Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team heads outside for Monday's practice, as the Blugolds skate at the Silver Mine Hill outdoor rink.
UWEC players and coaches say it's a nice way to break up the grind of the season.
"It's a lot of fun," says Blugolds senior defenseman David Donnellan, "it's a Monday and tomorrow we'll get back to work, but today was kind of a day to get out here and get back to our roots of hockey when we were little kids and having a good time together."
UW-Eau Claire has an amazing streak going: the Blugolds have blanked five straight opponents, which is a new NCAA Division III record. It also ties the NCAA record in all divisions, set by Lake Superior State in 1994.
Two goaltenders have split time in the nets over the last five games. Freshman Jay Deo has three shutouts, with sophomore Tyler Green recording two, including Saturday night against 6th-ranked St. Thomas (MN).
The Blugolds say that defense has been a total team effort.
"No one predicts that to happen," says Deo, "but the way that our team plays and the defensive structure that we have, it's been really easy for the goaltenders to stop the puck. It's been team shutouts."
"Before St. Thomas, our defensemen had played pretty well," says UW-Eau Claire head coach Matt Loen, "against St. Thomas, I thought Tyler Green, our goalie played really well. Just a combination of our defensemen, and if he can play like that -- we should be a very very strong team."
The Blugolds move up one spot to seventh in the USCHO Division III poll. UWEC hosts UW-River Falls this weekend. The Falcons are ranked 13th.
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