For the second straight year, the UW-Eau Claire women’s hockey team is the champion of the WIAC tournament.
And the Blugolds enacted a bit of revenge to take the title too.
Eau Claire scored four goals in the first period on its way to a 7-3 win over UW-River Falls in the conference championship game on Saturday in River Falls.
The win avenged a loss in the conference’s de facto regular season championship game. The Falcons won that contest 4-1 to take home the regular season crown two weeks ago.
The Blugolds fell behind 2-1 after 11 and a half minutes on Saturday, but scored three goals in the final eight minutes of the first period to take a 4-2 lead into the intermission. Four different Blugolds scored in the period: Erin Goodell, Monica Sjodin, Kelly Knetter and Hanna Zavoral.
Eau Claire added a Courtney Wittig goal in the second period, and goals by Holly Turnbull and Wittig sandwiched a Falcons goal in the third period.
It was a second consecutive tournament title for the Blugolds. Eau Claire defeated River Falls in last year’s championship game as well.
Erin Connolly made 36 saves in net for the Blugolds.
Eau Claire’s NCAA tournament fate is still up in the air, as the WIAC does not have an automatic qualifier for the national tournament. The Blugolds are 21-5-2 this season.
UW-Stevens Point 3, UW-Eau Claire 2: The Blugolds turned in a much better performance than the last time they faced the Pointers, but the result was the same.
Eau Claire, which lost to Stevens Point 7-1 the last time the two squared off, fell behind 2-1 after the first period this time around. But a power-play goal by Adam Parsells tied things up at 2 with 15-plus minutes to go in the second period.
Stevens Point’s Danny Kiraly nabbed the game-winner with six and a half minutes left to play in the third period. The goal kept the top-ranked Pointers unbeaten at 26-0-2.
Andrew McGlynn scored the first goal of the game for the Blugolds. Zach Dyment made 23 saves in net.