By Gareth Bush
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugolds are playing historically good defense, having recorded five straight shutouts after defeating the No. 6-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.) Tommies 2-0 last weekend. The shutout set a new Div. III record previously held by the St. Norbert Green Knights in 2006.
The Blugolds also became just the second team at any college level to record five straight shutouts, tying the Div. I Lake Superior State Lakers, who went on to win the national championship in 1994.
The Blugolds will need to hold the conference-leading UW-River Falls Falcons scoreless for the first 17 minutes and 53 seconds tonight at home to break the consecutive minutes streak. A sixth straight shutout would also be a new college record.
The streak began prior to the holiday break with a 5-0 victory over Lawrence University on Dec. 14 and has since continued with wins against Augsburg (Minn.), Northland and another against Lawrence before defeating St. Thomas (Minn.) on Saturday.
Sophomore Tyler Green, pictured above, made 39 saves in the win, contributing his third shutout in the five-game streak and improving his record to 6-3 with a 2.08 goals-against and a .930 save percentage. Freshman Jay Deo (Langley, B.C.) has the other two clean sheets, including the first win against Lawrence.
It’s been 319 minutes and 28 seconds since the team last allowed a goal, just behind St. Norbert goalie Kyle Jones’ record of 337 minutes and 22 seconds set in 2006. Interestingly enough, St Norbert accomplished the feat over four straight shutouts, the previous Div. III record.
Following the five shutouts, Wisconsin-Eau Claire holds the fifth best team defense in their division, allowing a miniscule 1.67 goals per game through 15 games.