Top-ranked UWSP men’s hockey wins Thanksgiving Tournament
Portage County Gazette
The top-ranked University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) men’s hockey team went 2-0 to win its Holiday Tournament at K.B. Willett Arena Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23 and 24.
The Pointers (8-0-2) beat Nichols College (R.I.) Friday night, and then won 4-1 over Utica (N.Y.) (4-5) in the Championship Game Saturday night.
After Utica (5-3) won 6-3 over St. Thomas (Minn.) (4-3-1) in the opening game of the tournament Friday afternoon, UWSP faced off with Nichols Friday night.
The game remained tied at 0-0 until senior forward B.J. Duffin scored an unassisted goal 15:16 into the first period to give the Pointers a 1-0 lead, and sophomore forward Colin Raver scored on an assist from sophomore defenseman Steven Quagliata just over two minutes later to increase the lead to 2-0.
Nichols scored a power-play goal 1:09 into the second period to pull within 2-1, but senior forward TJ Roo answered with a goal on assists from junior forward Logan Fredericks and sophomore forward Brandon McReynolds at the 2:44 mark of the second period to push the lead to 3-1, which it remained heading into the third period.
Junior forward Brennen Miller scored 1:07 into the third period on assists from Duffin and senior defenseman Stephan Beauvais to make it 4-1, and senior forward Tanner Karty had a goal at the 10:42 mark on assists from junior forward Luke McElhenie and Raver to push the lead to 5-1.
Nichols scored on a power-play goal with 1:13 remaining to provide the final margin in a 5-2 win for UWSP, as sophomore goalie Connor Ryckman made 21 saves in the victory.
That sent the Pointers to the Championship Game against Utica, where sophomore forward Ryan MacKellar scored his first career college goal on an assist from Carter Roo 5:37 into the game to give UWSP a 1-0 lead.
Junior defenseman Drew McLean scored on assists from senior defenseman Ryan Bittner and junior forward Kelly O’Brien at the 18:05 mark of the first period to push the lead to 2-0, but Nichols scored a power-play goal with 20 seconds left in the period to make it 2-1.
It stayed that way until midway through the third period, when Quagliata scored a power-play goal on assists from McElhenie and Karty at the 10:42 mark to make it 3-1, and junior forward Austin Kelly added an empty-net goal with 50 seconds left to cap the scoring on the Pointers’ 4-1 win, as Ryckman made 19 saves.
UWSP received all 20 first-place votes in this week’s D3hockey.com Poll, and will open the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) season at home against UW-River Falls (4-2-2) at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, before it hits the road to take on UW-Superior (3-6-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.