By Kim Wrona
12/13/13—DeKalb, IL Last weekend on December 6th and 7th, the D2 Huskies traveled down to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for MACHA Conference game play.
Both games didn’t go the way the Huskies would’ve liked them to as they dropped Friday’s contest 8-3 and Saturday’s tilt 10-0. Friday’s game featured goals from senior forwards Nick Leon and Joe Boris and graduate defenseman Brian Pickett.
The Huskies got down early on Friday night and just were never able to recover.
“SIUE got off to a really quick start [and] kind of caught us off guard,” head coach Chuck Rinaldo said. “We fell behind quickly and just couldn’t really get out of our hole that we created for ourselves. SIUE came out with a lot of energy and we were a little flat. Playing a 10:45 [pm] game was a new experience for us and didn’t help our bus legs. Between a combination of that, it was an uphill battle.”
“It was a rough start to the game,” said freshman goaltender JoJo Durrbeck. “We gave up 4 in the first period. They were carrying the play basically. We only had a couple shots. They were in our zone for a good part of it. We were lucky to come out with a goal, too. It wasn’t a good way to start.”
Senior goaltender Nick Bonin played the first 40 minutes of the game and made 26 saves on 33 shots. Durrbeck got in his 1st D2 game of his career during the 3rd period and made 12 saves on 13 shots.
The following night, Durrbeck started his first D2 contest and made 29 saves on 35 shots in just over 40 minutes of ice time; senior netminder Jonny Perillo made 15 saves on 19 shots in relief.
“It was good for me to get in the 3rd period before my first start so I could get used to the play a little bit,” Durrbeck said. “Obviously I was more nervous than I normally am [when starting]. But, I stepped on the ice and it all went away and didn’t affect my game at all. They had a good first period again which kind of hurt us. It was 3-0 after the 1st and they had a couple of tip goals; a couple were power play goals. Penalties are really hurting us and we dug ourselves a hole and just couldn’t get out of it from there.”
“We got off to an okay start,” Rinaldo said. “We had 2 bad penalties in the 1st period that they capitalized on and as soon as that happened, they gained all the confidence they needed and we started to fall apart. We had a few more injuries pile up which made some things tough for us.”
Rinaldo was very happy with his freshman goaltender’s play this past weekend.
“We gave JoJo a shot to start and he did a phenomenal job and we were thrilled with what he did,” Rinaldo said. “For his 1st game with D2, we were very impressed.”
The Huskies now close out the semester with 2 games down in Champaign on December 13th and 14th against the University of Illinois’ D1 team. Despite playing up a division, the Huskies are going to tackle this set like any other weekend.
“It’s just another hockey game. It’s another weekend of good hockey. That’s what our mentality has to be,” Rinaldo said. “It’s actually really good preparation for us to have that do or die mentality because that’s what it’s going to come down to for January and February. Every game we play in January and February is against a team that’s ranked and a team we need to beat in order to get into regionals. It’s good that we’ll be able to raise our level of play against a team like U of I and hopefully raise the bar for 2nd semester.”
The Huskies’ tilts on Friday and Saturday both begin at 7:30 at Campus Recreation Ice Arena in Champaign.