Friday night the Blugolds headed to Minneapolis to play the University of Minnesota at Mariucci arena. The team went into the game with a new attitude and it showed. We jumped ahead early scoring the first goal shortly into the first period. Alex Zitske made the play happen with an amazing fake shot to freeze the goalie and gave a nice hard pass to Nick Adams for the redirect into the empty net. The Gophers came back pretty quick tying the game up 1-1, but Adams brought the Blugolds back ahead once again burying the puck off a feed from defensemen Matt Stover. After the first 10 minutes of the first period, it was evident that this was going to be a high scoring game. Tyler Liddicoat scored his first goal of the night before the end of the first and after one period the score was 3-2. The second period UWEC broke out the scoring with Liddicoat scoring two more times to complete the Hat Trick and Andy Mlynar scoring twice off two great passes from Austin King. In the third period the Gopher's came roaring back and caught the Blugolds sleeping, tying the game up at 7-7 shortly before the end of the third period. Once in overtime, the Blugolds had to kill off a crucial minor penalty for delay of game. With about a minute left in overtime, King gets a one-on-one with a Gopher defenseman and after undressing the defender with an amazing deke King walks around him and goes low blocker side to win the game for the Blugolds 8-7.
After such a great performance Friday night, the Blugolds hoped to come out with the same energy the next night. However, plagued with injuries to forward Nick Jirele and defensman Neil McMillan sustained the previous night and weather conditions preventing two more players to make the trip back from Eau Claire to Minneapolis, the Blugolds came out with a short bench. It was a tough game for the Blugolds and with the short bench it looked like they never really got into the game. After 60 minutes the Blugolds walked out of Ridder Arena with a 3-10 loss.
The UWEC Men's Hockey Club now has a break for a couple weekends until they travel to DePere, WI to play the St. Norbert's JV team December 9th and 10th.