Yellowjackets split home and away series with Stout

The Yel­low­jacket men’s hockey team was rid­ing a five game win­ning streak enter­ing play this week­end. The win­ning streak came after their sea­son open­ing loss to cross-bridge rival St. Scholas­tica. The Jack­ets had their win streak snapped in Menomine, Wis. on Fri­day night as the 14th ranked Jack­ets suf­fered their sec­ond loss of the year to the UW-Stout Blue Dev­ils falling 4–1.

Not much went the Yel­low­jack­ets way on Fri­day as a slow start ended up doom­ing them in the end. The Blue Dev­ils notched two power play goals in the first period to take an early lead and they never looked back.

Sam Carr tal­lied on a power play goal at 4:46 of the first period tipped in a rebound past UWS goal­tender Drew Strandberg.

At the 15:28 mark of the period, Yel­low­jacket Kyle Leahy was called for cross check­ing and went to the box. The Blue Dev­ils con­verted their sec­ond power play chance of the night on a goal by Gar­rett Grim­stead. Grim­stead beat Strand­berg on a shot from the right cir­cle to make it 2–0 at the 16:00 mark of the first period.

The Blue Dev­ils added two more in the sec­ond period on goals by Zach Vier­ling and Kevin O’Donnell.

The UWS spe­cial teams had sev­eral oppor­tu­ni­ties on Fri­day and were only able to con­vert one of those chances. Stout player Gavin Tufte served a two minute minor for hav­ing too many play­ers on the ice late in the sec­ond period and the Jack­ets were able to avoid the shutout with a power play goal. John Forsythe let a shot go that beat Blue Devil goalie Nick Hop­per to make it 4–1. The goal was assisted by Joey Mass­ing­ham and Pat Dal­bec. But that would be all the Jack­ets would get.

The Jack­ets out­shot the Blue Dev­ils 33–17 includ­ing 15 shots in the third. Jacket spe­cial teams were 1–12 on the power play drop­ping their sea­son total 19 per­cent. In total 17 penal­ties were issued in Fri­day night’s contest.

Strand­berg took his first loss of the year for the Jack­ets mak­ing 13 saves. Stout goal­tender Hop­per made 32 saves for the Blue Devils.

Sat­ur­day night was a dif­fer­ent story. The Jack­ets got off to a strong start and avoided a Stout come­back as they held off the Blue Dev­ils 6–4 Sat­ur­day night as Wess­man Arena in front of 783 fans.

The Yel­low­jack­ets started strong as Joey Mass­ing­ham col­lected his own rebound and put the Jack­ets up 1–0 at the 8:09 mark of the first period. Kyle Leahy and Pat Dal­bec were cred­ited with the assists. The goal was Massingham’s fourth of the year.

Stout tied things up at one mid­way through the first on an even strength goal by Jake Useldinger. Useldinger tipped a shot past Drew Strand­berg to make it 1–1.

In the final minute of the first, Brett Myers back­handed a shot past Stout goal­tender Tom Lescovich unas­sisted to make it a 2–1 game.

The Yel­low­jack­ets turned it on the sec­ond period as they notched two goals. After a clear­ing attempt on a power play, the Jack­ets caught the Blue Dev­ils on a line change as Strand­berg fed Brett Wold wait­ing at the blue line who cen­tered a pass for Tan­ner Dion and he flipped it past Lescovich to put the Yel­low­jack­ets up 3–1.

Dion would later assist on a Pat Dal­bec goal to make it 4–1 in the sec­ond. Wold took a pass from Dion at the right point and found a wide open Dal­bec on in front of the net and the junior for­ward buried his fourth goal of the season.

The first two peri­ods were dom­i­nated by UWS. The Jack­ets plugged up every lane and gave Stout hardly any chances to get some­thing going. The Jack­ets were able break up any chance the Blue Dev­ils by clean­ing up rebounds in front of their own net and they seemed to be get­ting a stick or skate on every pass or shot the Blue Dev­ils attempted.

But the Blue Dev­ils weren’t ready to give up just yet. They ral­lied in a big way to tie the game at four in the third period. Tate Rusk drove a shot in on Strand­berg from the left side and beat him to make 4–2. Three min­utes later, Kevin O’Donnell notched his sec­ond goal of the series to pull Stout within one goal of the Yel­low­jack­ets. They made the come­back com­plete as Zach Vier­ling tied the game on a pass from Gar­rett Grim­stead and beat Strandberg.

But just under a minute later any momen­tum Stout had gained was taken away. Junior Brad Phe­now led a rush up the left wing and attempted to stuff a wrap around in on goal­tender Lescovich. After deny­ing the ini­tial attempt, Cody Hotchkin jumped on the loose puck and slid it over the goal line to give the Jack­ets a 5–4 lead and sud­denly the team and the build­ing was rein­vig­o­rated. The game win­ning goal came at the 13:03 mark of the third period.

Stout had a few chances down the stretch but noth­ing seri­ous as they couldn’t get the game tied back up.

Tan­ner Dion notched his sec­ond goal of the game on an empty net­ter to put the game away for the Yel­low­jack­ets. Dion fin­ished with three points and was a plus-3. Pat Dal­bec extended his scor­ing streak to eight games with a goal and an assist. Brett Wold had two assists.

The UWS spe­cial teams were 1–3 on the power play Sat­ur­day night while their penalty kill was 5–6. The Jack­ets power play per­cent­age now sits at 21 per­cent while the Jacket penalty kill is hov­er­ing around 85 percent

Strand­berg stopped 17 shots en route to his fourth vic­tory of the year. Lescovich stopped 24 shots for the Blue Devils.

The Yel­low­jack­ets (6–2-0, 4–2-0 NCHA) will take on Con­cor­dia Col­lege at Wess­man Arena in Supe­rior, Wis. on Novem­ber 21. Face-off is set for 5:05 p.m

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