By Kim Wrona
10/18/17 – DeKalb, IL | The DIII Huskies were on home ice for the first time during the 2017-18 campaign on October 13 and 14 as they hosted the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers. Unfortunately for NIU, the visitors would spoil their homecoming as they swept the weekend series.
The Pioneers scored the opening goal of the game on Friday night at the 5:14 mark of the first period. UWP then scored four more times in the contest, including a power play goal, to take a 5-0 lead early on in the third period.
The Huskies broke the Pioneers’ bid at a shutout at the 8:04 mark of the third period as senior forward Cody Billeck found senior forward Brian Kostecka at the side of the net and Kostecka put the puck home for his first goal of the season.
The Pioneers were able to hang on for the 5-1 victory though. Sophomore goaltender Carl Lindgren made 65 saves on 70 shots in the contest. UWP outshot NIU by a 70-13 margin. The Pioneers went 1-3 on the power play while the Huskies went 0-1 on the man advantage.
The Pioneers scored early and often during Saturday’s contest. The visitors scored three times in the first period and four times during the second period to take a 7-0 lead into the final frame.
Kostecka scored his second goal of the season on a breakaway just 1:37 into the third period, but the visitors answered with two additional goals later on in the period to take a 9-1 victory over the Huskies.
Freshman goaltender Ethan Koncor started the game and made 20 saves on 25 shots during 29:37 of ice time. Sophomore goaltender Josh Stoos made 24 saves on 28 shots during his 30:23 of ice time in the contest. UWP outshot NIU by a 53-11 margin. Both the Pioneers and the Huskies didn’t have any power plays in the tilt.
The DIII Huskies now have a record of 1-7-0-0 on the 2017-18 season.
NIU will go back on the road to take on Washington University for their next set of games. The Huskies and Washington University will face-off at 10:20 p.m. on October 20 and at 3:45 p.m. on October 21 at Ice Zone in Hazelwood, MO.