The University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point men's hockey team defeated the University of Wisconsin-River Falls 4-1 Saturday at Willet Arena. Three of the Pointers’ four goals were scored in the first period, two on power play opportunities.
“The power play goals at the beginning of the game were huge for us because it gave us the momentum and a big lead that carried us through the rest of the night,” said freshman goalie Brandon Jaeger. Jaeger stopped 10 of 11 shots from the Falcons.
Senior forward Luke Nesper started off the first period with an even-handed goal midway through the period. Junior forward Travis Erstad and senior forward Harrison Niemann set up Nesper for the opening goal.
Point’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Kyle Heck, provided the next goal during a power play. His 13th goal of the season was assisted by freshman forward Andrew Kolb and Nesper who tallied his second point on the night off the assist.
Junior forward Jerry Freismuth scored the third Pointer goal of the first period on another power play opportunity. Senior forward, and Freismuth's fellow assistant captain, Chad Boeckman recorded the assist along with junior forward Nick Kenney.
“Our power play is all about outworking the other team to gain possession and then putting a lot of pucks on net and trying to create 2 on 1 situations with their defense,” said Jaeger. “Anytime your power play can chip in a few goals, it gives you a chance to win the game.”
River Falls put themselves on the board in the second period off of an even-handed goal, reducing the Pointer lead to 3-1. Senior Falcon defenseman John Bullis scored the goal, assisted by junior forward Adam Cardwell and sophomore forward Alec Hagaman.
Kolb put the exclamation mark on the game when senior defenseman Kent Detlefsen set Kolb up for the final goal, sealing the 4-1 victory. Nesper and Kolb both recorded two points on the night--one goal and one assist each. Seven other players on the Pointer roster recorded one point on the night.
“The offense that our team has produced this year has been very well rounded,” said Jaeger. “On any night, we have the confidence that anybody can step up and give us the scoring punch we need to win hockey games.”
UWSP dominated possession, recording 22 shots on goal compared to River Falls' 12. Point had 10 penalties on the night compared to the Falcons’ seven. The Falcons were 0-8 in power play opportunities while UWSP scored on two of their five opportunities.
Falcon sophomore goalie Scott Lewen recorded 18 saves on the night in the losing effort. The Falcons fell to 13-6-2 while the Pointers went to 10-8-3 on the season.
The next game for the Pointers is Friday in Duluth against St. Scholastica at 7:00 p.m. The following night the Pointers travel to Superior to take on UW-Superior at 7:00 p.m.
“The games this weekend against St. Scholastica and Superior are huge in determining where we will finish in the conference,” said Jaeger. “We just need to keep working hard in practice and when it comes to game time, we need to stay on a roll and deliver the winning performances that we are capable of.”