The UW-Superior Yellowjackets men’s hockey team opened a three-game weekend with a victory with border rival St. Scholastica, but then lost the next two games to UW-Stout and an exhibition loss to the United States National Development Team.
Thursday the Jackets edged St. Scholastica 4-3 in their final NCHA conference meeting before the Yellowjackets will move to the WIAC conference for the 2013-2014 season. UWS held a 2-1 lead after the first period with goals by Joey Massingham, his ninth of the year, and another by Michael Rey. After a scoreless second period, the Saints stuck first in the third two minutes in to tie it at two. It would stay that way until the 9:03 mark of the third when Josh Kesler would score the first of his two goals in the period to put the Jackets up 3-2. The goal was unassisted. Kesler buried another at the 14:14 mark of the third to give UWS a two goal lead. The goals were Kesler’s third and fourth of the year. But the Saints cut that lead in half three minutes later on a powerplay goal by Dave Williams. The score would hold up however as the Jackets hung on to the lead and earned the victory. Ryan Pinoniemi made 27 saves for the Yellowjackets and was part of a penalty kill that stifled the Saints to one goal in five powerplay opportunities.
The Jackets headed to Menomine on Saturday for a conference battle with UW-Stout. The Jackets were met with a solid goaltender who allowed just one Yellowjackets goal as they fell 4-1. The Blue Devils scored three goals in the second to blow the game open. John Forsythe scored for the Yellowjackets in the first period to even the score but it would be the only goal they’d get as Stout goalie, Nick Hopper, stopped 30 of 31 shots to propel the Blue Devils to the victory. Ryan Pinoniemi took his second loss of the year as he made 19 saves in the loss.
The Jackets played host to the U.S. National Development team on Sunday in an exhibition game at Wessman Arena. The Jackets fell 7-1 in the friendly contest. The development program, based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, features some of the country’s top Division-I college hockey talent also played UM-Duluth on Saturday during their trip to the Twin Ports.
The Jackets (11-9-1, 6-7-1 NCHA) are back in action this weekend as they visit UW-Stevens Point.