Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team is just two wins away form the sport's ultimate goal -- a national championship.
The Blugolds are headed to the NCAA Division 3 Frozen Four, thanks to a 3-1 win over St. Norbert in an NCAA quarterfinal game Saturday night.
It was the fifth meeting between the two schools this season. The Green Knights won 3-0 in the Peters Cup Championship game the previous Saturday. That game served as motivation for the team's performance in De Pere.
"Getting that at-large bid kind of gave them new life and then winning against St. Johns, going into St. Norbert, gave us a little more confidence than usual. But it was a really good game, and either team could have won the game. Fortunately, it was us," says UW-Eau Claire head coach Matt Loen.
Next up for the Blugolds is a trip to Lake Placid, New York for an NCAA semifinal game with Utica College. This is the first team in program history to make the trip, but coach Loen is impressing on his team that they have not reached their ultimate goal, quite yet.
"We've already instilled that into their brains last night when we got home, that we're not done," adds Loen. "We beat St. Norbert, the number-one team in the nation, but we still have two games to go. So I think that sits well with them, and they'll think about that, and we'll keep inching closer to our game Friday night."
UW-Eau Claire and Utica College meet Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Herb Brooks Rink in Lake Placid. The winner advances to the Division 3 NCAA Championship game.
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