by Kim Wrona
12/18/13—DeKalb, IL This past weekend, the D3 Huskies closed out the semester with a 2 game set against Aurora University at Fox Valley Ice Arena where they picked up their 3rd win of the season on Friday night.
NIU got on the board first with a tally from junior forward and team captain Jc Weems at the 12:08 mark of the opening frame; freshman defenseman Erik Demmin and freshman forward Jeremy Bilecki recorded the assists on the marker.
Even though that was the lone goal of the period, the Huskies added to their lead quickly in the 2nd as sophomore forward Brandon Bangert scored at 2:03; junior forward Kyle Cornier was credited with an assist on the goal. Weems extended the Huskie lead to 3 with his 2nd goal of the evening with 15:14 left in the period.
The Huskies were able to convert on the power play a little less than 5 minutes later as Bilecki got one by the AU goaltender to make it 4-0; Cornier was credited with another assist on the goal. Special teams came up big again for NIU as junior defenseman Gregg Jacobson scored on a 2 man advantage with 2:13 remaining in the period to make it 5-0.
AU broke freshman goaltender JoJo Durrbeck’s bid for a shutout 29 seconds into the 3rd period, but the Huskies buckled down and killed off a few penalties later in the period to hang on for the 5-1 victory.
“It was, in my opinion, our best game all year,” Durrbeck said. “We played from start to finish and never stopped. We had one mistake the entire game and it led to their only goal early in the third but other than that it was a great game.”
“Friday night we came out flying,” freshman defenseman Damon Lubkeman said. “We knew we had to make a statement. Aurora didn’t answer back and we dominated. Getting the 3rd win [on the season] was huge. We easily should have had a 5-6 win semester but 3 is huge just knowing the fact we had 0 last semester.”
“I’d say we came out and played the best 60 minutes that we have all year,” sophomore forward Nick Renville said. “Everyone played well and JoJo stepped up and made big saves when we needed them.”
“Throughout the entire game, the team played great in front of me,” Durrbeck said. “A good defensive game played into a great offensive game. Playing so well forced Aurora to take penalties, which led to some power play goals that helped us pad our lead in the second period. When Aurora started to get chippy, we didn’t get into it and continued to play our game. All around, everyone played a great game, which played into our best team game and our best win all year.”
The following night didn’t go so well for the Huskies as they dropped the contest 11-2. Renville scored both goals for NIU.
“Saturday, we played a poor game defensively and gave up way too many quality chances in our own zone,” Renville said.
The next time the Huskies take the ice will be on January 10th and 11th as they take on Augustana College at Rivers Edge in Davenport, Iowa.