DII Huskies suffer first regulation loss since Sept. 20
By Kim Wrona
12/13/14 – DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies hosted Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on December 5 and 6 at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee.
The Huskies started the weekend off on the right foot with a 5-3 win over the Cougars.
Senior forward Justin Rucinski gave the Huskies the first lead of the game with an outstanding goal at 4:38 of the first period. Just over two minutes later, freshman forward Pat Wrobel added to the NIU lead to make it 2-0.
SIUE cut its deficit in half with a funny bounce just before the halfway point of the second period. 48 seconds later, Rucinski crashed the net and tallied his second marker of the evening to make it 3-1 in the Huskies’ favor.
Senior forward Mark Greenberg netted NIU’s fourth goal of the contest as his shot was put home from out in front of the net at 12:37 of the sandwich stanza.
With 11:54 left in regulation, SIUE tallied to bring the visitors within two goals of the lead. The Huskies gave themselves some breathing room with a marker from senior forward Joe Serpico on the power play at the 17:01 mark of the final frame.
Despite SIUE getting on the board with 57 seconds left, the Huskies were still able to hang on for the 5-3 win.
During Saturday’s game, the Huskies were able to grab a 2-0 lead early in the first period, courtesy of junior forwards Max Finley and Brandon Niedziela. The lead didn’t last long though as SIUE scored twice in 1:28 to tie the game up at two.
Junior forward Nick Gorczyca gave NIU the lead back with 3:58 remaining in the opening frame and junior forward Nick Leon tallied in the second period to give NIU a 4-2 lead.
SIUE took advantage of a two-man advantage in the middle frame as they scored twice to tie the game up at four. SIUE then took its first lead of the game with 2:01 left in the period with a shot from the right circle.
The visitors wouldn’t look back after that and they took a 5-4 win over the Huskies; the regulation loss was NIU’s first since September 20 when the team was shutout against Missouri State at Fox Valley Ice Arena, 20 games ago.
The Huskies are now off until second semester when they will play Robert Morris University Maroon on January 9 and 10 at Leafs Ice Centre. Friday’s game is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s game is slated to start at 3 p.m.