By Kim Wrona
10/14/14 – DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies finished their 6 game road trip on Friday and Saturday as they traveled out west to take on the University of Iowa. The Huskies returned to DeKalb as victors as they swept both games by scores of 5-3 and 4-3.
Senior forward Justin Rucinski led the way offensively for the Huskies on Friday night. Despite Iowa getting on the board first, Rucinski tallied 4 times during the contest, while senior defenseman Brian Pounds also lit the lamp en route to the Huskies’ 5-3 victory.
“Iowa is always a tough team and they’re hard to play at home,” head coach Chuck Rinaldo said.
The early deficit didn’t affect the Huskies as they battled their way back to win.
“There was no panic, there was no fear for our guys to jump right back,” Rinaldo said about being down early. “Rucinski got fired up and started putting them in the back of the net. But overall, once again it’s key for us, in order to succeed, we have to have a total team effort and we got that from top to bottom, top front, you name it. They worked hard and we got the job done.”
Saturday’s game also featured markers from Rucinski; this time, there were only 2 of them. Sophomore forward Jake Jauch and junior forward Anthony Ricciardi also scored as the Huskies took the game 4-3.
“Saturday’s game was another good game,” Rinaldo said. “[We took] a few too many penalties, but once again we played our game; we stayed steady. There’s always going to be those times–the breakdowns–and we didn’t panic. We held our own and managed to get the victory.”
The Huskies now turn their attention to their first home games at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee this weekend. They will be hosting Eastern Illinois University; it is also Pink in the Rink weekend as the Huskies will be raising awareness for breast cancer research.
“Not only is it Pink in the Rink, it’s our first weekend here, so we’re excited to make our big debut both at our new home and with our pink jerseys,” Rinaldo said.
The Huskies can’t take anything for granted going into this weekend.
“Eastern has lost some games by some large numbers, so it’s one of those things: we can’t take them lightly,” Rinaldo said. “Last year, they lost some games by large numbers, too, and they found a way to beat us on Saturday. There’s no such thing as an easy game; even though teams have lost by large margins doesn’t mean they can’t come out and find a way to beat us. I think our motivation level will be high on Friday. Hopefully we have a big crowd with debuting our pink jerseys, but the key is to stick to our game plan, don’t get lazy and execute. Execution is going to be key.”
Friday’s contest is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game is slated for 3 p.m.