By Kim Wrona
1/18/18 – DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies split their weekend series with DePaul University on January 12 and 13 at Johnny’s IceHouse West in Chicago.
Senior forward Eric Svejda (4 A) and sophomore forward Brad Krauser (3 G, A) put up four points on the weekend. Svejda’s third assist on Saturday was his 150th career point in a Huskies sweater. Freshman defenseman Robert Apter (G, 2 A), freshman forward Michael Pelagio (G, 2 A) and junior forward Nick Treiber (3 G) all recorded three points in the series.
During Friday’s contest, DePaul opened the scoring, but junior defenseman Mike Neville tied the game with his first goal of the season in the opening frame.
The Blue Demons and the Huskies traded a pair of power play goals in the second period. Krauser tied the game at two with his 15th goal of the year.
The Blue Demons closed the middle frame with two goals, including a shorthanded marker, to take a 4-2 lead over the Huskies. The home team then extended their lead to three goals with an early tally in the third period.
Junior forward Tommy Rhyan closed the NIU deficit to 5-3 with a power play goal and his third marker on the 2017-2018 campaign, but the Blue Demons hung on for the victory.
Senior goaltender Nick Bove started for NIU on Friday. The Huskies outshot the Blue Demons by a 27-23 margin.
The Huskies tallied the first goal of the game on Saturday as Apter netted his seventh of the season at 5:19 of the opening frame. The Blue Demons then answered with three goals, including a power play marker.
Sophomore defenseman Jake Hamilton cut the NIU deficit to 3-2 with his third goal of the season at 16:14. Treiber then tied the game with a tally on the man advantage with just over two minutes to play in the period.
Treiber gave the Huskies a 4-3 lead with his second of the game. The Algonquin native’s shot from near the top of the left circle at 9:36 of the second period was his 15th of the season.
26 seconds later, the Blue Demons tied the game at four. But sophomore defenseman Dave Muth put the Huskies back up by a score of 5-4 at 11:20. The power play tally was the St. Charles native’s fifth goal of the season.
Krauser added a shorthanded goal at 13:41 and then an even strength tally at 5:57 of the third period to put NIU ahead by three goals. The tallies were the Bartlett native’s 16th and 17th on the 2017-2018 campaign.
Treiber completed his hat trick bid at 6:30 with a shot from the top of the left circle for his 16th of the season. Pelagio then tallied his fifth marker of the year at 14:43 to give the Huskies a 9-4 win over the Blue Demons.
Senior goaltender JoJo Durrbeck started the game in net for the Huskies and picked up a secondary assist on Krauser’s shorthanded goal. The DII Huskies now have a record of 9-19-1-0 during the 2017-2018 season.
“The game Saturday was pretty chippy,” Durrbeck said. “It was kind of a run-and-gun first period with lots of power plays on either side. I think we did a good job of battling through some of the calls and being able to go into the intermission tied. We knew we could take control of the game if we stayed out of the box and we did exactly that the last two periods. We shut things down defensively and were able to get a lot of opportunities offensively and we were burying our chances.”
The Huskies will be back at home the next time they take the ice. NIU will host McKendree University for two MACHA Conference games at 7:20 p.m. on January 19 and at 3:30 p.m. on January 20 at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee. Saturday is also Senior Night for the Huskies.