Eau Claire edges River Falls in NCHA quarterfinal opener

More news about: UW-Eau Claire | UW-River Falls

RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Two late goals in the final period helped lift the UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team past ninth-ranked UW-River Falls 3-1 in the first game of a two-game NCHA Quarterfinal series tonight at Hunt Arena.

The Blugolds and Falcons will compete again tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. A win or tie for the Blugolds will send them to an NCHA Semifinal game on Feb. 25 while a loss would send the series into a mini-game to determine which team advances.

In tonight's game, the Blugolds scored the game's first goal as Kurt Weston found the back of the net at 18:16 in the opening period. Tyler Jundt and Travis Peckskamp  assisted on the power-play goal.

After The Falcons answered at 11:56 in the second period to tie the game at 1-1, the teams skated even until the final five minutes of the final period.

At 15:48 in the closing period, Jordan Singer gave the Blugolds a one-goal lead as he scored with assists from Tyler Romasco and Ross Andersen.

With only 20 seconds remaining on the clock, Weston gave the Blugolds a 3-1 lead as he scored unassisted on an empty net.

The Falcons outshot the Blugolds 30-24 but Brandon Stephenson made 29 saves, playing all 60 minutes in-goal for Eau Claire.

The win over River Falls is just the Blugolds' second in NCHA post-season history as they now have a 2-13 all-time record against the Falcons. Eau Claire improves to 12-11-3 on the season while River Falls drops to 16-8-2.

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