DII Huskies pick up victory against Illini

By Kim Wrona2/10/17 – DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies played three games in three days to wrap up the 2016-17 regular season. They finished out the weekend with a big victory going into the playoffs.

2/10/17 – DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies played three games in three days to wrap up the 2016-17 regular season. They finished out the weekend with a big victory going into the playoffs.The Huskies hosted Aurora University on February 2 for NIU’s last home game of the season. The Spartans got out to a two goal lead in the first period, but the Huskies were able to cut their deficit to one with junior forward Eric Svejda’s eighth goal of the season.

The Huskies hosted Aurora University on February 2 for NIU’s last home game of the season. The Spartans got out to a two goal lead in the first period, but the Huskies were able to cut their deficit to one with junior forward Eric Svejda’s eighth goal of the season.

The Spartans went on to score five straight goals to take a 7-1 lead over NIU throughout the next period and a half. The Huskies got on the board with 3:40 left in regulation with a good shot from junior defenseman Tommy Turner for his fourth goal of the season, but the final score stood at 7-2 in Aurora’s favor.

Junior goaltender Nick Bove started the game and made 20 saves on 24 shots on goal in 29:07 of play. Junior goaltender Jake Tower came in for Bove and made 26 saves on 29 shots in 30:53 of play. The Spartans outshot the Huskies by a 53-19 margin. Aurora went 2-5 on the power play while the Huskies failed to convert on their seven man advantages.The Huskies then traveled down to Champaign on February 3 to face-off against the University of Illinois. The home team scored two goals in the first period and two goals in the second period to take a 4-0 lead over the Huskies.

The Huskies then traveled down to Champaign on February 3 to face-off against the University of Illinois. The home team scored two goals in the first period and two goals in the second period to take a 4-0 lead over the Huskies.

Senior forward Jake Jauch tallied his second goal of the season at the seven minute mark of the sandwich stanza to cut the NIU deficit to three. Svejda then tallied his ninth goal of the year just under seven minutes later to cut the Illini lead to two goals.The Illini tallied an early third period power play goal to restore their three goal lead. Senior forward Ryan Saunders brought NIU to within two goals again with his fourth goal of the season halfway through the final frame.

The Illini tallied an early third period power play goal to restore their three goal lead. Senior forward Ryan Saunders brought NIU to within two goals again with his fourth goal of the season halfway through the final frame.Ultimately, the Illini scored once more late in the third to make the score 6-3 and to hand NIU its second loss in a row.

Ultimately, the Illini scored once more late in the third to make the score 6-3 and to hand NIU its second loss in a row.

Bove made 48 saves on 54 shots in the contest. The Illini outshot the Huskies by a 54-40 margin. The Huskies failed to convert on their three power plays while Illinois went 1-3 on the man advantage.

The Huskies took on the Illini once more to round out the 2016-17 regular season on February 4. After a scoreless first period, the visitors were the ones to draw first blood in the contest.

Senior defenseman Ron Coletta found Svejda in the left circle just before the four minute mark of the middle frame and Svejda potted his 10th goal of the year. Less than one minute later, Svejda set up freshman defenseman Jake Hamilton for Hamilton’s second goal of the year to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead.With 8:39 remaining in the second period, senior forward Tyler Hilton scored with a shot from the slot to give NIU a 3-0 lead.

With 8:39 remaining in the second period, senior forward Tyler Hilton scored with a shot from the slot to give NIU a 3-0 lead.

The Illini got on the board with 6:26 left in the middle frame to cut the NIU lead to 3-1, but Turner scored an empty net goal with 24 seconds remaining in regulation for his fifth goal of the season to give the Huskies a 4-1 victory.Senior goaltender JoJo Durrbeck made 63 saves on 64 shots in the contest. The Illini outshot the Huskies by a 64-38 margin. The Huskies went 0-4 on the man advantage and the Illini went 0-3 on the power play.

Senior goaltender JoJo Durrbeck made 63 saves on 64 shots in the contest. The Illini outshot the Huskies by a 64-38 margin. The Huskies went 0-4 on the man advantage and the Illini went 0-3 on the power play.
“Sometimes we have trouble coming out in the first period and working hard,” junior forward Billy Petersen said. “But today we came out and we got on them quick. We got them on their heels and from there we just had to play our game and do what we know how to do.”

The D2 Huskies’ record is now 10-24-0-1-0 and they will now play Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the first round of the MACHA Gold Playoffs at 5 p.m. on February 10 at Webster Groves Ice Arena in Webster Groves, MO.