Men’s hockey lead slips away in WIAC title game
For the Gazette
STEVENS POINT – The No. 9 UW-Stevens Point men’s hockey team (21-6-1) took a lead in the second period, but visiting UW-Eau Claire (18-11-1) scored five unanswered to take the WIAC Commissioner’s Cup by a 6-2 final.
After skating through a scoreless first period, UWSP found itself shorthanded for the second time in the game early in the second period. But 31 seconds into the Blugolds man-advantage, it was UWSP’s Wilson Northey (North Vancouver, BC) finding the back of the net. His shorthanded goal was assisted on by Jordan Fader (Rice Lake) for a 1-0 lead at the 4:09 mark of the second.
The lead lasted nearly 10 minutes until UWEC scored on the power play at 14:42 to tie the game at 1-1. Just over a minute later, the Blugolds took the lead.
Early in the third period, UWEC pushed the Pointers’ deficit to 3-1. UWEC scored two more times for a 5-1 lead with 7:15 left in regulation.
The Pointers pulled the goalie and Noah Finstrom (New Baltimore, MI) was able to score with the extra attacker with 3:39 to go. But UWEC scored an empty-net goal just 34 seconds later to ice the game.
UWSP goaltender Ryan Wagner (Indianapolis, IN) had 18 saves. UWEC netminder Ryan Oullette stopped 37 UWSP shots.
The Pointers close the year with 21 wins, the seventh time in the last eight full seasons. Senior Carter Roo (Champlin, MN) racked up 96 career points, the most among this year’s Pointers.