The Pipers jumped on the board for the first time in 2009 with a power play goal from Joe Long (Sr., Dayton, Minn.) at 13:31 in the first period. Dustin Fulton (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Chris Berenguer (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) were credited with the assists.
Just ten seconds later, the Blugolds evened the score, as Joe Bluhm (Jr., Red Wing, Minn.) scored at 13:41 from Andrew Johnson (Sr., Andover, Minn.) and Jesse Vesel (Sr., Hibbing, Minn.). They would add another goal at 16:25 when Brant Marple (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) scored from Sean Garrity (Sr., North St. Paul, Minn.)
The Pipers then scored the lone goal of the second period, as Jared Hummel (So, Eagan, Minn.) put the puck in the net off of passes from Berenguer and Kelly Plude (Fy., Elk River, Minn.). The assist came in Plude’s debut as a Piper after he joined the team at the semester break.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the third, Vesel and Johnson once again connected with Bluhm, giving him his second Bluegold goal of the game, and the game winner for Eau Claire. Vesel would add an empty-netter at 19:48 from Bryan Plaszoz (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.) and John Kearns (So., Chicago, Ill.).
The non-conference loss puts Hamline’s record at 9-3-0, 4-0-0 MIAC, while UW-Eau Claire is now 11-5-0, 2-4-0 NCHA. The Pipers will take on another NCHA opponent tomorrow, Saturday, January 10. Puck drop for their game against UW-Stevens Point at Drake Arena is set for 7:15 p.m.