Friday, January 28, 2005
NIU came out quick and were dominating Bradley across all zones. NIU’s first goal came in the first period off a quick slap shot by Mike Moore. Bradley was able to answer back a few minutes later with a goal of their own. Rich Pierzynski, not to be outdone by Moore also put in a goal. The forwards were working the puck around Bradley’s net and when Pierzynski saw his chance he pinched in to the hash marks. He received a pass from Chris Dornbush who received a pass from Victor Martinez. As soon as he saw the puck coming he wound up and ripped the hardest slap I have seen all year. The puck went in the upper corner and Bradley’s goalie was left stunned.
Going into the second, Chris Dornbush scored a beautiful goal from the tops of the circles, it was a nice hard, low slap shot. Next Denny Folliard scored a beautiful top shelf goal on a assist from his brother. Late into the second Bradley came back and scored a goal of their own.
In the third period Bradley answered again with another goal. Not getting down on Bradley’s goal, NIU fought back and Chris Dornbush scored another goal unassisted. The last goal of the game was scored by Victor Martinez assisted by Jeff Hohlman. It was a crisp pass and Victor picked the right spot, the Bradley’s goaltender couldn’t respond with the rive movements. Robert Martinez was goaltender for NIU.
Final shot count was 34 for NIU and 20 for Bradley.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
After Friday’s loss, Bradley and its crowds were frustrated and aggressive. Their aggression seemed to pay off with two quick goals within a minute of each other. NIU had a 5 on 4 power play during the first goal. NIU’s defense coughed up the puck twice in their own zone which resulted in two quick goals. Andy Borrows was the netminder for these two goals and was eventually replaced by Robert Martinez for the remainder of the game. Mark Mutton, who was in attendance for the weekend came on the bench after these two goals to get the Huskies fired up. Muttons attitude kept the Huskies hopes up which allowed the team to eventually fight back. A combination of attitude and speed from the Huskies was used to combat Bradley’s overpowering size. Darcy Folliard was the first to get on the board by taking a shot from the corner, on the goal line which the goalie didn’t expect and allowed to get past him.
In the second period Darcy answered again with a hard fought goal from in front of the net, it was assisted by Shubinski and Hummel. Also in the second Rich Pierzynski went coast to coast with the puck. He didn’t pass to anyone and burned three Bradley players before cutting to the net and backhanding a great shot pass the goalie in the upper corner. With the momentum shifting in NIU’s direction they kept working hard, but late in the second Bradley was able to score a wrap around goal to tie it up.
In the locker room no one worried about losing, NIU knew they were the better team. Mark Mutton did the talking in the locker room and really got the team going for the third period. The third period saw our rookie star, Chris Dornbush, who was having a great weekend come to the rescue again. He put another low shot right past the Bradley goaltender. Thinking they had the win and playing a little softer, Bradley came back into the game. On a 1 on 1 with Rich Pierzynski the Bradley player used Rich as a screen and rifled a puck right by me to tie it up again. No one gave up and we kept trucking.
After 3 hard periods of hockey, overtime began. In the second shift of OT NIU’s all star rookie came up big again, he received a pass from Jeff Hohlman and blasted another hard, low slap shot from a funny angle and the goalie never saw it coming. The Huskie bench cleared for the celebration which took place in front of the disgrunted Bradley crowd. A few heckling fans didn’t appreciate this and proceeded to jump up on the glass and scream at the NIU Players. The Huskies simply took it and just pointed at the score board. It was a huge win and hopefully will add to the momentum for the team going into playoffs in February.
Finals shot count was 35 for NIU and Bradley.