By Morgan Haga
10/3/2021 The DIII Huskies were on home ice this past weekend. They battled against Illinois State University. Friday the Huskies fell 3-9. Following that loss, they came back fighting. The Huskies won their first game of the 2021-2022 season Saturday 4-2.
Friday the Huskies fought for the puck and started off the first period with Justin Garr scoring less than two minutes into the game. Ten Minutes later Garr scored his second goal of the night with the help of Jason Kliment and Richard Monti. However, after that ISU scored to end the first period tied 2-2. Coming back for the second period Kliment scored the Huskies’ third goal of the game to bring the score to 3-3. After that goal, the Huskies struggled to beat penalties and fell to ISU 3-9.
Saturday the Huskies were ready for a win. The first period ended scoreless with no penalties as well. Heading into the second period, the Huskies were able to score the first goal of the game. Noah Carlock was able to get past ISU’s goaltender and bring the score to 1-0. Minutes later, Alex Tatum scored his first goal of the season to end the second period 2-0 against ISU. For the third period of the game, ISU was able to score 2 goals and tie the game before NIU’s Carlock found the back of the net again with 3:24 remaining in the period. With seconds left, David Kraaz scored the Huskies’ final goal of the night to bring the win of 4-2.
Coach Gorczyca stated “I am very proud of how our team played. They came out ready to play Saturday. They proved to the coaches and themselves that they can play with the top teams in our league. Everything fell into place Saturday from an all-around team effort. With this game being my first win as NIU DIII coach, after the game the team gave me a game puck which is something I will cherish forever as my first collegiate win.”
Alex Tatum commented, “Our first win of the season was a big stepping stone, and the team morale has increased greatly due to it. This was a team effort to get us to this point, and my first goal would not have meant anything without the team’s hard work to get us that win”.
Goaltender Matthew Capek was in net Friday for 36.29 minutes saving 34 of 39 shots on goal. Matthew Coppolillo was in the net Friday as well for 23.31 minutes saving 20 of 24 shots. Saturday Matthew Coppolillo took net again saving 43 of 46 shots with one of those being a penalty shot.
The DIII Huskies season is now 1-4-1. The Huskies return to home ice October 8th and 9th to take on Milwaukee School of Engineering with a game time of 9 pm both days. Both games will be played at Canlan Ice Sports West Dundee.