Yellowjackets swarm the Falcons

The University of Wisconsin-Superior men's hockey team rebounded from Friday's overtime loss at UW-Stout with a 4-2 win over the UW-River Falls Falcons Saturday night before a Wessman Arena crowd of 1,382.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior men's hockey team rebounded from Friday's overtime loss at UW-Stout with a 4-2 win over the UW-River Falls Falcons Saturday night before a Wessman Arena crowd of 1,382.

Playing a big role in the quick turnaround was freshman Braden Desmet, who scored two goals, including a short-hander that gave the Yellowjackets a 3-0 lead early in the first period.

"Our backs were against the wall, but we came out and put Friday's loss behind us," Desmet said. "You can't dwell on it, so we came out blazing and we ended up winning. We need to keep rolling now."

Four minutes after Desmet's team-leading 10th goal, UWS lost starting goaltender Chad Beiswenger to an apparent groin injury.

"It wasn't anything physical, I just kicked out and made the save and pulled something in my leg," Beiswenger said.


His status for Saturday's game at Finlandia wasn't known immediately known after the game.

"Pulled groin, maybe," UWS coach Dan Stauber said. "He'll just ice it and we'll see how he is on Monday."

Baron Bradley replaced Beiswenger and went on to stop 13 shots to preserve the win.

"You have to be on your toes all the time," said Bradley, who was seeing his first action in a while. Chad got us to where we were in the game, so all the credit should go to him. He posted the shutout until I got in there.

"River Falls is a good team but we played well and everybody worked together."

After outshooting River Falls 13-2 in the second period it was much of the same in the second as Bradley played 10 minutes before being forced to make a save.

But that all changed with 3:59 left in the second period as Superior's Cory Lennartson was given a 5-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for checking from behind.

River Falls' first goal came 1:23 later when defenseman Jim Henkemeyer beat Bradley from the blue line.


UWS managed to kill off the rest of the penalty, but River Falls made it a 3-2 game at 17:54 of the third period when Pat Borgestad took a behind-the-net pass from Derek Hansbery, actually fanned a bit on the shot, but still got enough on the puck to get it inside the far post.

"The major penalty put us in a hole, but our guys battled hard and I was proud of them," Stauber said. "Overall, defensively we played pretty well. We gave them a little sniff there, but when you're up like that, you don't tell the guys to protect the lead, but we kind of got a little cautious in doing the little things."

The 'Jackets sealed the victory when Nate Rein picked off a Falcon clearing attempt and tapped the puck into an empty net with 40.5 seconds remaining.

River Falls outshot UWS 11-8 in the third period.

"We weathered the storm in the third period and got the "W" and that's what matters," Bradley said.

AJ Bucchino finished with 30 saves for the Falcons and Bradley and Beiswenger combined to stop 20 for UWS.

"We played hard in the third period and created some chances, but we were sleep walking in the first two periods," UWRF coach Steve Freeman said. "Superior had a lot to do with that, they played well and moved the puck well.

"We didn't get a lot going and I'm disappointed in the way we played. I just kind of feel like we beat ourselves. We gave them a breakaway goal on a change, gave them a short-handed goal and then the open netter, so we didn't make it easy on ourselves."


UWS dominated the first period and took a 1-0 lead at 12:24 when David Moncur beat Bucchino from the blue line.

It went to 2-0 on Desmet's short-handed goal that he put into the top right corner over Bucchino's glove.

Desmet's second goal, early in the second period, also got over Bucchino's glove.

"When you put it on net anything can happen," Desmet said. "When your shorthanded, you can't do anything fancy, so you just have to put it on net and make sure you hit the net and luckily it beat him.

"On the second goal, I yelled for Ryan Kuntz to chip it, he got it by the defenseman and I had a break. So it worked out perfect."

The Yellowjackets next conference game isn't until Jan. 19 at home against Lake Forest, so winning Saturday night was very important.

"We were 3-2 in the conference and they (Falcons) were 5-0 so we needed a huge win," Sauber said. "Now we have to get ready for next weekend."

UWS is at Finlandia at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.


UW-River Falls 0 1 1 -- 2

UW-Superior 2 1 1 -- 4

First period: 1. UWS, David Moncur 2 (unassisted), 12:24. 2. UWS, Braden Desmet 9 (Jeff Herman), 14:46 (sh).

Second period: 3. UWS, Desmet 10 (Ryan Kurtz), 4:10. 4. UWRF, Jim Henkemeyer 7 (Mitch Kerns, Tyler Kostiuk), 17:24 (pp).

Third period: UWRF, Pat Borgestad (Derek Hansbery, TJ Dahl), 17:54. 6. UWS, Nate Rein (unassisted), 19:29 (en).

Saves: UWRF, AJ Bucchino 11-12-7-20. UWS, Chad Beiswenger 2-5-x-7. Baron Bradley x-3-10-23. Att: 1,382.

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