Jackets tie, beat River Falls in weekend road series

The UW-Superior men’s hockey team was back on the road again Friday and Saturday traveling to UW-River Falls for an NCHA matchup. The 12th ranked Yellowjacket men skated to a 1-1 tie Friday night and beat the Falcons 3-2 on Saturday night taking three of four points in the weekend conference series.

Friday night’s game featured little scoring and few penalties. Scoreless after the first period the Falcons took advantage of five on three advantage to notch the games first goal at the 4:38 mark of the second. Falcon forward Willie Hess took a favorable carom of the end board and stuffed it past Jacket goaltender Drew Strandberg for his second goal of the season.

The Falcons defense stifled the Jackets for much of the game taking away several good scoring chances for the Jackets throughout the night.

Taking their 1-0 lead into the third, UW-River Falls goaltender Scott Lewan had his shutout bid snapped as the Jackets finally put on the board near the midway point of the final period. Kevin Clark beat Lewan on a wrist shot from the point to tie the game. Assisted by Pat Dalbec and Joey Massingham, the goal was Clark’s first of the year and of his career.

The Jackets a good opportunity late but it was spoiled by the Falcons defense again.

The game went into overtime and even as they outshot the Falcons 5-1 in the extra frame the Jackets couldn’t get the game winner and the game finished a draw.

Superb goaltending carried both teams Friday night as Strandberg stopped 26 shots for UWS and Lewan stopped 34 for the Falcons. The Jackets didn’t convert on their only powerplay chance of the night while River Falls converted one of their three.

On Saturday night the two teams battle for almost two periods. Scoreless late in the second, Jeff Forsythe took a shot from the point that was deflected and Pat Dalbec collected the loose puck and snuck it past Lewan with 0.3 second remaining on the clock to give the Yellowjackets a 1-0 lead and an edge in momentum heading into the final period. The goal was Dalbec’s seventh of the year and he extended his impressive scoring streak to an impressive 11 games.

Midway through the third River Falls tied the game at one on a goal by Zach Schrotenboer. But a little over a minute and a half later, Brad Phenow took a pass and beat the Falcons defense and Lewan for his second goal of the year and made it 2-1. Forsythe and Ryan Hill assisted on the goal. The Jackets notched another goal later to make it 3-1. The goal was scored by Andy Singerhouse who took a pass from Cody Hotchkin behind the net. Singerhouse’s fourth of the year was also assisted by Josh Kesler.

The Falcons scored 29 seconds later and made it 3-2 but UWS was able to keep the Falcons from developing any chances late in the period and sealed the deal for a 3-2 win.

Strandberg stopped 19 shots in the series finale while Lewan stopped 14. It was the first time this season UWS was outshot.

The Yellowjackets (8-2-1, 5-2-1 NCHA) now are just two points behind NCHA leader UW-Eau Claire.

The Jackets will host Augsburg College on Friday at Wessman Arena. It will be the final game for the Jackets in the fall semester.

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