March 14, 2009

Courtesy of Wis.-Stout

MENOMONIE  (March 14, 2009) - Defenseman Jack Wolgemuth (Sr, Anchorage, Alaska) scored with 37 seconds remaining in the game to give UW-Stout a 2-1 win over St. Scholastica in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championships Saturday at the Dunn County Ice Arena.

The win gives the Blue Devils' their first-ever trip to the NCAA Frozen Four and extends Stout's winning streak to 10 games and their unbeaten streak to 15 games.

Wolgemuth was assisted on the goal by Scott Motz (Jr, Lake Elmo, Minn) and Derek Hanson (Jr, Bemidji, Minn). The goal, a slap shot from near the blue line, was Wolgemuth's fourth goal of the season and his first since February 6.

"I couldn't have asked for a better pass (from Motz)," Wolgemuth, who had much of his family from Alaska present, said. "He (St. Scholastica goalie Steve Bounds) saw me, I saw him. I crossed my fingers and it (the shot) just went in."

Stout (23-5-2) took the lead in the game first, when Andy Sternberg (Jr, Duluth, Minn) scored on the power play midway through the first period, with assists by Paul Henderson (Jr, Menomonie) and David Larson (So, Warroad, Minn).

The Saints (20-7-2) tied the score midway through the second period when Matt Stengl popped the puck up over Stout goalie Matt Koenig (Sr, Lakeland, Minn) with the puck landing behind him and dribbling in. Jordan Chong and Daman Milsom got the assists.

Koenig finished the game with 33 saves, while St. Scholastica goalie Bounds finished with 24 saves.

Koenig has been solid the last two months of the season. This is his fourth game in the last 10 outings he has allowed only one goal. Koenig improved his record to 21-4-2 and gave his defense much of the credit.

"It makes my job easier when I have this defense," Koenig said. "They (other teams) can't have them. They are mine."

"Matt has been flat solid," Stout coach Terry Watkins said. "He has been unbelievable."

"We played well enough to win this game," St. Scholastica coach Mark Wick said. "They (Stout) might win this whole thing."

But Watkins said there was a little bit of luck involved in winning this game.

"We got lucky, I guess," Watkins said, "but we will take it. We stole one. (I thought) they kicked our butts."

It was appropriate this game came down to the wire. During the season, the teams went 1-1-1 in their three previous meetings, including a 3-2 Stout win in the NCHA semi-finals.

Stout will play next Friday, March 20 at the NCAA Frozen Four at Herb Brooks Arena at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

All tickets for the NCAA DIII Men’s Ice Hockey Championships March 20-21are currently on sale through the Olympic Center Box Office.  Box Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm, Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with special Box Office hours Sunday, March 15 10 am – 4: 00 pm.  The Box Office may be reached at 518.523.3330.