By Kim Wrona
10/25/18 — DeKalb, IL | The DII Huskies traveled to Minnesota to take on Saint Mary’s University on October 20 and 21. NIU picked up its first sweep of the 2018-2019 season with two victories over the Cardinals.
Senior defenseman David Madrigal (2 G, 3 A), senior forwards Nick Treiber (2 G, 3 A) and Eric Svejda (2 G, 3 A) and freshman forward Brandon Ledyard (2 G, 3 A) all led NIU with 5 points each on the weekend.
The Cardinals scored early in the first period of Saturday’s contest, but the Huskies fought back right away. Senior defenseman Tommy Rhyan netted his first goal of the season at 8:13 of the opening frame to tie the game at one.
Treiber then gave the Huskies their first lead of the night at 10:24 with his fifth goal of the season. NIU then tallied back-to-back power-play goals at 11:33 and 14:01. The first marker on the man advantage was courtesy of junior forward Brad Krauser’s third goal of the season. The second power play goal was Rhyan’s second tally of the game. At 18:01, Ledyard netted his third goal of the season to give NIU a 5-1 lead.
Senior forward Keagan Cornier scored his first of the season at 3:10 of the second period and that was enough to seal the 6-1 victory for the Huskies. Graduate goaltender Stephen Thulin made 43 saves on 44 shots in the contest. Saint Mary’s outshot NIU by a 44-39 margin. The Huskies went 2-5 on the power play and killed off both of the Cardinals’ man advantages.
The Huskies drew first blood during Sunday’s contest as freshman forward Tyler Gut netted a power play goal for his fourth goal of the season at 2:47 of the second period. Svejda then scored his second goal of the year less than two minutes later to give NIU a 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals cut the NIU lead in half at 9:34, but freshman forward Justin Garr gave the Huskies the lead back with his first goal of the season one minute later.
The Cardinals and Huskies traded goals again later in the period. SMU cut the NIU lead in half again at 11:47, but Krauser restored the Huskies’ lead 23 seconds later.
Madrigal tallied twice for NIU before the end of the middle frame to give the Huskies a 6-2 lead. The goals were Madrigal’s third and fourth on the 2018-2019 campaign.
The Cardinals opened up the third period with back-to-back goals, but Treiber scored at 6:39 to put an end to SMU’s comeback. Treiber’s tally was his sixth of the season and gave NIU a 7-4 lead. Ledyard tallied his fourth of the season and Svejda tallied his second of the game and third of the year later in the period to put NIU up by a score of 9-4.
The Cardinals added a goal within the last minute of regulation, but the Huskies would hang on for the 9-5 win and sweep of the weekend. Freshman goaltender Chad Dodero made 29 saves on 34 shots in the contest.
Both teams fired 34 shots on net. The Huskies tallied on both of their power plays and killed off all four of the Cardinals’ man advantages.
The DII Huskies now have a record of 4-3-0-0 on the 2018-2019 campaign.
T he Huskies will be back on home ice for their next set of games. At 7:20 p.m. on October 26 and at 4:20 p.m. on October 27, NIU will host Iowa State University in two MACHA Conference games at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee. These contests will also be NIU’s Pink in the Rink games. The Huskies will wear special pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness and research. These jerseys will be auctioned off after Saturday’s game and all proceeds will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. There will be a jersey raffle to win a “00” jersey on Friday and Saturday as well.