The second-ranked UW-Stevens Point men's hockey team used two third-period goals from Garrett Ladd (Fenton, MI/Fenton) to pull away from seventh-ranked UW-Eau Claire and record a 4-1 win in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) opener for both teams on Friday night at Hobbs Ice Center.
The Pointers (9-0, 1-0 WIAC) led 2-0 after one period but saw their lead cut to a single goal in the final minute of the second period. However, UWSP regrouped and got a pair of goals from Ladd in the third to wrap up the win over the defending-NCAA champion Blugolds (5-3, 0-1 WIAC).
Ladd scored his ninth goal of the season at the 3:48 mark of the final period on assists from Joe Kalisz (Davison, MI/Davison) and Kyle Sharkey (Moore, OK/Insight School of Kansas) before tallying his tenth at 16:43. Ladd's second was assisted by Alex Brooks (Grand Rapids, MI). Ladd's ten goals are tied for the second-most in the country.
UW-Stevens Point led 2-0 after a strong performance in the first period. Kyle Politz (Apple Valley, MN/Apple Valley)'s second goal of the year opened the scoring at 8:40 of the first period and was assisted by Mark Bittner (Crookston, MN/Crookston). Three minutes later, Scott Henegar (Trenton, MI/Trenton) made it 2-0 with his fourth goal of the season. Kyle Heck (Plover, WI/SPASH) and Drew Graves (Allen Park, MI/Allen Park ) set up Henegar's goal.
UW-Eau Claire piled on the pressure in the later stages of the second period and was rewarded with a goal in the final minute of the period. Joe Krause scored his fourth goal of the season at 19:21 of the second period to cut the UWSP advantage to a single goal.
The UW-Stevens Point penalty kill came up big, as the Pointers committed five penalties in the final period but UWSP kept UW-Eau Claire off the scoreboard. The Pointers killed off a 5-on-3 with the score at 3-1 a well as another power play that ended just before Ladd's second goal.
The Pointers outshot the Blugolds 40-29 in the game, led by six shots each from Henegar and Heck. Brandon Jaeger (Champlin, MN/Champlin Park) continued his standout play in net by making 28 saves in the game to improve to 8-0.
UWSP returns home to K.B. Willett Arena on Saturday night to face UW-Stout (2-7, 0-1 WIAC) at 7 p.m. The game is also the annual Teddy Bear Toss.
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