UWS, St. Scholastica hockey rivalry isn't one-sided anymore
A rivalry that was once one-sided has grown into a classic inter-city series with the latest chapter to be written at Mars Lakeview Arena. No. 7-ranked St. Scholastica (6-2-2) is home against No. 12 Wisconsin-Superior (7-3-1) at 7:05 p.m. today a...
A rivalry that was once one-sided has grown into a classic inter-city series with the latest chapter to be written at Mars Lakeview Arena.
No. 7-ranked St. Scholastica (6-2-2) is home against No. 12 Wisconsin-Superior (7-3-1) at 7:05 p.m. today and Saturday in Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Division III men's hockey games.
UWS superiority ended more than two years ago when St. Scholastica defeated the Yellowjackets in the NCHA playoffs, breaking a 52-game winless streak in the series.
In the last meeting, in February at Wessman Arena, UWS won 4-3 to claim the NCHA regular-season title. Both teams qualified for the NCAA tournament and finished one game short of the Frozen Four.
Both teams needed replacements for 2009-10, especially in goal. UWS freshman Garrett Tinkham, who has started the past five games, has a 2.83 goals-against mark. St. Scholastica senior Zach Kleiman and sophomore Brennan Poderzay have split games for a combined 2.64 goals-against average.
"In the last two years our season expectations have risen and our players show up for each game. They don't get too excited or too low, they're playing with confidence," said St. Scholastica coach Mark Wick.
The Saints are second in the seven-team NCHA at 3-1-2 and UWS is tied for fifth at 2-3-1. St. Scholastica had a six-game unbeaten streak stopped last Saturday in a 4-2 loss at defending Division III champion St. Norbert, while UWS had an eight-game unbeaten streak stopped the same night in a 2-1 loss at last-place Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
UWS is averaging four goals a game and St. Scholastica is scoring 3.3 a game.
"Our defensemen have been our strength [with three seniors and three freshmen] and every line has helped us win at least one game," said UWS coach Dan Stauber. "We're scoring well on the power play [23.2 percent], but what we need is more scoring five-on-five."
Senior left winger Jeff Gagnon leads St. Scholastica's scoring with two goals and seven assists for nine points. Freshman center Tyler Miller and junior left winger Riley Riddell each have four goals. Tied for the UWS scoring lead are senior right winger Chris Wilson and senior left winger Braden Desmet, each with 14 points.
After this weekend, both teams are off until Jan. 8-9. They meet again in a single game Feb. 11 in Superior.