By Kim Wrona
1/24/19 — DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies hosted the Minnesota State University – Mankato Mavericks on January 18 and 19 at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee, IL. The Huskies split the two games on the weekend with the Mavericks, picking up a win in the first game of the series.
The first period of Friday’s game was a scoreless affair between the two teams, but the floodgates opened in the second period. Senior forward Eric Svejda tallied his 14th goal on the season at 1:47 to break the ice of the scoreless tie.
The Mavericks then tallied three consecutive goals to take a 3-1 lead over the Huskies throughout the middle of the frame, including a shorthanded goal and a power play goal.
Junior forward Brad Krauser netted his 12th goal of the season with 1:08 to play in the middle frame to cut the Huskies deficit to one goal, but the Mavericks answered back with a tally of their own 16 seconds later.
The Huskies tallied four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat the Mavericks by a score of 6-4. Senior forward Holden Carkner (his fourth), freshman forward Justin Garr (his sixth and seventh) and Krauser (his 13th) propelled the Huskies to their victory. Krauser’s goal was an empty-netter and his second of the game.
Graduate goaltender Stephen Thulin made 45 saves on 49 shots in the contest. Both teams fired 49 shots on net. The Huskies weren’t able to score on all three of their power plays while the Mavericks converted on their lone man advantage.
Unlike Friday, the Huskies got on the board in the first period of Saturday’s game. Krauser (his 14th) and Svejda (his 15th) put the Huskies up 2-0 late in the opening frame.
The Mavericks stormed back in the second period with three goals, including a shorthanded goal, to take a 3-2 lead over NIU.
Freshman forward Brandon Ledyard netted his 10th tally on the 2018-2019 campaign with just under three minutes remaining in the middle frame to tie the game up at three with a power play marker.
Krauser gave the Huskies the lead back at 3:59 of the third period with his 15th goal of the year and second of the contest, but the Mavericks tied the game up with a power play goal at 9:11.
With the teams still deadlocked at four at the end of 60 minutes, the game went into overtime. 25 seconds in, the Mavericks tallied the game-winning goal to defeat the Huskies by a score of 5-4.
Freshman goaltender Chad Dodero made 37 saves on 42 shots in the contest. The Mavericks outshot the Huskies by a 42-38 margin. The Huskies went 1-3 on the power play while the Mavericks went 1-5 on their man advantages. The Huskies now have a 10-15-0-0 record on the 2018-2019 season.
The Huskies will be back on the road the next time they take the ice. They’ll travel to the southwest part of the state to take on McKendree University for two MACHA Conference games. The Huskies and Bearcats will face-off at 7:30 p.m. on January 25 and at 2:00 p.m. on January 26 at McKendree Metro Rec Plex in Lebanon, IL.