The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point men’s hockey team faced off against UW-Eau Claire at K.B. Willet Arena over the weekend. The Bluegolds took Friday’s game 4-1, but Point bounced back on Saturday with a 2-1 victory.
"I think we were a little mad about the loss on Friday night so we used that momentum to win on Saturday," said sophomore forward Kyle Heck.
Eau Claire didn’t waste any time getting on the board Friday, scoring on a goal from sophomore forward Jared Williams. The goal was assisted by fellow sophomore forward Jon Waggoner and sophomore defender Alex Olson.
Senior forward Luke Nesper tied up the game, assisted by Heck and senior forward Jon Madden, before the first period ended.
The 1-1 score would hold until late in the second period when Eau Claire’s freshman forward Ross Andersen found the back of the net and gave the Bluegolds a 2-1 lead.
Andersen would score again in the third period, both of his goals assisted by junior forward Kurt Weston.
The final score of the game came late in the third period when Williams would get his second goal of the game on a Devin Mantha assisted goal.
Each goal in Friday’s game came evenhanded. Eau Claire had 19 shots on goal while Point had 20. Freshman goalie Brandon Jaeger was in the net on Friday for Point, recording 15 saves and a loss. Junior goalie Nick Graves replaced Jaeger for Saturday.
"When Nick plays well and makes some big saves, it pumps us up and gets us excited. That carries over to the offense," Heck said.
Graves allowed an early Blugold score in the first period when sophomore forward Brian Nehrig found the back of the net, assisted by junior forward Travis Peckskamp and sophomore defender David Donnellan, just inside the 15 minute mark.
Heck would answer in the second period when Nesper and freshman forward Will Aide set Heck up at the net.
"Both players were shooting the puck and got Eau Claire’s goal to make saves; I was just there to put in the rebound," Heck said.
Heck would rebound another shot from Nesper in the third. Junior captain defender Jon Bockmann also recorded an assist on the final goal of the game that put Point up 2-1. Heck’s two goals were his sixth and seventh of the season as he continues to lead the team in scoring.
When asked about his scoring abilities, Heck deferred the praise to his team.
"My teammates helped out a bunch, I was just lucky enough to be the one to score," Heck said.
Heck has nine points on 31 shots, and just three penalties in his 11 games played.
The Pointer men’s hockey team heads to Menomonie next to face off against the UW-Stout Blue Devils. The game starts Friday at 7:30 p.m.