Cincinnati, OH (WQOW) -- For the second-straight season, the Wisconsin men's hockey team sees their season end in the NCAA opener.
It's a bitter end for a Wisconsin team that had some high hopes for making a run through the NCAA Tournament. Whatever momentum that came with winning a Big Ten Tournament Title didn't carry over into the NCAAs.
"We were down 2-1 and then we ran into some penalties. So instead of spending time trying to score, we're spending time trying to kill off penalties -- which we did. But it took away from our momentum trying to score goals and take it back the other way," says head coach Mike Eaves.
It's a bitter pill to swallow for Eau Claire's nine seniors, including Eau Claire's Jefferson Dahl who says it was really tough to peel off the Wisconsin uniform for one final time.
"It was definitely tough, especially for these nine seniors," says Dahl. "We put our blood and sweat into these jerseys for four years. Same for the other guys, they've given everything they've got this year. It's amazing how fast it goes, the four years. But I couldn't ask for anything more, and it's been a great four years."
It's also very tough for Wisconsin's seven juniors, including Eau Claire's Jake McCabe who faces a decision on whether or not to turn pro. For now, McCabe is mainly focused on saying goodbye to the senior class.
"It's always tough to leave a group of seniors like we've had, some of the best buddies I've ever had in my life. And they're going to continue being my best buddies in life. To end our season like that, we really weren't ready to be done playing hockey, so it hasn't really hit us yet. Especially me," says McCabe.