The Blugolds prepare for their second straight appearance in the WIAC Championship
UW-Eau Claire head coach Matt Loen
UW-Eau Claire senior Colton Wolter
The Blugolds earn their second straight appearance in the O'Brien Cup Final
UW-Eau Claire head coach Erik Strand
Eau Claire (WQOW) -- For the second straight season, UW-Eau Claire will be represented in both the men's and women's WIAC hockey Championships.
The Blugold men survived the semifinal round this past weekend, edging UW-Stout in a 1-0 mini game. Now Eau Claire sets their sights on the defending conference champs, UW-Stevens Point. The Blugolds tied the Pointers in their last meeting at K.B. Willett Arena, and they say there's a lot they can take away from that game.
"I think we outplayed them there and dictated the pace, and a couple bounces didn't go our way, and fortunately, or unfortunately, however you look at it, we got a tie out of it," says head coach Matt Loen, "So I think we know that we can beat them there."
Senior forward Colton Wolter is looking forward to the matchup, "It's going to take a full 60 minutes and a good effort by everybody, but yeah I think everybody's excited about it."
Blugolds and Pointers drop the puck Saturday night at 7 p.m.
The UW-Eau Claire women's team, meanwhile, is making it's second appearance in the O'Brien Cup Final in it's history - in back to back seasons. The Blugolds will face the defending conference champs, UW-River Falls. They finished 1-1-1 this season against the Falcons in the regular season, including an impressive 3-0 home win two weekends ago. But they expect River Falls' best in round 4.
"They know everything about us, we know everything about them, and we just talked about it in our locker room just now, it's going to be one of the things where the team that executes their gameplan more effectively, they're going to have the outcome that they're going to look for, so it's two heavyweights, and it's the way we believe it should have been. It's one and two, the way the regular season ended that are playing for a championship, and I know how excited this group is," head coach Erik Strand explains, "It's another Championship opportunity for this team, I would love for this group to be able to do it, and River Falls is a phenomenal place, so if there's ever going to be a team or a place, I know how special it would be to this group."
Blugolds and Falcons drop the puck, Saturday, at 2 p.m.
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