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Men’s hockey handles St. Mary’s University, prepares for UW-Stout

December 11, 2009

The 10th-ranked UW-River Falls men’s hockey team shut out non-conference opponent St Mary’s and scored seven goals at Hunt Arena Dec. 4.

The seven goals came off 32 shots on the Cardinals’ goaltender, while the Falcons’ Bo Storozuk saved all 16 shots put on goal in the game.

The game was played on a Friday evening at 7 p.m. in front of 875 fans.

After the first period, the Falcons were still in a close game, with only a one goal lead. The lone goal in the first period was scored by Ben Beaudoin, his fifth on the season. The goal was assisted by Justin Brossman.

The Falcons put up a larger lead in the second period, however, with four goals. Two of the goals were scored by Jamie Ruff, his first and second of the season. Nolan Craner and Josh Calleja scored the other two goals of the period.

Ryan Goodmanson, Ruff, Tad Norris and Tyler Czuba all received assists in the period.

In the third period, two Falcon players also put shots in the back of the net. Czuba scored a goal assisted by Calleja, and Andy Inderieden also scored unassisted. Fans in attendance also received tickets for free cookies, as happens when the Falcons score at least seven goals in a home game.

The team noted that good play and strong defense were the keys to the victory.

“We had real good structure defensively,” Head Coach Steve Freeman said. “We moved the puck well.”

The Falcons said that the strong defense helped the team perform on offense. “We tightened up on defense, which helped our offense,” Norris said.

Assistant Coach Bob Ritzer also said that the Falcons “executed well, played well defensively, and the goalie played well.”

Beaudoin said the team skated hard to make sure they did not overlook St. Mary’s.

“ W e came out hard. We didn’t want to overlook them,” Beaudoin said. “We lost to them in overtime last year.”

Even though the game was against a non-conference opponent, the team still said that the win was an important one.

“By the end [of the season], every game counts,” Freeman said. “You need to notch wins.”

Freeman also said every win is important so the team can build its case to play in the NCAA tournament.

“Our goal is to qualify for the NCAA tournament,” Freeman said. “We need to get in to win big.”

The Falcons have an upcoming series at home against NCHA opponent UW-Stout before heading into a four week break. Freeman said the series is important for momentum and in the conference standings.

“The game is very important in the NCHA,” Freeman said. “We want to carry into the Christmas break positive.” Ritzer also said the series against Stout is a big one, because the league is tight. The win against St. Mary’s put the Falcons at 7-3-1 on the season.

Currently the Falcons are tied for third in the NCHA standings with Stout. Both teams have seven points.