By Kim Wrona
12/7/17 – DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies hosted the Bradley University Braves on December 1 and 2 at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee, Ill. The Huskies and Braves split the weekend series in the teams’ first set of games after Thanksgiving break.
Friday’s contest featured the Huskies getting on the board first. Sophomore defenseman Jake Hamilton netted his second goal of the season during an NIU power play at 10:21 of the opening frame. Senior forward Eric Svejda gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead with just under 90 seconds to play with his 15th goal on the 2017-2018 campaign.
Freshman forward Michael Pelagio put the Huskies up by a field goal at 1:46 of the second period with his fourth tally of the season. The Braves then scored two power-play goals in less than two minutes to cut the NIU lead to 3-2.
Junior forward Nick Treiber put the Huskies back up by two goals with a power-play goal of his own and his 11th marker of the year. But the Braves cut the NIU lead to one at 13:37 of the middle frame.
Senior defenseman and team captain Thomas Turner restored the Huskies’ lead with his fourth goal of the season at 5:11 of the third period. Svejda then netted his second goal of the contest and 16th of the season to put the Huskies up 6-3 with eight minutes remaining in regulation.
The Braves cut the NIU lead back to two goals with just over a minute and a half left in the game, but the Huskies were able to hang on for the 6-4 victory.
Senior goaltender Nick Bove made 41 saves on 45 shots on goal. Bradley outshot NIU by a 45-30 margin. The Huskies scored on both of their power plays while the Braves went 2-for-4 on their man advantages.
The Braves broke the ice first during Saturday’s contest. The visitors took a 1-0 lead just past the halfway mark of the first period.
Sophomore forward Brad Krauser tied the game up at 1:10 of the second period with his 10th goal on the 2017-2018 campaign. Freshman defenseman Robert Apter then gave NIU a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later with his third goal of the season.
The Braves tied the game at two at 6:02 of the middle frame. Senior forward Matthew Gould put the Huskies back up by a score of 3-2 with four minutes remaining in the period with his sixth goal of the season.
The Braves scored three goals in the third period to take a 5-3 lead over the Huskies. Gould tallied his second goal of the game and seventh of the season with four minutes to play, but NIU couldn’t get any closer as the Huskies dropped the contest by a score of 5-4.
Bove made 32 saves on 37 shots in the contest. NIU outshot Bradley by a 40-37 margin. The Huskies went 0-for-6 on the power play while the Braves failed to convert on their two-man advantages. The DII Huskies now have a record of 6-16-1-0 on the 2017-2018 campaign.
The Huskies will wrap up the fall semester with two MACHA Conference games against the University of Illinois’ DII team. The Huskies will face-off against the Illini at 7:20 p.m. on December 8 and at 3:30 p.m. on December 9 at Leafs Ice Centre.