MILWAUKEE – Senior Zach Woodman made 31 saves and the MSOE hockey team scored once in each of the final two periods to skate to a 2-0 victory over No. 11 UW-Eau Claire in the season-opener Friday night at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (1-0) defeated a ranked team top open the season for the third-straight year after a 5-1 win at home against No. 3 Adrian in 2015-16 and a 3-2 win at Adrian last season when the Bulldogs were ranked No. 3.
Seniors Chris Hinrichs and Jerad Tafoya provided the offense on the night. Hinrichs lit the lamp with a power play goal at 10:37 of the second period. Senior James Ring picked up the assist, working the puck to Hinrichs at the top of the offensive zone. He then rocketed a shot into the net for the first goal of 2017-18.
Late in regulation, Tafoya added an insurance goal. Sophomore Nick Redmon forced a turnover just inside his defensive blue line to set Tafoya free the other way. Tafoya then skated in on goal and beat the goalie with a wrist shot to make it 2-0.
Woodman and the defense was in control all night, with an exceptional display by the Raider special teams. MSOE converted on one of its five power plays while killing all six man advantages for the Blugolds.
The Raiders came up big twice in the third period, killing off a pair of 5-on-3 UWEC power plays to keep the visitors off the board.
With the win, MSOE defeated the Blugolds for the first time and improved to 9-1-1 in its last 11 games against teams from the WIAC. It will look to improve that run when UW-River Falls comes to the Kern Center Saturday for a 4 p.m. contest.