STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The No. 1-ranked UW-Stevens Point men's hockey team (26-0-2) won its third WIAC Commissioner's Cup with a 3-2 win over visiting No. 9/10 UW-Eau Claire (19-7-2) on Saturday. Junior Danny Kiraly (Glendale, Ariz.) netted the game-winner in the third period of a tense, back-and-forth battle. The win extended UWSP's unbeaten streak to 28-straight games, tying the program record.
Near the midpoint of the first period, Eau Claire was called for two penalties in the span of 35 seconds. As the ensuing 5-on-3 power play was winding down, Steven Quagliata (Bartlett, Ill.) fired a wrister in the top corner from between the circles to give the Pointers an early lead, 1-0. Colin Raver (Bartlett, Ill.) picked up an assist on the goal.
At 13:19 of the first, the Blugolds tied the game with a shot from close range after the Pointers lost the puck in their own defensive end.
Late in the first period, UWSP struck again on the power play. Carter Roo (Champlin, Minn.) tipped in a shot from Kiraly as the Pointers regained the lead. Drew McLean (Waterford, Mich.) also tallied an assist on the play.
The Blugolds tied the game early in the second period. At the 4:20 mark, Adam Parcells scored on the power play after the initial shot was blocked by the UWSP defense.
In the third period, UWEC got a breakaway with 13:24 to go, by UWSP Connor Ryckman (Minesing, Ont.) stood tall and made the save to preserve the 2-2 tie.
Later in the third, Kiraly put UWSP ahead again. He skated to the right circle and fired a shot that slipped past UWEC keeper Zach Dyment. His goal was unassisted.
Ryckman made 27 saves in the win, his 23rd victory of the year, tying the school record for single season wins. Dyment made 23 saves in the defeat.
The Pointers will await an opponent and location in the NCAA Division III Ice Hockey Championship beginning on March 9. The selection show will air on ncaa.com on Monday (March 4) at 9:30 a.m. CT.