By Kim Wrona
2/2/17 – DeKalb, IL | Both the DII and DIII Huskies were playing on home ice on January 27 and 28. The DII Huskies hosted Lindenwood University while the DIII Huskies took on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The DII Huskies found themselves down 2-0 to Lindenwood on Friday after the first period. The visitors then extended their lead to 3-0 just 2:10 into the middle frame.
The Huskies got on the board with 2:59 left in the sandwich stanza. Junior forward Eric Svejda deflected in a shot from senior forward/defenseman Brandon Niedziela during a power play for Svejda’s seventh goal of the season.
During the third period, Lindenwood scored six more times to take a 9-1 victory over the DII Huskies.
Senior goaltender JoJo Durrbeck made 55 saves on 60 shots in 44:36 of play while junior goaltender Nick Bove made 10 saves on 14 shots in 15:24 of play. Lindenwood outshot NIU by a 74-10 margin.
The Huskies went 1-4 on the man advantage and killed off all three of Lindenwood’s power plays.
The DII Huskies and Lindenwood played a scoreless first period on Saturday evening. But the visitors jumped on the scoreboard first early in the second period with a power play goal and never looked back. Lindenwood scored five unanswered goals to take a 5-0 victory over NIU and to take the sweep of the weekend.
Bove made 47 saves on 52 shots on net in 53:12 of play while freshman goaltender Carl Lindgren stopped all six shots he faced in his 6:48 of ice time. Lindenwood outshot NIU by a 58-15 margin. NIU failed to convert on its lone power play while the visitors went 3-5 on the man advantage.
Saturday was senior night for the DII Huskies. The graduating seniors on the team are forwards Cody Billeck, Tyler Hilton, Jake Jauch, Ryan Saunders and LJ Scimeca and defenseman Bryan Peterson.
The DII Huskies will play three games in three days to round out the 2016-17 regular season. At 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, NIU will host Aurora University at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee for NIU’s last home game of the season. The Huskies will then head out on the road and play at 10 p.m. on Friday, February 3 and at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 4 against the University of Illinois at University of Illinois Ice Arena in Champaign. The U of I games are MACHA Conference games.
The DIII Huskies also played on Friday and Saturday; these two games were their final home games of the 2016-17 season. During Friday’s contest, the Huskies fell to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by a score of 3-2 in overtime.
During Saturday’s contest, the Huskies got out to a quick start as senior forward Ryan Long poked a puck home in front of the net just 48 seconds into the game for his 11th goal of the season. With 28.4 seconds left in the opening period, the visitors tied the game up at one.
Milwaukee took a 2-1 lead 4:46 into the second period, but the Huskies fought back to tie the game up at two. Sophomore defenseman Mike Neville scored his seventh goal of the season with 8:35 left in the middle frame.
The third period was a scoreless affair and it sent the game into overtime once again. Only 44 seconds into the extra frame, Milwaukee scored to take the game by a score of 3-2 and take the sweep of the weekend.
Junior goaltender Jake Tower made 62 saves on 65 shots on goal in the contest. Milwaukee outshot NIU by a 65-22 margin. NIU failed to score on its lone power play but killed off all four of Milwaukee’s man advantages.
Saturday night was senior night for the DIII Huskies. The graduating seniors on the team are Long and defensemen Damon Lubkeman and Aaron Lewis.
The DIII Huskies will finish the 2016-17 season on the road. At 7 p.m. on February 3 and at 5 p.m. on February 4, the Huskies will take on Augustana College’s DII team at The River’s Edge Ice Arena in Davenport, IA.