By Kim Wrona
10/18/17 – DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies were back on home ice on October 13 and 14 for two MACHA Conference games against the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. NIU and Iowa split the weekend contests at Leafs Ice Centre when all was said and done.
The Huskies started out with a bang on Friday night as they scored three times in the opening frame.
Senior forward Eric Svejda put home a loose puck in the crease for his eighth goal of the season just 4:20 into the first period. Junior forward Nick Treiber scored his fifth goal of the year with a shot from out in front of the crease to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead nearly six minutes later. Sophomore forward Brad Krauser put a puck home from the doorstep for his third goal of the season with 1:56 remaining in the period to give the Huskies a three goal lead over the Hawkeyes.
Junior forward Keagan Cornier tallied his first two goals of the season in the second period. His first goal came at the 6:12 mark of the middle frame and he netted his second tally at the 7:55 mark.
Svejda scored his second goal of the night and ninth goal of the season at 16:37 of the sandwich stanza. Senior forward Jordan Niedziela picked the corner, glove side on the Hawkeyes goalie with 2.7 seconds remaining in the period. The marker was Niedziela’s second of the year and it gave the Huskies a 7-0 lead over the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes ruined senior goaltender JoJo Durrbeck’s chance at a shutout at the 3:52 mark of the third period with a power play goal. But the Huskies were able to pick up a 7-1 victory in the contest.
Durrbeck made 36 saves on 37 shots during the game. NIU outshot Iowa by a 46-37 margin. The Hawkeyes went 1-10 on the power play while the Huskies went 0-4 on the man advantage.
“Friday was our best game of the year so far,” Durrbeck said. “We wanted to come out quick, get on the board early and use the big crowd to our advantage and we did just that. I think we controlled the three zones for much of the game and used our speed to overpower them on the rush. It led to a lot of success for all of our lines.”
The Hawkeyes came out of the gate flying during Saturday’s contest. They took a 1-0 lead over the Huskies just 3:01 into the game. The visitors then added a second goal at the 9:52 mark of the opening frame.
The Hawkeyes then scored three more times in the third period to take a 5-0 victory over NIU.
Senior goaltender Nick Bove made 44 saves on 49 shots in the contest. Iowa outshot NIU by a 49-31 margin. The Hawkeyes went 0-4 on the power play while the Huskies went 0-6 on the man advantage.
The DII Huskies now have a record of 3-7-0-0 on the 2017-18 campaign.
The Huskies will go back on the road for a set of games against the DI Illinois State University Redbirds this weekend. NIU and ISU will face-off at 8:00 p.m. on October 20 and at 5:50 p.m. on October 21 at Pepsi Ice Center in Bloomington, IL.