The UWS Men’s Hockey Team lined up for the national anthem before a game. The ‘Jackets lost to UW-Eau Claire 5-1 on Feb. 10.
Photo by Holden Law

For the first time in 2021, the Yellowjacket men’s hockey team found itself facing a team besides Northland College. The ‘Jackets took four games from the Lumberjacks over the past two weeks, winning two exhibition contests followed by a pair of regular season wins, putting the ‘Jackets in sole possession of first place in the Wisconsin Intercolle­giate Athletic Conference (WIAC) heading into play Wednesday, Feb. 10.

The unbeaten start was going to face a difficult test, however, as the Yel­lowjackets hit the road to take on UW-Eau Claire, who opened the season with a split against UW-Stevens Point last week.

It was a tough-sledding kind of night for the Yel­lowjackets. Opportunities were tough to come by, yet midway through the through third period the Yellowjackets scored to make it a one-goal game. From there Eau Claire took off, getting three goals late, winning 5-1 at the Hobbs Ice Center.

The first period featured back-and-forth play, but the defenses held and it was scoreless after 20 minutes. It stayed that way until 16:28 of the second period, when Adam Parsells took a shot from the left boards that got through Oscar Svens­son (Södertälje, Sweden/Haga Gymnasium) to give Eau Claire the 1-0 lead. The Blugolds increased the lead at 18:24, with Jon Richards getting a rebound in the slot and pushing it past Svensson to make it 2-0.

In the third, the Yellow­jackets pulled to within one when Artur Ter­chiyev (Kiev, Ukraine/Everest Academy) scored his second of the season, taking a shot from the left point that eluded Eau Claire goaltender Riley McVeigh. Will Blake (Champlin, Minn./Breck School) and Jordan Mar­tin (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Vincent Massey Colle­giate) assisted.

Eau Claire answered at 13:14 when Cole Paskus finished off a 2-on-1 to re­instate the two-goal lead. Nathan Dingmann scored less than a minute later to make it a three-goal game, and Derek Ham­mer closed out the scor­ing at 16:41, poking home a goal mouth rebound to make the final score 5-1.

With the results of Wednesday’s contests, there is now a four-way tie for the top spot in the WIAC, as Superior, Stout, Stevens Point and Eau Claire all sit at 2-1-0 for four points in the stand­ings.

The same two teams were scheduled to play the second game of their series on Friday, Feb. 12, but that game was can­celled due to COVID-19 protocols. The ‘Jackets will instead play at UW-Stevens Point tonight at K.B. Willett Arena. Open­ing faceoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.