden Cahill, 1:09. 2. UWS, Troy York 7, Ian Ecklund, Tanner Skaja), 6:10.

Second Period -- 3. UWRF, Aussie Miller (Eddie Matsushima), 3:26. 4. UWS, Ryan Carlson 3 (Dylan Nelson), 8:32 (pp). 5. UWS, York 8 (Skaja), 19:10.

Third Period -- 6. UWRF, Cahill (Mitchell Vanderburg, Joe Drapluk), 16:45.

OT -- No scoring.

Saves: Zach Quinn, UWRF, 8-14-12-7--41. Cole Skinner, UWS, 2-3-16-0--21.

Friday's game

UW-River Falls 1 3 3 -- 7

UW-Superior 1 0 0 -- 0

First Period -- 1. UWS, Daniel Litchke (Liam Blais, Bruno Birzitis), 8:49. 2. UWRF,  Cayden Cahill (Brian Drapluk), 19:33 (pp).

Second Period -- 3. UWRF, Peter Karavos (Aussie Miller, Terry Leabo), 0:56 (pp). 4. UWRF, Joe Drapluk (Mitchell Vanderburg, Christian Hausinger), 3:31 (pp). 5. UWRF, Miller, 12:27.

Third Period -- 6. UWRF, David Landau (Cahill, Vanderburg), 5:01. 7. UWRF, Christian Hausinger (Cahill, Joe Drapluk), 8:49. 8. UWRF, Karavos (Miller, Eddie Matsushima), 15:29 (pp).

Saves -- Zach Quinn, UWRF, 10-8-8--26. Cole Skinner, UWS, 15-10-x--25. Oscar Svensson, UWS, x-x-13--13. A-276.